January 5, 2006

Now, my pets, I am not in charge of the Arvada Hancock Fabrics, not by any means. Lois is our manager, and manage us she does with consummate dexterity. She can juggle Taffy's black moods, my flights of fancy, Suzette's inexperience and ensure that we have enough pudding cake and sewing tape to make it through the week. I've had people ask me if I'm content with my position as assistant manager. Heavens, I'm tickled pink not to be in charge of this looney bin. I could never take it as seriously as the job would require.

So, when Mr. Sittenzeplatz came to my work area, my first instinct was to find Lois. And there she was, bearing down on us like a summer thundercloud over the mountains.
She had her hand extended even before she had passed the patterns aisle. "Mr. Sittenzeplatz? Welcome to Arvada. I'm Lois Pfeiffer."

Mr. Sittenzeplatz turned and very graciously took Lois' hand. "Ah, Ms. Pfeiffer. Finally, I get to meet the innovator of Hancock Fabrics. Do you have a moment?"
And so he turned away before I even had the chance to open my mouth. Mais oui, it is just as well.

My initial relief, however, was short-lived. Suzette's expression spoke volumes- volumes of Harlequin romances. Specifically, the ones with the bare-chested barbarians on them. For once, I was glad to turn my attention to Francine Jacobs and her interminable quilting questions.

Lois and Mr. Sittenzeplatz were closeted some time together and around lunchtime, Lois approached me and asked if I could stay to close up that evening. "I mean, we wouldn't want Mr. Filthy to get his arm caught in the grease trap again. Are you sure it will be all right?"
I assured her that all would be well and asked her how the potpourri-scented wind was blowing.

"Well, Carl wants to go over some inventory questions and discuss strategy for edging Jo-Ann Fabrics out of the marketplace. Oh, he's totally our corner! I'm so happy!"

So Mr. Sittenzeplatz was in favor of us selling headliner kits and fuzzy dice? I found that hard to believe, darlings. But I knew when to keep my mouth shut.

"Carl will attend our staff meeting tomorrow, so you'll hear all about it," Lois assured me. And then with a whoosh and a wave, she was out the door, headed for the black Mercedes.

The store always quiets down around three; I think it's because all our little old ladies settle in for a nap around that time of the afternoon. Or maybe they're watching their stories on the television. When the store was empty, Suzette grabbed my arm and pulled me to the break room.

"I've been waiting all day to say this; he is so beautiful."


"And cultured!"

"Mr. Sittenzeplatz?

"And well-mannered."

I turned to Suzette and considered slapping her, if it would rouse her out of her amorous trance. "Suzette, darling, you don't even know the man!"

"I know enough. He's so different from all the other guys I know. He is a gentleman." She pronounced this last word with emphasis, then she paused, "What did he say to you?"

"He said that he's going to sweep me up and carry me away in his fancy car. We might even make it all the way to Thornton."

Suzette did not find this amusing, and I felt bad for her. Love at first sight is indeed rare, but not impossible, my dears.

"Suzette, did you know that he'll be attending our staff meeting tomorrow? You'll get to meet him then." And then I left to tell Taffy about tomorrow's meeting, before Suzette's glow got any more intense.and set the new stock of fine-wale corduroy on fire.

Want to tell Mrs. Filthy something?

This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

Black Hole by Charles Burns