This year, She and I have decided to downscale Christmas gifts for each other, steering away from larger and more expensive items towards smaller things...our relative economies just can't take it, and we've run of out ready cash several times this past year, although for me, the freelance worker, December has meant some windfall earnings. Her salaried income remains constant.
And so, last week, armed with a fistful of twenties, I went out to make several stops in the West Village. My first stop was a soap shop, to buy a fresh cut cake of soap that she likes. The cost was ballpark $8, and I handed the clerk a twenty. I knew it was a twenty because I need that I had no tens available to feed the Metrocard machine. She handed me back two dollars, and when I told her that I had given her a twenty, she replied that I had not, as she had punched in ten dollars as tendered in her cash register. It's one of the older scams going, usually run by cab drivers when they think someone isn't paying attention or is from out of town. I wound up with the ten bucks, but it sure left a bad taste in my mouth.
Next stop was a designer salt and chocolate store---only in New York do we have such things, and in such abundance. Next year, She and I will pass a major milestone, and we're celebrating with a trip to Sicily, and I thought that a small jar of Sicilian salt might be a nice present. The store was chilly, and the clerk wrapped herself in a heavy woolen shawl, holding it closed with one hand. I picked out the right salt, took it up to her at the cash register, and watched as she let go of the shawl. It flopped open to show a nice scoop neck blouse, sagging slightly in the front to reveal wonderful cleavage, with a delightfully ornate chocolate brown bra, ornate lace separating and propping up her breasts. She looked down at her own cleavage, and quickly realized that she was perhaps showing more than she wanted to, and so she made a fruitless attempt to push the top back on her shoulders before giving up, realizing that the only solution was to hold the shawl closed with one hand and complete the transaction with the other, smiling a bit sheepishly as she handed me back my change.