What's that Charles Dickens said, "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times"? It's an apt description for my encounters this week. First the good news. A week before Thanksgiving, I bought a scarf cleverly wrapped in a cardboard tube. It was only on Monday that I opened up the tube and found that it was empty. I steeled myself for the encounter at the store, retrieving the receipt from the bag and brushing up on my vocabulary. The actual encounter was anti-climatic. The manager listened to my tale of woe and promptly got me a replacement. Case closed.
Then this afternoon, I stopped off at a boulangerie on the way home from another errand (not the one we usually patronize because that one is closed on Saturday afternoons) and then dropped in our corner store for a few odds and ends. When I got to the register, I found (gasp!) that I did not have my wallet. The cashier graciously set my items aside and I headed back to the boulangerie, my heart pounding. When I walked in, I greeted the lady at the counter. There was no flicker of recognition. My stomach was in knots. I asked her if I had left my wallet there. She looked at me sternly, pulled my wallet out from a drawer, and told me I was lucky. The message was clear: you are irresponsible and you are damn lucky that I was nice enough to keep this for you. I thanked her profusely and headed back to the market. It's a happy ending no doubt but it sure left a sour taste in my mouth.