A reader emailed me recently requesting a Money Town story. Her request made me smile because it reminded me of when my kids were younger and would beg for me to read them a favorite book. Money Town is a little slow in the month of August. The rich are off vacationing before summer winds down. School doesn't begin until September here, so it's the last chance for a trip before families need to get into more structured routines.
There is a Starbucks right outside the gates of Money Town. I was there yesterday in desperate need of a Cappuccino. I was at my finest, I must say. I rolled out of bed, ran my fingers through my hair to flatten the pieces sticking straight out of my head, brushed my teeth and grabbed my keys. Oh wait, I wasn't naked. I had slipped into a pair of shorts and one of Briefcase's tee shirts and added a pair of flip flops to polish off my look. I didn't even bother with mascara. I can't exactly say I was sporting a Money Town look.
The Money Town Starbucks is close to my house and convenient, but it is also always crowded. I debated keeping my sunglasses on as I entered in case I ran into a familiar face, but I decided to hell with it. I'm long past trying to impress anyone. Fortunately for me, I didn't see a single person I knew there. I think that may have been a first.
I groggily ordered my Cappuccino and then awkwardly stood waiting for the order to be filled. As usual, they were busy and it was going to take awhile. I tried not to glance around, because, God forbid, someone I know might have walked in and seen me looking like I hadn't showered or brushed my hair. Which I hadn't.
Barely thirty seconds passed when a way too cheerful woman approached me and exclaimed, "Oh MY!! Is that a Francesco Biasia handbag you're wearing?!!"
Yeah, this is the type of shit that happens in Money Town.
I looked at the woman speaking to me. In contrast to my unkempt appearance, she was perfect. P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Her hair was pulled back in a sporty ponytail, with sexy little tendrils wisping around her face. Her make-up was artfully applied and not overdone. She was in a coordinated outfit, no doubt designer, which showed cleavage and curves without being trashy. She carried a handbag made out of … something. Skin. Alligator skin? Snake skin? Hell if I know, but it reeked of being expensive.
Her eyes sparkled with joy and excitement at my handbag.
I decided to play along.
"Why yes it is," I exclaimed. (No, it's not.)
"I KNEW it!!" she said. Her eyes twinkled even brighter in her excitement at spotting THE BAG.
She began prattling on at full speed. Clearly she already had some caffeine in her system. I glanced at the counter, still in a sleep-induced fog, awaiting my drink and a chance to escape. She would not stop talking.
She reported to me how she had been watching all the designer websites for the releases of the Fall Fashions and she had seen my bag, and omigod how did I manage to get my hands on one already?
Did she not check out the rest of my appearance? Did I look like the type of woman who waits online for the release of new fashions and works connections to get my hands on the latest and greatest trends before they are even available in the stores? Briefcase's old tee shirt, unbrushed hair, no make-up, flip flops … what was she thinking?
At one point she hesitated and commented, "The color looks a little different than it did online."
I assured her, "Oh, I think the bag is available in a few colors for Fall."
Her face instantly lit up again. "Really?" she asked in excitement.
My coffee became available. I excused myself to get my drink.
As I left Starbucks I glanced back. The woman's eyes were still glittering with excitement at the thought of getting her hands on a handbag just like mine.
I don't think that's going to happen. I don't think she's ever walked into a Target store. She isn't going to find my handbag anywhere else.