My sister and I decided to check out a crowded antique store in Chatham. Not really an antique store, more a second-hand shop of what I call ‘treasures’ waiting to be found. A middle-aged woman, reeking of tobacco, brushed by us—it was too crowded to be concerned about personal space—and informed us that the owner was taking a few days off. That she was there in her place. Then, she coughed deeply. The kind of harsh, wicked cough that spoke of decades of cigarette-smoking.
It didn’t concern my sister or me that she wasn’t the owner. We continued to browse. There were antique dolls,
pottery, old china,
and Christmas décor from long ago.
Then, I spotted a box on the floor. It was full of prisms! While I certainly had no need for a prism, I’ve been intrigued by them since watching the movie, Pollyanna as a young child.
I asked the woman, “How much are these?”
She answered, “Well, there was a man interested in them yesterday and I told him I had to check with the owner. It ends up the whole box of prisms sells for $50. Or, you can buy them for $3 each. You better decide because he’s coming back today!”
I don’t like to buy under pressure. Still, I envisioned a whole window of prisms. But, I knew I didn’t have such a window to display them. Or really, I didn’t have the fifty dollars to spend on them!
I told the woman, “I’ll take three!”
“You should take four.”
“Nope. I like things arranged in odd numbers.”
She looked at me oddly!
I explained, “No, really. When I plant my flowers, I arrange them in groups of odd numbers. They look better to me that way.”
My sister is an avid gardener like me. She agreed with me, wholeheartedly.
The woman missed her opportunity to tell me to buy five. I probably would’ve done so with very little persuasion on her part. Instead, she tried once more for a big sale…
“Are you sure you don’t want to buy the whole box?”
“I’ll just take these three. Thanks. When that man returns to buy the whole box, are you going to tell him I bought three of them? Or is he still going to pay fifty dollars?”
She smiled and was quiet.
Then we all burst out in laughter.
She was a great salesperson after all!