Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Last week I finally made my way to a certain violin-making school downtown to purchase a shoulder-rest. I’ve needed one for awhile – well, I don’t know if NEED is the right word. I really don’t practice my violin. I haven’t been good at it for ten years now since I put it to bed after high school. But I don’t have a shoulder rest anymore. And when I do pick up my violin, it’s useless without one.

I’ve been trying to find a good time to buy one, because when you visit this particular shop, if there is a customer before you, you could be waiting awhile. They do things the slow, old-fashioned way. They don’t even have a register. So I picked a morning when I had some time to kill.

I walked in and of course the guy at the counter was already helping someone. I immediately took a seat by the counter, about five feet from their conversation. I sat, hands in pockets, looking around. I read posters on the wall, studied the metronomes, read about what was coming up at Libby Gardner Concert Hall until I realized I was sitting for a very long time. I looked out the window, checking to make sure no parking attendants were attending to my car; I didn’t bother to feed the meter.

Once I had read everything in the store, I began to pay more attention to Dan the salesman and the girl he was helping. They discussed her violin and how she needed to make sure it was in top condition for her upcoming concert. She was mid-twenties, about 5’5’’, skinny, wearing casual jeans, a hoodie and fancy flats. She wore thick, black eyeliner to match her thick, black hair (I believe Revlon calls it "midnite black"). She had her hair in one of those tossled updos that wants to say "I can look fa-habulous without any effort" but you know she had about 30 bobby pins in there. Kind of a pseudo-exotic look she was going for, but the salesman seemed to really enjoy talking to her – or, looking at her.

This was when I labeled her as a shameless flirt. There was no hiding it: she wore a perma-smile for no reason and spoke in a quieter, sweeter voice as she asked for special favors and expedited service. I was amused and couldn’t help but smirk as I watched Dan the salesman eat it up and respond in a quieter voice with a reasonless smile. He took his arms from his side and placed all his weight on his hands as he perched on the counter, leaning toward her – a very authoritative and masculine position. I watched her for awhile, invisibly shaking my head in disbelief. And then I heard her giggle. That was it. Amusement officially transitioned into annoyance. I sat up in my seat and looked around, attempting to draw attention to the fact that I was still in the room and needed assistance from someone at some point.

An older man emerged from the back to ask Dan a quick question. Before he could return to whatever he was doing, Dan urgently told him this patient young lady (me) needed to be helped. The older man made the decision to finish the transaction with the flirt and asked Dan to help me. Thank you. Finally.

I told Dan all I needed was a shoulder rest. He took me into the “accessory room” and showed me my options. Before I knew what was happening, we were smiling, laughing and entertaining a banter just like with his previous customer. Somehow I had immediately forgiven him for giving in to her female wiles and defaulted into flirt mode myself. That’s when I knew I couldn’t blame the girl. It was Dan the salesman.

I walked out of there with the newest, most expensive shoulder rest they had in stock. I guess I better practice my violin now.


Rhett said...

Now THAT is a good post. The funny thing was, as I was reading it I was thinking to myself "Dan is probably a big as flirt as the girl".

Loved it!

Cameron's Corner said...

I'd like to see a photo of this "Dan" character.

charlotta-love said...

Dan must work on commission.

Kev N' Kate said...

So are you going out?? :)

Ilene said...

Watch out for those Dan-the-Salesman types.

I should know. I met one and found myself married to him six months later.

They are good.

We'll Call her "Lisa" said...

OH for heavens sakes.

Liz said...

You better practise that violin! This kind of reminds me of "The Office" episode where the hand bag girl comes and Dwight goes in to flirt with her and ends up buying a purse. Nice Laura

Johnny Metropolis said...

I am inclined to believe that his alleged wiles were unintentional. Like other men I know (most specifically me) he is probably naturally "disarmingly charming", it's no wonder we make such goo salesmen.

Johnny Metropolis said...

uh... I meant "good salesmen." Not "Goo salesmen." (Sigh) Here I was attempting to be funny and now I loo lik a idio.