A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to go to a local thrift store for the first time. We have lots of flea markets, second hand stores and antique malls so there are many to explore in this area, and I had just heard about this one. I went by myself, which is unusual because I rarely go on such an adventure when I am alone.
This particular antique mall was a real winner. I found lots of good things including an owl trivet, a beautiful flower cross stitch, a jar of buttons, a tin match holder, and the most perfect white Japanese ceramic fawn. This was the first such fawn I have found at a local thrift store so I was thrilled to get to take her home. She was the most perfect little deer in the entire world!
I happened to have a large collection of things in my arms when I was shopping so I made a small pile at the front counter while I toured the store. I noticed a sign, quite frequently throughout the shop. 'You Break It, You Buy It' in green marker was clearly posted and I silently chuckled to myself, what clumsy oaf would break something in a store like this....haha.....As I shopped, I could hear the women at the front counter cackling loudly and talking about the nature of their work....I could also hear the twang of a country song playing softly over the speakers. The store wasn't very crowded, a couple of boys with their dads...a woman with her sister in a motorized wheel chair, a couple of old men, another lady or two prodding around with piles of thrifted goodies.
At one point, I was half-way through the store and I reached for a jar of buttons. I misjudged the location of a precariously stacked salt shaker on top of the button jar and much to my dismay, it tumbled off when I picked up the buttons and crashed loudly on the cement floor. The glass shattered and for a second after the loud smashing noise, there was nothing....The women at the front had stopped talking, and I froze in my tracks. 'You break it, you buy it...you clumsy oaf,' nice going.....
I heard the woman a the counter say something like "I know where that came from" and I imagine that she walked over to the little boys that were with their dads or somewhere else in a direction opposite of where I was standing. At that point I grabbed the intact salt shaker and checked the price...$12.00???!!!!??! Okay. Big decision to make here. Do I go up to the front and confess and pay the whopping $12.00 for a broken shaker...or do I kick the remnants under the rug and pretend that it never happened??
For most honest people, this would be an easy decision. But I really struggled with what to do. I already had a large stack of things that I really wanted today...and if I had to pay for the broken shalt shaker I would have to put back some of the things I really wanted.
I decided to compromise. I bought the jar of buttons from the booth....and kicked the broken salt shaker under some shelves. It would probably be weeks before anyone noticed that it was missing anyway. Besides, there didn't seem to be anything special about the clear salt shaker with a red lid. I ended up spending nearly $50 in the store so I felt like I was doing the right thing at the time.
A few days later, I was setting up a still life in my kitchen. I wanted to take some pictures for a photo scavenger hunt and I realized that I hadn't taken a picture of the white fawn yet! I grabbed some fabric and as I was trying to arrange it on a shelf for a backdrop, I set the little white deer down for just a second. Before I knew what happened, that beautiful-perfect-in-every-way-little-angle deer fell of the shelf, slammed onto the counter and smashed into 6 horrifying chunks. Oh no! I hadn't even gotten to take a picture of her yet!! Quickly, I tried to get my glue gun going and then super glue and as hard as I tried to put my little humpty dumpty back together again, it was uselsess with her fragile little legs, and that one tiny missing shard....she would never walk or stand or be beautiful again. I was so bummed. SO BUMMED.
In a much related note....my one little word for the year is 'Give.' I haven't done much giving the past couple of weeks so I decided to do something for one of my students at school.
This little girl is so sweet and happy and special. I decided to buy her some new shoes and a new dress...I can't really tell you all the details of her situation, but she definitely deserves everything and I know she will be totally grateful. I went shopping for her right after school on Friday...and it felt so good picking out the things for her, just because it was the right thing to do...not because I want anything in return...I just want to make this little girl feel good.
On Saturday, I went to another antique mall....and I happened upon the most delightful family of fawns. Each one more beautiful than the broken white fawn from a few weeks ago. I knew they were meant for me.
I couldn't afford them all...but I brought a few home...and whispered to the rest "I'll be back for you" ....and I know they will still be there as long as I keep doing the right thing and being a good person.
I got your message. I will do better next time.....
p.s. thanks for the fawns.....