For a couple of years, I had a Saturday morning/afternoon job. I was a babysitter. I took it seriously. I think I was 13 or 14. My mom would drive me to their house and remind me to be responsible, be safe and to use common sense.
I would bring over a craft to work on with my “client”. Usually involved pipe cleaners or feathers or some coloring of some sort. She was in K or 1st grade.
She was super, duper sad to see her mom walk out that door and head to her place of work. (Across the street at a carpet store.) Yes, you could actually see the place of business from the living room window. My “client” usually cried when her mom left. I tried all sorts of silly antics to get her to smile.
The mom (happened to be a friend of my mom) did the paperwork at the carpet store. It seemed rather dull to me. However, I loved the daffodils on the sign. Little did I know that being a widowed mom, a Saturday morning away from a little person would have been interesting and enjoyable. Just guessing here, the mom probably loved visiting with other adults, even if it was to discuss carpet.
When it was nice, we played hop scotch outdoors or blew bubbles while sitting on the back porch steps. Some days when it was raining and chilly, my little “client” loved watching cartoons. While she watched television, I would pet their cat. We didn’t have one and I thought it was so nice.
The BEST part of my job was when it was sunny and I had asked permission, my “client” and I were allow to walk four blocks to downtown! I can’t remember if she gave us a dollar or my mother did. We were allowed to go downtown. Now, don’t get all fussy. We lived in a very small town. There were no stop lights we had to maneuver. It was all rather innocent.
To begin with, I had to convince my “client” it would be fun! Then I had to bribe her. Actually, I wanted it so bad, I think I used all my talents to explain how great it would be.
The Dime store. Pullman’s Variety.
I LOVED that store. I LOVED everything about it. Oh sure, I adored walking there as the person in charge. I insisted we hold hands when crossing the street.
We held hands in the store, I did not want anyone steeling my “client”. I LOVED looking at all they had to offer: embroidered handkerchiefs, troll dolls, plastic rain bonnets, mouse traps, paper dolls, valentines, Toni perms, stamped embroidery fabric, hair nets, doilies, color books, bags of sequins, bags of feathers, little mini sewing kits………every single time I went, I saw something new and different. Unless, I was on a shopping trip with my mother, I didn’t usually buy much.
Oh, I did buy one thing. ONE GLORIOUS THING.
As you walked around the Dime Store, you could smell it. The aroma was intoxicating. It was savory, buttery, salty, warm smelling goodness.
The Dime store (it wasn’t until I was an adult did I know it had an actual name, we always called it the Dime Store) had on the check out counter, a POPCORN machine! Ever since the first time I went there, I can remember the popcorn machine. Heck, even when I was 16 and had my own driver’s license, I remember driving to the Dime Store for one thing or another and always, always buying a bag of popcorn.
The ladies that worked in that store, we business like and friendly. They treated kids just as they treated any adult customer.
I always, always felt grown up.
My “client” and I would go to the counter, she usually got some little toy or trinket. I would always politely ask for the LARGE size of popcorn.
We would walk home together. Holding hands while crossing the street. We would share the popcorn. Now that I think about it, she wasn’t that interested in the popcorn. Maybe it was me that was all happy and excited?
I can still remember the red and white striped popcorn bag. I can feel that soft top edge after touching it and rolling it down a few times.
What a GLORIOUS treat.
My all time favorite food as a child and as an adult. Popcorn. Hands down. POPCORN.
Oh sure, I “doctor” it up now and then. However, there is nothing in the world quite as tasty as fresh made, on the stove top popcorn. Real butter and real salt. You need to use a paper napkin, it is that good.
So from my heart to yours, Happy National Popcorn Day!!!!
May your celebration be GLORIOUS.
You can guess what I will be having for a snack today!
ps. Please join me in sending good Karma to my “client”. She is having her second hip replacement on the 26th.