Friday, December 3, 2021

Bright & Shiny

Tis the season for surprises and gifts, colored paper and sparkly bags, ribbons and bows.

I learned to wrap really well during the Christmas season the first year after we married.  I was a teacher, but during those off weeks, I took an extra job working in the giftwrap department at Dillard's. People would give us their purchase, choose their paper and bow style, then take a number and go back to shopping while we wrapped their gift. Most of the wrapper ladies only wanted to work in the back rather than dealing directly with the customers.  I loved being the go-between customers and wrappers.  I made happy conversation with them even though they always acted shocked that there would be a wait.  I organized the merchandise in the right sized boxes with the wrapping style noted for the ladies in the back.  I took payments. And, I got to hand them their beautifully wrapped presents.  That was always the best part... until... that day. 
It was busy... lots of gifts to wrap... a long wait for customers... boxes (both waiting to be wrapped and ready to be picked up) were all over the place... I don't know that I was taking time to pay much attention to individuals as they came in.  A lady handed me her claim ticket.  I went to find the box.  It wasn't there.  It wasn't anywhere.  She was not happy. I was beginning panic then I remembered,  "Oh, yes!  Yours was that expensive Dooney and Bourke handbag!  It didn't fit in a regular box, so we had to set it in a different spot!"  Silence... I thought she'd be happy. She glared at me then turned to the young lady beside her..."Well, Merry Christmas..." Yeah, I ruined her surprise. Ugh... How to take that back!  
Lessons learned from that? Let's see... Don't forget to pay attention to people even when you multitask? or Don't get a job wrapping packages in a department store at Christmas? or Just keep my mouth shut? Oh, I probably didn't learn anything from it, but yikes... That was in 1985 but is still fresh in my mind.

My weekly-ish painting challenge with my dear friend Cheri was "Bright & Shiny." I always struggle with painting shiny metals.  Thanks to Lynn D. Pratt for a great YouTube lesson, I think I got this one right.

Oil Painting on 8"x 8" Canvas Board


  1. Who in the world brings the recipient of the gift along while picking up the present for them??! Good grief. I've never enjoyed wrapping gifts; it was always my task because my mother didn't enjoy it either - haha! Your bow is lovely, and it looks shiny. Amazing work!

    1. Oh, good! You blamed the lady instead of me! I like that! :)

  2. You definitely nailed the metallic sheen of the bow! Funny story... sounds like something I would have done at one time.

    1. Thanks! It really does look metallic, but if you look again really closely, it's just a bunch of stripes! Kind of amazing, I think.
      As for the "Oh-you-had-the-handbag story... It still brings a wave of horrible embarrassment... and a little chuckle.