Perfect strangers seem to be compelled to tell me things. I sometimes think I should have been a detective or a judge. My job would have been so easy!
"Yes, your honor, for weeks I put a thimble full of anti-freeze in his orange juice. He commented how sweet it was, which I didn't expect, you know, so then I told him it was the Tropicana. 'Fresh squeezed is a little sweeter than concentrate,' I told him. It was just then that his heart attacked him."
The court reporter, prosecutor and defense attorneys would shake their heads in amazement at what had just transpired and I'd just smile and bang my gavel and say, "Next case!" Seriously, the jail would be overrun in no time.
Recently I was eating at a fast food burger place called Freddy's. It's kind of like Steak N Shake, only you have to order at the counter and they don't have a black and white checked floor. They do have frozen custard. (If you've never had frozen custard, OMG. It's so good.) I'd gone back up to the counter to order a turtle concrete. The young woman at the counter wore a brass Ethiopian Coptic cross on a simple leather cord around her neck. When you make jewelry you always notice other people's jewelry. It's like when you've just bought a new car and until you bought it you'd never noticed another red Toyota Venza on the road, but now you see them everywhere!
I saw the cross before I saw her face. Springfield, Missouri is the big, fat silver rodeo trophy buckle of the bible belt. I know this fact may be disputed by other towns, but we're home to the headquarters of the Assembly of God church, so your argument is now invalid. You often see crosses and crucifixes. Sometimes you see an Om. An Om is usually worn by one of those "parking lot" moms who congregate in the school lot after morning drop off sporting their Under Armor or Lululemon and running shoes and perfect hair and makeup. Apparently Om bracelets make you burn calories faster. I'm not in any way mocking "parking lot moms". If I didn't hate running, I'd totally join your group because I love Om bracelets.
I simply had to comment on it. It was such an odd sight, like seeing a black bear in your front yard. It's not like it can't happen, but it would be peculiar. "I like your Coptic cross!" I said.
"Oh, thanks!" she said brightly. "It's my..." she looked up like she was trying to do math in her head. "Talisman!" She'd found the word. "My friends gave it to me. They say it will protect me from my anxiety," she continued. She was young and fragile looking with unnaturally black hair and red lipstick.
I couldn't tell what she was more proud of. Having friends that are thoughtful enough to gift you with a talisman or the ability to remember the word. Either way I was somewhat stunned that she offered up the fact that she suffered with anxiety disorder without any hesitation.
There I was, torn between saying, "Me too," and just smiling and walking away with my custard. I decided I'd better keep the line behind me from growing any longer and just smile and collect my change and leave. I wondered then though, if it was my "tell me everything" face or if it's just that ordinary for people of her generation to talk about having anxiety disorder. Maybe anxiety disorder is an epidemic these days and there are far more people in my "tribe" than I realize?
She believed that her talisman was insulating her. I will never, ever argue with that logic. Her brass cross kept her gnawing, clawing panic away. I totally get it. My rutilated quartz pendant is calming and my old Durga amulet will give me confidence if I know I'm going to face conflict that day. Sting wears an ancient Tibetan DZI bead and Cameron Diaz wears a delicate evil eye pendant around her neck. Maybe they are fashion statements or maybe even celebrities have insecurities and issues that a seemingly magical piece of metal or stone can ward away.
If you like the Coptic cross in the picture you can see it here:
What My Customers Are Saying
"This photo does not give this beautiful piece justice! Super fast shipping and I absolutely love my necklace!! Thank you again, I will be back!! Peace and Blessings to you and your shop!!" - August via Etsy
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