One of the MANY things I love about the March Slice of Life Challenge is reading other slicer’s posts and gaining a memory or idea for a post of your own. That happened to me a few days ago after reading Kara’s post about a cherished possession she now owns, thanks to her wise Aunt Polly telling her “if you love it, buy it.” I wish I had an Aunt Polly when I was in Italy ten years ago.
We were walking around the streets of Florence and enjoying a hot July day when I saw the sign for a small leather shop. I can still recall the little stairs leading to the underground shop and the distinctive aroma of the leather all around me. I had barely stepped foot into the store when the very handsome Italian shopkeeper said to me,
Here, try this on. This jacket will fit you perfectly.
One thing you have to realize is that I am 5 foot 10 inches tall with very long arms. Jackets never fit me right unless they are sized tall. Most jacket sleeves never reach my wrists. Except this one!
My husband looked at me with this jacket on and smiled a satisfied smile, complimenting me on how nice the color was. I too thought the tones were beautiful. The outside was subtle lime green and the interior was a barely there lilac. And it was reversible. Both colors were THE shades to buy in Florence that year, and a combination that would probably not be found in the United States. I was in love with everything about it, the colors, the soft texture, and especially the fit. I looked at the tag and thought that it wasn’t THAT bad of a price.
But then my cheap and practical side kicked in.
When would I wear this? Out to recess?
What if I get caught in the rain? I’d ruin it in one downpour.
How can we afford this jacket? We just finished paying for college… and this trip.
I recall the shopkeeper teasing me and suggesting I would never find a coat like this back home on the racks at TJMaxx. Yes those were his words to me, TJMaxx! Somehow he knew that was my go to shopping destination. He was the ultimate charmer I know, but I am the ultimate frugal shopper. I took the jacket off, placed it back on the rack and thanked the owner. He reminded me that the store would be open until 8pm if I changed my mind.
As you may have guessed by now, I never returned. But I have had buyers remorse since leaving Florence. I oftentimes dream of returning to that shop to be once again wooed by the owner. I dream of the buttery soft leather jacket being placed onto my arms and wrapping myself up in its luxurious softness.
And yet again I would probably say: When would I wear this?
Throughout the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each day I will post a draft of a story detailing a small snippet from my life. This will be my sixth year participating, and each year I marvel at all the small moments I would have missed in my life if not for this challenge. I am grateful to Stacey Shubitz, Betsy Hubbard, Beth Moore, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Melanie Meehan, and Amy Ellerman for hosting this wonderful event!