Confessions of a Quilt Store Salesgirl

The Quilt store is a sacred place. There is a quilter/customer confidentiality that is unspoken, but understood.

Boundaries cease to exist as the bell above the door rings and you step in, the bright fabrics counteracting the harsh fluorescents.

I know your children’s names, and sometime’s their children’s.

I understand that making an all white, California king sized, appliquéd quilt for your newly married son and daughter in law is a labor of love and a sign of acceptance and that’s why you need help getting it just right.

I put up with your asking me for someone who “actually knows how to quilt” and I let you come in “just to look” ten minutes before closing, and I know, you know I won’t kick you out.

I show the ladies I work with how to google and I am the most adept at using the credit card machine, and the only one the label maker behaves for.

I remember to ask you if your dog is feeling better and how your best friend’s birthday party was last Saturday.

I know what you want to buy before you do, and I know how to tell when you’re finished, I did learn from the best.

I worry when you don’t come in for a couple of months, wondering if your husband, or mother, or you, are sick again. And when you do come back I mean it when I say that we missed you.

When you save money buying something on sale I proudly tell you how much you save and, get excited with you, (I don’t work on commission).

I mostly avoid you if you’ve told my boss you don’t want me working for her, I know there’s no legitimate reason for your feelings, that it’s just because I’m young, but I am young and therefore slightly terrified of you.  On the occasions when I do have to help you, I treat you with a particularly wide smile and an extra measure of respect.

When you come in with your kids, looking hurried, towing one in a carseat, and one by the hand. I show them the drawer of toys, under the drawer of rulers and rotary cutters; trying to keep them distracted long enough for you to actually shop, and listening while you explain that your daughter isn’t here because she just started kindergarten.

I pretend not to notice your sniffle when you tell me this.

I watch from across the store as you pull out thirty bolts and lay them against the shelf, untaping the fold on all of them and then finally deciding on two.

I smile early Saturday morning, even when I stayed up too late on Friday, and Thursday evening, even if I’ve been working all day.

I am the cutter of your fabric,

and the sharer of your dreams.

The matcher of your pinks,

and the keeper of your secrets.

Your therapist who charges by the yard instead of the hour.

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