blue light special
Sometimes, there is such a clear family resemblance that even years after the children are grown, people who knew one of them can tell that another one is a sister. That happened to me when a church camp friend of my sisters, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, and Allyn Hadlock, saw me in the mall and asked me if I was their sister. I did not know this man, but he knew them and knew that I bore a definite resemblance to them. I don’t know exactly how often that happens, but my guess is that it maybe happens more than we are aware of. I think many times, people don’t say anything about it. Maybe they are not sure the person is who they think they are, or maybe they aren’t sure the person will remember them. That is sad really, because you never know when you might just make someone’s day, because you remembered them.
My family has been blessed with some beautiful people. From aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews, as well as grandchildren, they are handsome, and beautiful inside and out. I think that is part of what makes them someone people remember. This was pointed out to my Aunt Sandy Pattan a while back, when she was at Kmart. They were having a Blue Light Special, and she was waiting in line while her things were marked down. Two ladies on the other side of the Blue Light were talking, and obviously looking at my Aunt Sandy. She started to become a little nervous, wondering what was wrong with the way she looked. We always think the worst, don’t we? Once the ladies had finished getting their things marked, they came over to Aunt Sandy, and one of them asked, “Are you one of the Byer girls?” Aunt Sandy said that she was, and the woman said to her friend, “See!! I told you so!!” Aunt Sandy was as surprised as I had been with my encounter, but I think she was right when she said that it isn’t just a person’s looks that makes them memorable, but rather who they are inside. Like my own parents, my grandparents had taught their children to be kind, generous, and thoughtful, and these traits are always remembered, and they make you remember their face too, even if it has changed some over the years.
Sometimes, you can see a person who may or may not be related to someone you liked, but looks like them anyway. Whether you ever find out if that person is a relative or not, you still have that nice memory of that person you knew. Of course, family resemblances are always there, but are not always remembered, unless the person stood out in some way. The memory goes a long way if the person was nice to you at some point. Really, who would want to remember someone who was mean, although I suppose that happens too, but I would much rather remember those people who were kind and thoughtful…wouldn’t you?
I met Bob when I was still in high school, though not in the way you might expect. We didn’t meet in school or at a game. We met at Kmart. We didn’t just casually meet there, I was working there, as was his sister, Debbie. I worked in the Millenary department…handbags, belts, sunglasses, accessories, and wigs, and I had a display near the delicatessen where Debbie worked. In fact, my display of winter gloves and hats was how I met my future sister-in-law. Every evening when I worked, I had to go over an straighten that display, and believe me it needed it after a day or even an hour of people going through it. When people would look for glove and hats, they would dig clear to the bottom to see if there was a set they liked more, nearer to the bottom. The display usually needed to be straightened twice in a shift. When I went to straighten the display, my future sister-in-law, Debbie and I would talk if it wasn’t too busy.
One day, Bob came in to take his sister on her break, and I happened to be there straightening the display at the time. She introduced us, and then they went to take her break. Bob took to coming by for Debbie’s breaks more often after that, but I didn’t know that it was because he wanted to get to know me…not right away anyway. Bob was a little bit shy, and didn’t know exactly how to approach me, so he and his friend, Paul would come in, dig to the bottom of my glove display and flip the whole stack of gloves upward, messing them up. I, of course, had just straightened them, not two seconds earlier. They would only do that if I was there straightening them. It was his way of being playful…and it was cute, after all.
Finally, he got up the nerve to ask me out…and wouldn’t you know it…I couldn’t that night. Being shy, as I said, Bob thought that was my polite way of saying I didn’t want to go out with him. That, of course, couldn’t have been further from the truth. Nevertheless, the guys decided to see if I would go out with Paul. When Paul asked, I did turn him down, because I wanted to go out with Bob. They thought that I didn’t like either of them, and pretty much dropped the subject…but, not coming up to mess up my display. I couldn’t believe that Bob didn’t ask me again. Debbie and I talked about it, and she told me that he was shy. It was a big dilemma.
Finally, I had to solicit Debbie’s help. She kept talking to Bob to tell him that I did like him and I wanted to go out with him. It was no easy task. Bob had convinced himself that I didn’t. Eventually though, Debbie talked him into asking me out one more time. Of course, I said yes, and the rest is history…with a little bit of a twist. While I’m sure a lot of people have met their spouses at work, I still think ours is a unique situation. When people ask me how I met my husband, I still say that I met him at Kmart, but I playfully add that he was my Blue Light Special. I don’t think I could have found a better deal anywhere.