#sol21 March 3: An announcement

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers March Slice a Day Challenge! I’m slicing every day this month. Thanks for stopping by.

L wanted to get out of the house.

“Shopping with you is my favorite!” is what she said to entice me to go to TJ Maxx.

Later it was “I love you mama. Do you think you can help me buy just a few of these things?” to entice me to buy her a few things.

I don’t love shopping during a pandemic, but we have masks, and don’t stay long.

I don’t love going out at night ever because, well… night time? That’s supposed to be pajama time. But, I do like spending time with my almost-leaving-me-for-college daughter. Also I noticed a sign that it was the right thing for me to do.

Like literally. A sign. Get it?

TJ Maxx is a fun place to be. And I do enjoy looking at the notebooks, and wandering around telling myself that I can enjoy looking at the inspirational signs, but I don’t have any space for them. Even if they seem perfect.

I kinda wanted to stand there and make TJ Maxx decorative sign poetry … like book spine poetry… Could be fun, no?

As I wandered around the store, a young man’s voice came over the loud speaker. He was thanking us for shopping and telling us about some deals. He sounded so happy about these announcements, and it brought be back to my store announcement days: The summer after my freshman year of college when I worked in the lingerie department of Boscov’s.

Man did I love when I was supposed to make those storewide announcements. It was the best part of my job.

I wish I were one of those people with really specific memories to share – because as I walked around TJ Maxx, I thought about how I’d love to tell you how I made those announcements decades ago. But, I don’t even remember if I picked up a phone to do it, or if there was some weird microphone. Did I have a quota of announcements I was allowed to make? Was there a time where someone told me not to make so many or such long announcements? Did I look at that week’s flyer to help me say what I needed to say? Did I make the announcements only about lingerie? These questions will never be answered.

I can however tell you that I loved making those announcements. It was almost a dream come true, almost as good as it would have felt to have gotten to work a grocery store cash register, or be allowed to click the library cards into the library card punch when I worked at a library. Those are a couple of my biggest never-realized dreams: the cash register and the library punch card. But making an announcement at Boscov’s? That’s on the dream list. Almost.

I wanted to find the TJ Maxx announcer and tell him he should write down this experience for later. But, then a candle caught my eye, and also the soft soft shirts, and more notebooks. . .

8 thoughts on “#sol21 March 3: An announcement

  1. What a fun piece! There’s so much that I love….hearing about the one piece of your memories from working at Boscov’s….the idea of rearranging inspirational signs to make poetry….the dynamics between you and your daughter….Thank you for the smile!

  2. I loved this slice so much! I loved all of the signs you found… and you should totally write sign poetry at TJ Maxx… because why not? I also learned something new about you! I never knew you had the dream job of making announcements! Fun fact… I used to work at TJ Maxx and make announcements! 🙂

  3. OK, I need that sign in my life – the “you are right where you need to be?” I tell my loveys that ALL the TIME. And yes. I love the way teen kids turn on the charm when they want or need something. Perhaps it’s why we haven’t sent them packing long ago, but it is also a reminder that the times and days we have with our kids as we know them – well, they’re short. Thanks so much for this sweet slice.

  4. I love the part about your dreams of working a cash register and punching cards at the library. Are these things that we all secretly dream of doing? When I was younger, I wanted to be a cashier or librarian so

  5. I have a story about that sign. Perhaps a future slice. But I have one. And so does my beloved Mrs. Stultz. You would make a great PA announcer and I would hear your jazz hands through the speaker.

  6. perfectly lovely post, Ona! I have many connections to your experiences and it renewed those old memories. Walking through that store with my teenage son was full of feelings both budgetary and patience/impatience and the joy of QT together. Now I will need to stop and think if I remember all the words to the closing announcements for B&N back in the day… Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Ooooooh. I felt this in my soul! Mainly because of the love and obsession I have for TJMaxx. I can seriously get lost in there for hours! I giggled when you mentioned the cash register being a dream job… YES! I used to hope one day I would get to swipe all the food at the grocery store. Newly realized guilty pleasure thanks to your post: self-checkout. 😉

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