Even if the new Belle Weather in LynLake carried nothing but lumps of coal, I’d still owe it a stellar review. I showed up Sunday, 10 minutes before opening, knocked on the door and unleashed my two young boys on unsuspecting new store owner Crystal Kopan. She smiled, even as they dumped their coats on the floor like they owned the place and spun card racks fast enough to see if they could set them into orbit. Now I know what you’re thinking: why doesn’t she teach those boys to behave. And believe me, we had conversations before, during and after this unfortunate store visit. But every child has his moments (ok, some more than others) and the two together is a lot more than one.
It was hardly the first (shopping experience, that is) for my guys, ages 6 and 2 – they’re seasoned pros on the boutique scene, but in their defense, a gift shop with dainty things is not so much their cup of tea, especially at lunch time. And in retrospect, I tend to be with one or the other when I go shopping – not both, to egg each other into craziness. Not to go all mommy blogger on you, but as a working mom, shopping is one of the things I can do – or delude myself into thinking I can do – with them (unlike interviewing and writing and radio show hosting). I’m a hopeless multi-tasker, so when we were driving past the brand new store last weekend, I had to stop.
Four minutes in, my big boy had to go. You know, go. Like, really bad. Crystal hesitantly pointed us to the bathroom with a warning that it was sort of crammed with stuff. So my younger guy busied himself with a tangle of display racks while the older one…well, settled in. Couldn’t be a quickie, of course. Some time later, when we reemerged, Crystal was still smiling and patiently carrying on a disjointed conversation with me about her retail outlook. She followed up with an email saying our visit was the highlight of her day.
Poor thing, must have been a pretty awful day. But what a good impression she made.