A Season for Accessorization
November 20, 2017 by Somebody
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"I want to return this bowtie," Stan said.
Autumn, the customer service girl, suppressed a smirk. "Is it defective?"
"No, it's just not my style."
"Did you wear it?"
"Only once, to a party. My wife Jane bought it for me."
"OK. I'll need to get an approval on this." She picked up the phone and paged the manager over the intercom. They looked at each other silently for a second and she asked, "Didn't anybody like your tie at the party?"
"Yeah, a lot of people did. I was starting to like it myself until I met Jane's co-worker Brad. Younger guy with long hair and a good physique. Guess what he was wearing."
"Yep. She introduced me to him, then she said, 'Look, my husband joined the bowtie club,' and they both laughed. You should have seen how they looked at each other. Wouldn't surprise me at all if they were sleeping together. "
"What? Well, you shouldn't jump to conclusions. Does she go away on a lot of trips or anything like that?"
"Not really, maybe once or twice. She says there's nothing going on, but obviously, she wants me to be more like her boy toy. The next day after that party we had a big argument and I told her I wasn't wearing the tie anymore."
"Come on, now. Cut her some slack. Maybe she does have an infatuation with the guy, but that doesn't mean she's going to mess around on you. You should keep wearing the tie, and maybe grow your hair out a little."
"I can't believe what I'm hearing. You're taking her side?"
"No, I'm just trying to help you out. You want to patch things up with her, don't you?"
"OK, here's what you do. You apologize to her for whatever you said about her friend. Then you treat her real nice, like when you first met her. And keep wearing that tie when you go out together. Please, just try it and see what happens."
Stan looked uncertain for a moment, then took his tie back. "OK, I'll try it. Thanks for the advice."
Ten months later Stan returned to the customer service department and set a bag down on the desk in front of Autumn.
"More bowties? Where did you get all these?" she asked.
"I bought them here. Can you give me a refund? I've had enough of these things," he said, laying his receipt down next to the bag."
"What happened? Did you take my advice?"
"Yes I did and it worked. I told Jane I was sorry about what I said, and that I should have trusted her and her friend seemed like a nice guy. Then she gave me a big hug and started to cry and told me she loved me. After that things were great for a few of months. It was like we were in love all over again."
"So I bought all these bowties and started wearing them. She loved it. We started going out together a lot more. Restaurants, movies, concerts, parties, you name it."
"See! I told you!"
"But then the trouble started. It wasn't just Jane that liked the bowties. Other women started giving me looks everywhere we went. They would be pointing at me, whispering to their friends and laughing, blowing me kisses from across the room, and flirting with me right in front of Jane. "
"Oh, that's not good."
"It was embarrassing, but I have to admit I sort of liked it too."
Autumn raised an eyebrow.
Stan continued. "But I could tell it was making Jane mad, so I stopped wearing the ties because I didn't want to mess things up between us again. But by then the damage was done, I guess. She started giving me the silent treatment and we stopped going out. We started arguing all the time over dumb things like money and furniture. Then she said she didn't love me any more and we ended up getting divorced a couple of months ago."
"Oh no! I'm so sorry."
The old lady behind Stan with a big shopping bag heaved a sigh, probably more concerned with her aching feet than Stan's personal life. There were two people in line behind her.
"So what are you going to do now?" Autumn asked.
For a moment he felt paralyzed by her gaze like the proverbial deer in the headlights. He struggled to regain control of his speech.
"Well, I was thinking I would take you out for a drink some time. You could give me some more fashion tips."
Autumn acted startled. "Oh...I, well... I guess that would be OK."
She wrote her phone number on the back of a business card and slid it across the desk to him, smiling mischievously.
"This was your plan all along, wasn't it?" Stan said.
"No, of course not." She handed him back his bag of bowties. "Here, keep these."
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