There comes a day when every teenager's desire to have their own spending money pushes them into the work-a-day world of adulthood. For me this day coincided with a new boyfriend and the need for a wardrobe to impress. If the newly built indoor Mall was the Place to Be, J.R. Harris was the store for me.
With every word of wisdom my parents had ever given me filling the molecules of my being, I entered the refined ambiance that was J. R. Harris. Powder blue alcoves fitted with French Provincial settees, the latest in apparel ushered in an out of shuttered dressing rooms, larger size discretely required.
The manager stood behind the check-out counter, her minions hurridly attending to orders barked left and right. I had never seen a more homely looking woman. Nearly six feet tall with a pancake flat face, lips the color of blood red, fingernails to match. After my carefully practiced introduction, she spoke in the deepest voice I had ever heard. "I like your manners. You're hired!"
I couldn't have spent more happy days than those spent at J.R. Harris where friends were made and sales were compared from little slips of paper kept within our pockets. Paycheck garments set aside, boyfriend visits to admire, stolen kisses before exiting the store. Cloud Nine belonged solely to me, or so I thought.
Customer after customer my greeting remained the same, "Welcome to J.R. Harris, how may I help you this evening?" Customer after customer remarked, "You're voice is so melodic, you sound just like the lady on "Mary Tyler Moore"! Puffed with pride that my emulation of my personal hero was being validated, I finally had the courage to respond, "Thank you so much, I love Mary Tyler Moore."
To which my cloud began to rain, "Oh No! Not her! You sound just like Ted Baxter's wife Georgette!" At this very moment, my manager came and put her arm around my shoulder and boomed to the customers, "That's why I hired her. I like that show!"