Diane Blanco

Yesterday, while shopping in one of my favorite stores, “Hobby Heaven,” I noticed their decorative metal artwork was on sale. As I perused their collection, I saw a lovely sunburst that would look great on my patio. When I picked it up to check the price, three enormous metal wall hangings the size of small dining room tables fell off the wall mount and crashed to the floor. Only Big Ben striking 12 might sound louder than the clunk and clang of the giant discs as they collided in a heap.  My sister, shopping on aisle 5, said she saw several shoppers take cover fearing it might have been some type of terrorist attack underway. Let’s just say that from now on, I may have to order my craft supplies from Amazon.

My mother used the term, “bull in a china closet,” but I prefer the term, “law of attraction” to describe my strange ability to dislodge stationary items off the wall, a shelf, anywhere. 

One of my most horrifying experiences with this strange “gift” occurred as a teenager, while shopping for an inflatable beach toy in a small discount store in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I drug along my current boyfriend to help me make a selection. The staff had blown up the floats, beach balls and swim rings and stacked them high on a display shelf. Unfortunately, on the opposite side of the display was their collection of tall glass vases. Any normal person could have seen disaster waiting to happen.

As I reached for a lovely pink raft, I heard a sound you don’t ever want to hear, not one, not two, but an ensemble of glass vases hitting the tile floor of the store. I had only one thought, “What idiot broke all that glass?”  Oops. While I cowered behind my raft, my boyfriend offered to pay for the damages. I am certain that he probably had at least $14 in his wallet. The store manager was quite kind and assured us that he had insurance. I would have felt better about the whole thing if I had not noticed he was speaking through clenched teeth. I did buy the raft. It was a dollar.

My sister’s favorite story about my attraction for decorative and shiny objects happened in a department store where we were shopping for a wedding gift for a friend. I noticed a display table filled with elegant photo frames. What a perfect gift for all those wedding photos! After carefully studying the 20 or more frames in the display, I reached for one that was just perfect. As I clasped it in my hand, it set off a chain reaction that not only leveled every frame on the table like a chain of dominoes, but they began flying off the edge of the table. I tried catching them, but they kept coming. My sister ran over to help, as did the clerk. Luckily, the damage was minimal, except to my reputation.

Word gets around, you know. When I go in Sterling Events, which I love, the clerks smile quite knowingly. I am pretty sure I hear them whisper to each other, “It’s her, alert State Farm.”

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