Charming Charlie. If you have never been in this department store, then let me take a moment to familiarize you with the merchandise. Purses, wallets and handbags, scarves to socks to head bands, nail polish and lip gloss to fancy blouses and occasional dresses…and the heels or flats to accompany your outfit. Almost done—you lack just one thing, the essentials of accessories: jewelry! Earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches, all in an array of different shapes and sizes, lengths and combinations.
Yes, Charming Charlie is a sensation, like entering a room where you want to play “dress up” as you once did when you were a kid. But here, this is the real deal and everything is categorized by one basic agenda: Color. Entering is like Dorothy waking in the Land of Oz. I have not been in Charming Charlie for quite some time; I knew things would be different and was curious to see how I would view color. Stepping in tonight for some fun shopping, it was clear—I never left Kansas.
I am not as timid at regular stores with lanes, but these small-focused stores, the spaces are packed with a variety of merchandise holdings…from circle and rectangle tables with shelves, racks and inlet wall cubbies and just plain spin boards that turn a 360. Mom usually holds my right elbow anyway, but I was so nervous entering and not seeing well with the store’s choice of chandelier lights that I said, “What a nightmare,” and told Mom just to go where she wanted and I would just come with her (obviously).
We just started at the first table. I could not tell the color, but Mom liked the bracelets presented and put one close to my nose so my bifocals could view the piece. “It looks sea-green,” I say. I was sort of right. Next, Mom fashion displayed a mint green purse; after that, as we walked around one-half of the store, I saw a strange lime-ish yellow scarf, a huge orange bag, bright magenta bead necklaces (they were pink), and blues—a bold cobalt shirt with white polka dots and a small shelf that had scarves with blue patterns. Not getting much shopping excitement, Mom helps me to one color that I can see, we just needed to get to the table. Red. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.
I used to be one for the accessories in my outfits—nal polish and eye shadow, earrings and bracelets, scarves and right down to the shoes (I wore mostly flats) and socks. The other evening, I sat in my black chair, after fumbling with my head bands in my jewelry drawer, and reminisced those days. Not that I look like a slob (and I still enjoy planning outfits), but the hair-do, make-up, nail polish and earrings…mostly forgotten or dismissed, unless special occasions or church (if time permits.) That night, I found myself missing that—“dressing up”—and Charming Charlie brought back some of those wanting desires that have faded from my routine, unless I seek help.
Mom did help make the shopping fun; she found a pretty red bracelet adorned with silver hearts. I am starting to wear more bracelets and trying to add red to my wardrobe, so the bracelet was a yes…the plain red scarf? Um, no. At this point, I knew I was not seeing much else and knew that Mom wanted to look more. We found a spot in the corner by a window, where I locked my walker and sat. Sitting there, gazing at what should be color but is brown-ish black merchandise, I think of rainbows. The thought has never occurred to me that I may never see one again. And I found this terribly sad..I already cannot hear thunder nor smell the after-rain. I still have lightning, I suppose.
This is still on my mind during the drive home. As we round the last part, I start to notice the soft yellow clouds forming, turning into a full sunset of bright yellow and orange. The view was out my passage seat window and as we pulled in the drive-way, Dad stopped the car. It was beautiful, full of color. Isn’t that just a wonder—I could scarcely see any color in the store, but the sky…it never fails my eyes. Dad parks and we are getting out, but discussing this contrast of experience. “It’s God’s jewelry,” I say in reference to the sky. This is where I have hope—that if I am blessed to see another rainbow here on this earth, I am curious, almost certain, it would be the boldest and most glorious sky an eye has ever seen. Because it would be a real deal for a color-blinded, extreme vision impaired girl.
Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength and glory and power be
To You the only wise King
“Revelation Song.” Kari Jobe.