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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Confessions Of An Antiques Store Worker: Narcissist Fun

The next time someone asks me what  narcissistic or sociopathic behaviors look like, I will just sigh loudly and refer them to this blog post.

Let me tell you a story about Cliff. Not his real name of course. After all, people in retail don't kiss and tell. Not that I'd ever kiss Cliff. In fact, next time I see him--a slap with a wet noodle would be more in order.

I've rarely worked in retail until the last few years of my career. Well, if you want to call it a career. I was a newspaper reporter in a small town. I've freelanced for various publications, including True Story magazine. I've worked in a print shop. And I've spent years selling antiques and other items online. Basically I spent most of my time behind a typewriter or a computer.

So working with the public was a culture shock. When interviewing people in person on by phone, they are usually on their best behaviors and it's not always apparent they are less than honest.

But in retail, one is held captive. One can't go running out of the store if someone ticks you off.

Back to Cliff. Dear Cliff. I've known him for years. He's an antiques/collectibles dealer who sells online and firmly believes every retail shop should sell items cheap enough so he can make a huge profit.

I'm known as one of the more pleasant retail workers. (Boy I have everyone fooled).

But over the years even Cliff picked up on the fact I was tired of his cheap attitude. One day I ran into him at a public event and I attempted to pretend I did not see him. He yelled out, "I KNOW you saw me!!! You are just ignoring me!!! COME HERE!"

Of course he had to show me all the bargains he picked up and share small talk just to control me. I was a sweet as pie to him.

I hadn't seen Cliff for many months, until today. I am used to his chiseling and sneaky ways to get the prices down to almost nothing. And I won't budge. I am there to serve the customers, but the dealers in an antiques mall are ALSO customers and deserve to get fair prices.

Well, I always knew Cliff was mentally disordered. Just his body language. Controlling ways. Speech patterns, etc.

But today he crossed the line.

Yes, that's the type of look I gave Cliff today.

He wanted me to call several mall dealers and ask for ridiculous discounts and  I refused.
He asked if a certain dealer was flexible. I said only in the 10 or 20 percent range and usually the higher range was for fellow veterans. Cliff is NOT a veteran.

But that must have planted the seed in his manipulative, psychotic mind how to wheedle a discount from another dealer.

I'd like to say I was too smart for Cliff. Not true. It's very difficult to outwit a narcissist or sociopath.

But the antiques gods were smiling today.

He approached a case loaded with vintage police and law enforcement badges. He had bought one in years past and asked me if I remembered him texting (in front of me) a buyer, who bought it on the spot and netted Cliff a huge profit. I have a steel-trap of a mind when it comes to things like that and told him I remembered.

I was, I suppose, expected to bow in the presence of his wheeler-dealer prowess. Couldn't do it today. I had too many years of him shoving his huge phone in my face and showing me pictures of caps he picked up at yard sales for fifty cents and sold for $80 on Ebay.

Now here's where his narcissistic personality morphed into sociopathic behavior. He asked me to call the owner of  the law enforcement badges and ask what the discount would be if 10 badges were purchased.

He also commanded me to tell the dealer that his (Cliff's) father was a former police officer at the same place the owner of the badges had been. I ignored that part. I suspected it was a lie. But only suspected.

Most customers when they ask you to call a dealer, they don't stand 18 inches from you. Most continue browsing. I dutifully called and got the wife of the owner of the badges. She said she felt her husband would discount 20 percent, but would call him, since her husband happened to coincidentally  be a few doors down from the antiques mall.

Cliff yells at me to tell her that his father is a former ----- police officer. I say,"The potential customer says his father is a former ------- police officer."

Cliff doesn't know that the REAL former police officer is a few doors down. The wife calls back and says 20 percent is fine--and wants to know the NAME of Cliff's father, since he probably knew him since he was on the force for three decades.

I ask Cliff what his father's name is. Cliff got very nervous and said, "Uh. Oh. Um. It doesn't matter. Anonymous."

I tell the wife that Cliff doesn't want to say. She comments that is very strange and said her husband wanted to come right over and meet Cliff. I told her it wasn't a good idea. Also during the phone conversation, Cliff is muttering loudly that he wants the $125 badges for $60 each.

I get off the phone and tell him that $60 would NEVER happen and that 20 percent was an honor since they rarely discount since they usually get full asking price and often double the price at another venue they sell at. Which I had ALREADY politely told him BEFORE the phone call.

I told him the officer wanted to come right over and visit him. Cliff's eyes got as big as those shiny old badges. He just stared at me. I stared back. I said,"He was expecting to come over here and meet the son of a...."

And I just stopped  talking. Pro tip when dealing with a narcissist. Let them cook their own goose. Just make sure you baste them when appropriate, while remaining dignified.

And Cliff finished my sentence with: "fallen comrade."

Actually I was thinking," He was expecting to meet the son of a fellow police officer on the same force, but he would have met a son of a bitch instead." Not that I would have let that meeting happen.

I just stared at Cliff while he basted in the juices of his own making. Instead of letting it go he said,"My father isn't a ----- police officer."

Geez, like I didn't already know that. And still Cliff decided a few more words would be appropriate. I decided NO words on my part would be appropriate. Because there are NO words for such behavior.

He said,"Well the people I was going to sell them too are former ------ police and fire department."

Oh, hell, yeah. That certainly impressed me more with your stellar character, Cliff.

He beat a hasty retreat. And I refrained from telling him that he was barred from ever coming in again and if he did, I would be unable to wait on him.

But if he does, I won't wait on him.

He crossed a line. I appreciate a good wheeler-dealer. But if YOU EVER LIE about having a family member in law enforcement or the military (stolen valor) to satisfy your greed--I won't have a thing to do with you. Even if it means losing my job. And I love my job!

Anyone who lays their life on the line to protect ordinary citizens will not be taken advantage of by a lying narcissist sociopath, if I can help it.

End of story? No.

I called back the wife of the owner of the badges, the REAL person who put his life on the line for decades, and told her I was sorry. Of course she was a bit taken aback. Instead of pussy-footing around I said,"The guy is a pathological liar and narcissist! I'm sorry I got you  involved!"

Two customers were walking by and I could tell by their body language they were wondering what conversation on God's green earth (in an antiques store) would use the words: pathological liar and narcissist.

The wife told me she understood completely that I got caught in the crossfire and not to worry about exposing them to such things.

But this lady is a sweet person and the wife of a former REAL police officer, so she knows about such things, I am sure.

I used to think that certain workplaces, like antiques stores, flower shops, etc., would be more immune to such narcissistic side shows.

 Not so. I've had a baptism in retail.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Fremont County Colorado: Death Threats, Dinosaurs and Dating On Twitter

Don't ask me how it happened. I don't remember. But somehow I took a liking to visiting venerable institutions and museums and having someone take my picture while I was acting like, well myself.

Tonight I don't have time to recount my trip to a local museum. But I will soon.

I'm really rather camera shy. It was only recently that I finally posted a picture of myself on Twitter.

Yes, this is the first and only (until tonight) picture of myself I have posted on Twitter or much anywhere else.

Why is that? Well, I am not of the Internet generation exactly. I'm an old dinosaur--so several years ago when I got online and started writing and posting, I was in for a rude awakening about people. Eeek, some of them can be mean. I got a few death threats. But they were actually nice death threats. Some people didn't like the subject matter I was writing about. BUT I write about even controversial things fairly politely, so one of my favorite death threats was something along the lines of: "You seem nice a really nice lady. It would be such a shame if something happened to you! Don't you think you should stop so nothing will happen to you?"

But some of the threats were less than nice--and one actually came from a minor, very minor notable, who actually ran for President of the United States, many years ago. Naturally I didn't want to get into a pissing match with someone like that.

That's why I don't usually post pictures and have many pen names across the net.

Last death threat was many moons ago. But here's the latest "FUN" I've had on the net.

Now remember, the above picture of me fake screaming in front of a stuffed bear at Bass Pro Shops is the ONLY picture of myself on Twitter. I guess I should explain, I am the one in the tacky floral shirt and it's the bear that's the hairy beast. Of course, the person who waxes my mustache and bikini line would not agree with that statement.

Anyway, it should be super obvious that by posting that picture I am NOT looking for a date or any action on any type, except perhaps action with figures or displays that are of the taxidermy or resin or museum kinds. (I heard a rumor from my husband that he recently found a picture that he had forgotten about showing me doing something quite unreasonable in the region of the David statue in the Louvre in Paris.)

Here's my favorite response to my picture from some poor sap on Twitter: Hey pretty woman A feeling of happiness, joy and love has creeped in me that everyone who look at you seen how beautiful you are, thanks for accept me.

Ooops! English is maybe not this dude's first language? They don't call me Sherlock for nothing! And those feelings of happiness, joy and love that CREEPED in him, creeped me out even worse.

This is about the dozenth such Direct Message I've received on Twitter, but this one is the most bestest of all of them. Many of them note just how beautiful and pretty I am. Really? I guess they didn't look at the picture.

I asked my husband what all this meant and he said it meant they hoped I was some lonely, rich old lady that liked to hang out with stuffed bears. So lonely and alone that I would jump at the chance to send a money order to Africa (or wherever) so they could take a plane trip to gaze upon my lovely face in person.

I had toyed with the idea of writing all these Twitter fools back and saying something like:" Oh my God! You are SO freaking gorgeous for an older guy. There are things I want to do to you that I can't even say in words. PLEASE send me some money immediately! I am poor, but a lot of fun. Yes, a lot of fun. I will use the money to visit you immediately!"

But I decided that instead of using my powers for evil, I will be a good girl. I don't want to set off hacking and death threats. Yes, I was hacked on Facebook years ago and someone hijacked my account and started writing things I had no knowledge of.

So, that's why I don't mention my name and rarely post my picture. But what the heck. Life is too short and if I want to post pictures of myself screaming all across Colorado and the world someday--screaming with joy that is--then I will.

Just don't ask me for a date. My husband only lets me date fictional characters, dinosaurs and stuffed bears. And don't politely threaten to kill me, because trust me, I'm not as pretty and sweet in person as my screaming pictures indicate.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

It's A Crime To Like The Roseanne TV Show: Time For The WTF (What The Frog) Award

Time for me to hand out the WTF Award. What The Frog? I haven't handed out that award in a long time--and always reserved it for funny or strange collectible items that never should have been manufactured. I never handed out the WTF Award to people--only inanimate objects.

I don't get political on this blog much. I could. I have all sorts of folks coming into the antiques mall I work at who tell me how they feel. One was even campaigning for a major political office. Her campaign motto was: Blank listens. Obviously she wasn't listening to my polite cues. She went on to trash the President. I was the one who listened to her with nary an eye blink. I finally tactfully ended the conversation, because I don't feel customers and browsers wandering a store need to hear something that might go against what they feel. But I felt this political campaigner needed to be heard also.

 I think it's tacky to discuss spiritual matters and politics when working--except in the most general terms, and only if asked. And I am supportive to people of ALL political beliefs in public. I am NOT so insecure in my own beliefs that I feel the need to belittle people when they are literally in a public store screaming that it was a travesty that Hillary didn't win since she was the only one qualified. And when folks come into the store yelling that Hillary should be locked up, I respond the same way. Supportive. I listen. I let them all talk. They have a right to speak! Even though I disagree with one of those sides--I feel they have a right to speak and tell me how they feel without me going snide on them. As long as their voices don't get so loud that it interferes with people's shopping experiences.

And I'm the same way in my private life. I'll tell you, if I know you.

I don't even get that political on Twitter, even though it's pretty apparent I have certain views, based on what I like on Twitter.

But I don't post controversial things or get into arguments with people over guns, politicians, immigration, etc.

So, why I am I ready to hand out the WTF Award?

I apparently committed a cardinal sin on Twitter last night--right after I watched Roseanne on the telly.

Here's my HORRIBLE political tweet: It seems is getting funnier with each episode. Loved it!

That's it. That's what I tweeted. Normally I get under a dozen "likes" on my Tweets. But unsolicited by me, the folks from Roseanne at ABC re-tweeted my Tweet. Lots of people saw it--and I'm at about 350 likes on that Tweet.

A few people wrote me that they agreed and many re-tweeted it. I've enjoyed Roseanne even 20 years ago during her first show.

Notice the Tweet indicates I love the show and think it's funny. I don't mention Roseanne Barr. I don't even put her Twitter handle in it, so it won't go to her Twitter feed or have a good chance of being read by her.

It happens I like Roseanne's character and comedy. I also love Dan and Jackie too. The whole cast. I had even predicted (behind closed doors) 20 years ago that "Jackie" was a brilliant actress--and 20 years later I am NOT surprised she was nominated for an Academy Award.

Well, it turns out--some people think it's a crime to like the show. Yes, I am well aware that in real life Roseanne Barr has some political ideas that some people despise. Yes, I am aware she has Tweeted some very controversial subjects. Yes, I am aware the real Roseanne dressed up as Hitler for a Jewish satire magazine. Yes, I know Roseanne is Jewish.

But guess what? I don't know Roseanne personally! I wasn't commenting on whether or not I liked her personally. I like her damn TV show.

I have a feeling I might like some things about Roseanne personally. Turns out she owns a macadamia nut farm very close to where many of my husband's family still lives. I'm pretty sure we could chat about that special part of Hawaii. And I am sure I agree with some of her political views--and probably not on others. And who gives a fig if I agree with her or not in her personal life?

So, who does the WTF Award go to?

To three VERY special people, whom I do not know on Twitter, that felt they needed to chide, scold and revile because I said I liked the TV show. One asked why a Cosby reboot with a drug rape was funny? I honestly don't drink alcohol much--but I think I'd have to be very drunk to even understand what that meant. I never have seen an entire episode the Cosby show. And I must have missed the Cosby reboot and drug rape on Roseanne.

Another person sent me a picture of Roseanne dressed as Hitler, basically insinuating I was a Nazi for liking the Roseanne show. Oh, my. I still have the binoculars that my grandfather divested the Nazi of during WWII. My grandfather and ALL his four brothers went to fight the Nazis--all at the same time!

Let's assume that the Jewish Roseanne (in real life) was a Nazi. That would be disgusting to me. But most people know that the people in Hollywood movies, on TV and who write best sellers, etc. are not necessarily the "characters" they portray to entertain us. It is NOT my responsibility to run down every bio on every TV show I watch to make sure the actors, writers, etc. live personal lives that fit my own morals.

I only hunt down people with high morals if I am going to hang out with them, go into business with them, be their friend, marry them or make them my spiritual mentors.

OK, so it was insinuated by the first two recipients of the WTF Award that I am a Nazi and enjoy Cosby sex/drug immorality because I think the Roseanne show is funny.

But the third person to get my award. Well, it was insinuated that because I found Roseanne (the TV show) funny, then it followed that I thought everything Roseanne tweeted since the beginning of time was funny. I was sent a 2016 Tweet of Roseanne Barr's where she was really quite pissy and vulgar towards Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart.

Oh, pulllease, recipients of the WTF Award--no I didn't think that Tweet was particularly hilarious. But I didn't think I had to go into the archives and read every Roseanne Barr Tweet to decided if I wanted to watch her show--and God forbid, actually find the show funny.

Loosen up America. I watch all sorts of stuff on TV. If it's not funny--or degrades people, I don't watch it. I don't care if it's coming from a liberal, or a conservative. A Democrat or a Republican. I vote. Oh, yes I do. I was even a presidential candidate delegate years ago. But I am not going to reject an interesting or funny show because of politics. How controlling and snottily judgmental is it for complete strangers to suggest I need a "public" paddling over watching a TV show.

Yes, I care about politics and this USA. Always have. Even before I did the thing and DNA test and realized politics is literally in my blood. Ancestor of George Washington, the first governor of Connecticut, a mayor of London in the 1600s, and on and on. Most people would be fascinated to find they have George as an ancestor. I was. I am. But the relation I was most fascinated by was William Wallace. You know, BRAVEHEART. There was a movie made about him starring Mel Gibson. Oh, I get it. I shouldn't have watched the movie (even though at the time I didn't know Braveheart was a many times great-grandfather) because freaking Mel Gibson turned out to have some REAL problems in his personal life--like alcohol and ranting about Jewish people.

No. It's all stupid. I can't live my life not watching Roseanne or Mel Gibson or whomever--because they did some things in their personal lives that were/are questionable.

So, don't ever try to tell me, in a snide way, that I am something I am not, because of what TV or movies I watch.

And I'll let the readers guess if the three recipients of the WTF Award, in their bios identified as liberals or conservatives. And coming after me--who in the bio only mention Colorado, antiques, Florence and George Washington--and does not mention a political leaning, is the height of ridiculous.

Is this what this country has come to? Attacking people who have views, but aren't real obvious, or obnoxious about it? Based on finding a TV show funny? If these folks (and I use the word folks lightly) thought I would come over to their side and see the light...they more horrify me with their lack of logic and actually make me think there might be some credence to the notion that certain factions in this country want to take away certain rights.

Next time I might just go Braveheart on your pathetic butts --and name names when I hand out the WTF Award.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Does This Mustache Distract From My Bad Hair Day?

Does this wax mustache distract from my bad hair day?

Just so you know, every day is a bad hair day with me.

Before I don a waxy candy mustache, I like to make sure it has some fashion or beauty purpose. I thought it would cover my laugh lines. Nope.

It makes my hair look even more like a weed whacker had its way with me.

But, alas, I finally found the benefit. It covers my REAL mustache. You know, that one that no amount of waxing, plucking or screaming can rid of.

So, why would I humiliate myself with this yummy mustache?

For the sake of Florence of course.

So stay tuned on the details of the FREE Mustache Day we are planning on the day of the 17th annual Florence Merchants' Association Car Show--Sunday, May 20.

UPDATE: My wax mustache is grape-flavored. Turns out that even wholesale, wax mustaches are slightly pricey--so we will be giving away FREE fuzzy mustaches instead of wax. No worries--it's easier to talk with the adhesive fuzzy ones.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Florence, Colorado: FUN ALERT! The Florence Consignment Corner Grand Reopening

There aren't many guarantees in life--but I can almost guarantee that going to the Florence Consignment Corner, is the most fun you'll have shopping and browsing in a long time.

I've been saying that Florence is the FUNkytown of Fremont County for years. No one believed me. But, aha, now I have real proof.

                                                    FUN MERCHANDISE? HECK, YEAH!

Many folks visited the Florence Consignment Corner during the past year, when it was located in the old NAPA building on Main St. It was fun the past year--but now FCC has a bigger location,  at 118 W. Main St. in the old Tru Value Building.

So there is more room for fun merchandise. FCC has been open in the new location since March 1 and on Saturday, March 31, will have its grand reopening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Yes, there will be door prize drawings.

                                                 GRAND REOPENING DOOR PRIZES

That's just a small sampling of the door prizes. Many of the FCC vendors will be donating FUN items for the drawings. I heard a rumor that one vendor donated a basket of nostalgic candy for the drawing--and there just might be some wax candy lips and other outrageously fun items in the basket.

There will be free refreshments and snacks--while they last. And there will be free fresh homemade fudge samples. In case you missed it, here's a link to a recent blog post about the fudge:

                                               NORRIS YOUNGS SERVING UP FUDGE AT FCC

OK, I know all of you that can make it, will attend the grand reopening this Saturday. But those of you who can't...I know you'll make it to FCC as soon as you can. But in the meantime, lets take a blog tour of this store. FCC already attracts lots of local shoppers and browsers, but I'm fairly certain that FCC will also be even more widely known as a tourist destination.

I'll let you judge why that might be so. But my opinion is: I've never seen a store that has such a wide variety of EVERYTHING! Most of us have been to antiques malls. FCC is not an antiques store, but has lots of antiques and collectibles. It's not an indoor flea market, but it has practical tools and household items, without being junky. It has packaged food items and candy. It has artwork and handcrafts.

OK, enough! It would take less time to list what they don't have. Let's have some fun on our tour, which barely scratches the surface of this fun emporium.

Hands down (or up) the funnest chair ever. Just make sure you aim your descent correctly or you might get a surprise.

FCC co-owner Donny Hakes checks out a giraffe.

FCC has a great offering of Watkins products from toiletries, cleaning supplies to spices. Imagine this. You can purchase some Watkins spices.

Get cooking on some quality cast iron cookware and...

Then cook it all up vintage style on this cook stove.

Speaking of yummy things...This is one of my favorite booths in FCC. These vendors from Walsenburg have some great Colorado bread and cookie mixes. We purchased some to include in a gift basket for a charity event (in Denver) to highlight all the diversity of goods and businesses in southern Colorado to our neighbors to the north.

Cool antiques--and is that the famous kitchen sink next to the gasoline sign? I will spare you all--and not make any jokes about the FCC having everything including the kitchen sink. Wait, that's a bathroom sink--so we are all safe. But they do have kitchen sinks too.

And they have a basket of Betty Boops. Not just anyone can claim that!

And absolutely gorgeous artwork to fit any budget or decor.

I want y'all to check out Florence Consignment Corner's Facebook page at: Notice it says, find almost anything. True. True of FCC and Florence in general.

Thanks to Donny and Molly Hakes, co-owners of FCC, who gave me permission to use a few of their photos for this post. Some of the photos used were taken by me--but their photos are better.

And don't forget the grand reopening March 31 at 118 W. Main St.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Florence, Colorado: LIFE IS BETTER WITH FUDGE!

I've been stalking, I mean visiting, one of Florence's newest fun offerings: The Mountain Fudgery.

It started out with free samples, which Sandi and Norris Youngs of the fudge business, are always happy to hand out. Then, of course, I've been known to lay down a few greenbacks for the delight of eating fresh, homemade fudge.

I haven't tried  all the many flavors yet. But don't worry. I will! So far they are all scrumptious--but the Lemon Meringue has my taste buds and heart all aflutter.

                                                  Sandi Norris of The Mountain Fudgery

All the fudge is made with fresh cream and butter. Ah, but they had me at fudge.

I asked Sandi recently to tell me either something heartwarming or funny about fudge.

She came up with something better and said, "Life is better with fudge!"

I have to agree with her.

Sandi and her husband, Norris, can be found at Florence Consignment Corner, mainly on the weekends--passing out free samples, smiles and selling their fudge.

The Florence Consignment Corner, at 118 W. Main St. (in the old Tru Value building) is celebrating its grand reopening Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sandy and Norris will be there, as well as many other purveyors of fine goods. But more about that in another blog post.

For now, we are simply celebrating fudge. And how life is better with fudge!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Florence,Colorado: We Don't Love Our Dinosaurs Extra Crispy In Colorado

We don't love our dinosaurs extra crispy in Colorado. (Twilight Zone music plays.) Or do we?

I'm the type that loves to find the fun and humor in most anything, as long as no one got hurt. And since no one got hurt--except the unfortunate T-Rex at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience outside of Canon City--we get to find the good in a dinosaur going out in a blaze of glory.

For those who haven't heard, there was an apparent electrical malfunction at the dino attraction and bye bye Dino.

                                                 It's NOT Special Effects--It's Real

You can read all about at: Roaring fire takes down Royal Gorge Dinosaur's T-Rex: via @CCDR_news

My first thought was: Flipping Flintstones! I haven't been to the Dinosaur Experience yet--and my luck is that the T-Rex would implode a few weeks before I got out there.

In case you think I am a whiner, I am generally not. But I've had a few experiences that just when I get ready or finally see a tourist attraction--something goes wrong. The most notable was when I FINALLY got to Paris, of course I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower. I did. But I wanted to go inside the Eiffel Tower. Oh, heck no. The Eiffel Tower was closed. I had no idea they closed the Eiffel Tower. But I guess they knew I was coming.

I guess the T-Rex outside of Canon City knew I was planning on a trip and decided to go to dino heaven instead.

But, the Dinosaur Experience is not closed--and I understand from local news reports that a new T-Rex will be installed before the summer rush. Whew! I'll carry a portable fire extinguisher just in case.

I also understand that pictures and videos of this flaming dino have went viral--across the nation and the world.

Who knew that a flaming dino would accidentally get Fremont County bazillions of dollars of free publicity worldwide. And yes, this county is pretty cool. And also pretty hot when dinos catch fire.

But all the attractions are open for business, so I'll see you there. Yes, you'll be able to recognize me by my fire extinguisher with the dino stickers on it.