Last week, a woman dropped by the shop when I was away for an appointment. Shane said he felt a strange vibe immediately so he kept an eye peeled as she combed the shop.
At one point, she asked if he was the owner and he said his mother was. So she walked around a bit more and then asked “Is there any wool in the shop?” and Shane said, “Lots of it.” The woman immediately replied that she was allergic to wool and had better leave immediately and headed for the door.
On the way out, she became sidetracked by the Keurig machine and scurried behind my cashier desk, asking for a cup of coffee. I guess the allergy took a back seat to coffee addiction. Shane told her to help herself but kept an eye on her. She starts hitting buttons like she's playing the slots and continues to ask questions.
“I guess if your mother owns the store, then you don’t earn very much?" She waited for him to reply and when nothing came she rearranged the question.
"So maybe she pays you well?” She looks at him waiting for a reply which of course she doesn't receive. The only question more personal would be his underwear size, but she's obviously only interested in his bank account. Now the weird turns to weary and Shane just wants her to leave. He told me later that she had very disturbing eyes, bulging as if they'd popped from their sockets, like Wile Coyote after the stick of dynamite goes off. He figured she was either on something or was well versed in taking trips without leaving the house.....there was a lot of sniffing as well, not a good sign.
She asked what his name was and he said Shane, but she obviously wanted first and last and asked for the latter which he told her. Why he gave up his real name I don’t know, I might have been inclined to make something up. I guess Momma is going to have to have a little chat about her boy talking to strangers.......
She couldn’t work the Keurig and by now had pushed so many buttons that she wrecked the programming so Shane had to assist her with the coffee. Seeing how congenial he was, she starts talking about a ring that she would like to sell. Apparently she needed money to pay a hefty lawyer's bill. She asked if he would be interested in buying his wife a nice diamond and ruby ring. Shane tells her he isn't married and the relationship he's in now isn't at that dip in the road. She leaves the store. He tells me all about her when I arrive and we figure she was trying to peddle stolen merchandise. Story over or so we thought.
So the next day the door opens and I see a woman standing there, she looks at me and then the customers and closes the door. I knew immediately it was the strange woman because of her Marty Feldman eyes. I assumed she didn’t want to come in with people there and I was right. She must have been hovering around outside because after the customers left she came in.
There was a lot of small chatter at first, pretending to be interested in my shop, telling me how lovely it was, saying she knew people in Hubbards who would love my store and she would tell them about me. I was clearly the toast and she was the butter, slathering it on thick to woo me. I was thinking she was about as smooth as Ex-lax and as transparent as glass but I was curious to see what her game was so I kept my head down drawing a pattern and let the story evolve at her own pace.
She picked up a braided piece of roving and said how pretty it was and I couldn't help saying, "I thought you were allergic to wool", to which she replied, "I’m not allergic to wool, why would you think that?" I commented that she’d told my son the day before that she was. Without skipping too many beats, she said that she was allergic, but only to the smell. Well, being in a rug hooking shop, with the hum of wool wafting through the air like a heady perfume, you’d think she’d be in anaphylactic shock, but I said nothing.
So she changed the subject by asking to buy a coffee, digging in her purse to find money to pay for it. I told her it was no charge and made her one, intrigued by this small, buggy eyed woman who obviously told lies and was clearly up to something. I was mildly amused, after all, who doesn't like a mystery and maybe a small part of me wanted to see the piece of jewelery she was trying to flog.
She chatted a bit and then brought up the ring as if it was a casual afterthought. I gave her no indication I was interested but she fished it out of her purse and opened the box and waved it in under my nose in several sweeping motions. Told me it came from Birks many years ago when she was flying high and spending a lot of money on jewelery. I took note that the box was not from Birks, something you would surely keep. On display was a ruby and diamond ring which she said was called Stairway to Heaven as the rubies were on one level and the diamonds were a step up, six of each, pronged set in rows of three. She said she paid $6000.00 for it. I could tell immediately it was not a high end ring and told her I thought she was ripped off. She no more paid six grand than I am the Queen of England.
The ring was stamped Birks inside and was 14 karat gold, but it was not an expensive ring. Twenty or so years ago someone probably paid a few hundred for it but that was it or I’ll eat my shirt. She told me she would take $1500.00 for it and I thought to myself, I’ll bet you would. I told her if she has any hopes to sell the ring she could have at least cleaned it up a bit. There was no luster or sparkle to the engraved gold design and the diamonds were clearly caked with soap and grime. She said the thought hadn't occurred to her.
She kept singing praises of the ring even after I told her I wasn’t interested. I told her I don’t buy jewelry from people off the street or without certificates to prove their authenticity. She put the ring on her finger to show me how lovely it looked on her hand and I had to laugh as I watched her struggle to get it over her knuckle. She was clearly not now, and had never been a size 6 1/2". Her finger may not have turned blue, but I’ll bet she needed soap or grease to remove it.
I told her repeatedly I would not be buying the ring, that the design didn’t even appeal to me but as far as she was concerned I was a bird in the hand and she wasn't about to let me go. She asked me to make her an offer. I told her I wasn't interested at any price.
I told her point blank that the ring could be stolen for all I knew and that I didn’t know her from a hole in the ground. So she tried to connect with me by saying she lives in the condos at the top of Mahone Bay hill and to my knowledge there are no condos located there, just slummy apartments. She kept pushing so now I'm beginning to get annoyed. The fun was over, and I had work to do. I just wanted her to leave like a bad smell. She kept pitching the ring, told me she didn’t want to take it to a pawn shop but needed the money for her lawyer. She wanted the ring to have a good home. I told her to list it on Kijiji but she said she didn’t want to do that as crazy people might reply. Really? Crazy people? I told her I had to get to work and she finally went out the door, with the parting words that she would let me think about it, an indication she might be back.
I asked the other shop owners to the left and right of me and she hadn't targeted them. So why me, two days in a row? Maybe she looked in the window and the store looked nice so she figured the owner must have a few sheckles? I could play conspiracy theorist and come up with a few fun scenarios, but they would lack about as much luster as the ring did.
Rubies are pretty but they hold little desire for me. They lack glitter and shine. I like sparkling bling, like diamonds! I also like to know what I’m buying, Canadian diamonds, not blood diamonds or stolen merchandise. She told me to look at the ring with a loop, but where was I supposed to pull that from and I wouldn't have clue what I was looking at anyway. I'm not jeweler, show me a piece of wool and I'll grade the quality, but diamonds?
So I hope she doesn’t come back. And to end this tale with a bit of funny about the so called wool allergy, her parting words were, I kid you not....“Do you know anyone who could do some mending on three wool coats I have?” Not a very sophisticated liar….to be successful you have to keep track of the falsehoods that spill from the lips......
So, being a curious mind I let my inner Sherlock check out Kijiji and behold I found the ring with the below write-up posted on September 30th so I guess she wasn't too worried about crazy people replying to the ad. Another big ole lie. Some pretty poor writing, not at all inspiring much confidence in the quality of the ring.
(Womens ruby and diamond ring 18 kt gold bought at $5000 selling for $2000 firm I only placed to ad for the owner calls to the owner only call 902 277 0787)