Much Ado About Mucha - Part 1

On a recent Saturday morning, the trip to a salvage shop in search of some small, old hinges for one of my cigar box assemblages led my husband and I by an out of the way, unfamiliar antique shop.

Now anyone who is even slightly acquainted with me is keenly aware of my passion for quirky (and not so quirky) antiques. I absolutely cannot pass a “strange” antique shop and not go in! I am compelled by the antique Gods to take a peek!

“Oh look, an antique shop” said I gleefully, hopeful for even a tiny hint of a forthcoming response from the driver.

My dear husband knows when he hears “Oh look, an antique shop!” exactly what is coming next. I just shoot him the cutest smile I can muster up, flutter my eyelashes at him and say, ever so sweetly, “Oh, let’s just have a quick look!”

A Girl’s Gotta Do What She’s Gotta Do

The look on his face when he hears the words “a quick look”,“fabric store” or “antiques” coming from my mouth says it all. It is the facial expression of someone doing a silent, slightly painful, inward groan. He’d probably deny it if asked but I am pretty good at “reading” those looks after all this time!

I confess. I will most certainly use my feminine wiles and "promises"on him when it comes to browsing through antique stores. Fabric stores too for that matter! It's amazing how fast he'll pull into a shop's parking lot when the promise of a freshly baked fruit pie is up for grabs.

But don't think for a moment that he's fooled by my antics. He's not. He usually lets loose with a huge laugh when I really start digging myself into a bigger and bigger hole. I am beginning to think I'm not the "smartie pants" I thought I was.

Gosh, you'd think by now that I would remember that he's got a memory like an elephant. He never lets me forget my "desperate" promises. At the first opening, sometimes even days later, he'll make sure he holds me to it. I think he's REALLY got MY number not vice versa. Sigh!

Nice guys do finish first in my book and ya know, my husband is a really nice guy. More often than not, he is willing to indulge“his honey” on a trip down the memory lanes of an antique shop. He has always been very willing to do things for me that will bring a smile to my face. He's been known to utter that wonderful, old southern saying “When Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” to buds seeking advice and counsel with their better halves. Bless his heart.

Now when I say indulge, that it not just a throw away figure of speech. I really mean it.

Point One…

Browsing antique or fabric stores is not an activity hubby finds very interesting or stimulating for longer than ten, tops fifteen minutes. A quick glance around and he’s ready to go. Sound familiar? It does to most of my female friends who have ever been in a relationship for longer than a month!

Fabric and antiques just aren’t his bag. Wood, tools or hardware on the other hand … a much different story. Heck he even grunts like Tim Allen on Tool Time at the sight of a router, drill press or electric drill in Rona or Home Depot. At least once a month, I hear him sadly lamenting the fact that we don’t have a Lowe’s in Victoria!

Now, most of the time he’ll be quite pleasant about my aisle cruising. He’ll either find a book he can browse through as he waits (I always cross my fingers that it is interesting enough to keep him occupied for at least a half an hour) or when his “out of patience” buzzer goes off, he’ll just leave and wait for me outside. I think he secretly hopes that his leaving will hurry me along. I pretend to not notice that he’s left the store.

Thank heavens he isn’t the grumpy type when I linger longer than what he would really like. Good thing too. I’m usually just getting started at the ten minute mark. The fact is, I could easily hang out in a larger shop for a couple of hours. I feel “duty bound” to explore every last little nook and cranny I can find. However tempting it might be at the time, I don't push my luck quite THAT far.

Point Two

Husband thinks antique stores are way over priced for “just a bunch of old stuff somebody wants to get rid of.” I have to admit, sometimes he is right about the overpricing. My experience is that often it depends on the location and the “quality” of the items in the shop. You do have to know “your antiques”. You do have to shop around to get a good and fair price. You do need to be prepared to “bargain” with the owner if you think the price is out of line. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not very good at that last one.

Point Three

The first whiff of potpourri in ANY store will turn him on his heels quicker than a jack rabbit and propel him back out the door he came in. One leap and he’s outa there. Of course at 6’2”, long legs help with giant hops GRIN! He hates the smell. It gives him a screaming headache in two seconds flat. Needless to say, I understand completely. That shop, unfortunately, gets crossed off my list.


We pulled into the antique shop parking lot and got out of the car. Up the stairs and into the shop we went. WHEW! No potpourri. Things were looking up.

Ah… but in the back of my mind, I knew the clock was ticking. I wondered how many "hardware store trip points" I could cash in if I needed them. The cogs in my memory bank started whirling searching for an accurate point count.

~~ to be continued...

So that's it for today. Please take note of the P.S. below. Stay tuned for Part II of "Mucha Ado About Mucha" next Friday You'll get to read all about our ... uhh.... hubby's... great find in the antique shop.

Have a super weekend.


P.S. As some of you may already know, I am a summer storyteller at one of the oldest historic homes in Victoria, British Columia - Pt. Ellice House. Next week, on both Friday and Saturday, I’ll be donning one of my beautiful Victorian dresses and a snazzy hat to match and doing a one hour “O”Reilly Family Stories” storytelling presentation (as part of the Victoria Heritage Festival Sept. 13 - 21) on each of these days at 1:00 pm.

Getting ready for these sessions is going to take up the bulk of my time next week. Thrifty Tuesday Art Tips will return on Sept. 23. Part 2 of "Much Ado About Mucha" will be scheduled for publication next Friday, the 19th.

Thanks for your understanding!