If you can laugh at the humiliation, ignorance, or stupidity of others, then perhaps this true slice-of-life moment will make you smile. And if my embarrassment brings you joy, so be it.
Many moons ago, before marriage and two now grown daughters, I was a naive young lad dating a young las that I was hoping to impress. I noticed she often listened to a particular cassette tape that she found soothing and inspiring. The instrumental music wasn’t performed by any one group, but was a compilation of tunes by various artists. Wanting to make her happy, and show her that I am attuned to notice the finest of details, I inspected the cassette case to determine who created this beautiful assortment of music.
The back cover stated the music was sold at exclusively at some unbeknownst (at least to me) store.
A hopeless romantic, and eager to please the young lady, I made a point to get to the mall and search the whereabouts for this fine retailer of instrumental harmonies. I was more a fan of rock and pop myself, and had never before stumbled across this particular music store in my previous forays into the mall. So I kept my eyes focused up high, where the store names flashed in their neon brilliance.
Aha, there it was. The music store I was searching for. Victoria’s Secret.
I walked in for several steps, at first oblivious to my surroundings. I heard soft music playing. This was the right place.
But soon I noticed they sold more than just music. A lot more.
Or, a lot less, depending on how you looked at it.
Trouble was, I was looking at it, and feeling awfully uncomfortable. Out of place.
“Excuse me sir, may I help you find something?” a young clerk grinned.
“Um, yes. Er, where is your music section?”
“Yes, my friend has this wonderful little cassette of instrumental music that comes from your store. I’d like to get some more of that music for her.”
“Well sir, our ‘music section’ consists of a small basket of cassettes by our register.”
She smiled. I blushed, and ponied up the money for a couple of cassette tapes.
And after I left, we both had a funny story to share.
She probably told her version, several times, over the next few days. Some sorry sap came into her lingerie store looking for music. Rightttt.
I tell my version now. A quarter-century later. No less embarrassed. At least, now I can buy my music online.
And I know what the secret was.