Character Study: She Took the Hard Way

Character Study: She Took the Hard Way

Today’s post is the beginning of what I hope will be an ongoing series. Because we have moved so many times, I’ve had opportunities to meet lots of memorable people. Allow me to introduce you to one of them in my first Character Study.

I always smile when I think of the lady with the amethyst ring.

In the days after I graduated from college, the only jobs available were retail, so I found myself behind a counter ringing up clothes in a department store at the local mall. From a people-watching standpoint, there was probably no better place for a budding author. When the store was quiet, I would take notes on the conversations I heard and the funny stories customers told me.

One evening a woman walked into my department. Her white hair, glasses, and heavy beige purse reminded me of a younger version of my grandmother. Her husband wandered behind her making a series of bad jokes about the clothing she was browsing while she pretended not to be amused. Eventually, he moseyed off in the direction of the men's department, a terrible pun and a boisterous laugh echoing behind him. She sighed with mock relief and continued looking through the blouses.

I took a "hands-off unless you ask" approach to sales, so it wasn't until she came up to my counter that I noticed her ring.

"That is a beautiful ring," I said. "It looks very special."

She wore it on her right ring finger. It was an amethyst heart surrounded by tiny diamonds set in a delicate gold band. The deep purple was striking against her pale skin. She grinned and gave me a very slight eye-roll.

"Well, my husband was wounded in the war, and they gave him a Purple Heart for it. A few years ago he said that after being married to him for so long, I deserved one, too," she said. Her lips turned up in a wry smile, and she raised an eyebrow.

“I told him there had to be an easier way to get a purple heart.”
Image by starbright on  Pixabay

Image by starbright on Pixabay

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