Isn't it funny how sometimes just seeing an object can instantly transport you back to a moment?
On Saturday morning, Ehris came downstairs and had obviously been on a jewelry reconnaissance mission in our bedroom. She was wearing one of my all-time favorite Southwestern mosaic pendants on a multi-strand liquid silver chain. (The darn thing had never looked as good on me as it now did against her brown turtleneck and to-die-for curly locks. The fact that she's eighteen and would look incredible in a Hefty Cinch Sak garbage bag didn't hurt either).
Every time I see this pendant I'm instantly transported to Washington Primary School where I, as the traveling enrichment teacher in a regional school district, shared a classroom with the traveling art teacher. We "specials" teachers were kind of regarded as steerage passengers within the school system and called ourselves "The Itinerants." We all watched out for each other in a land of constantly-changing schedules, unannounced assemblies, field trips we were never told about, and morning messages we never read on computers we didn't have.
The art teacher, and I say this with affection, had an absent-minded professor aura reminiscent of "Doc" Emmett Brown from Back to the Future. He was the kind of guy who sometimes becomes so engrossed in his work that he loses track of his very surroundings. One Tuesday, we were doing the transition routine where I was packing up and preparing to leave the classroom so he could have it for the afternoon. I was wearing my beloved Southwestern mosaic necklace and he came over to get a closer look and said, "Oh, I love the workmanship in that necklace. Is it Zuni?"
Flattered, I fingered the pendant and responded, "No, it's QVC."
"Excuse me?' he inquired.
"It's QVC," I repeated.
Then (I swear to you), he said with great seriousness, "I'm not familiar with that tribe."
Of course, when I retell the story (which I have many, many times), I do not keep a straight face. But, that Tuesday at noon, as I earnestly explained about the QVC home shopping channel on TV, he looked at me as if I was about to split an atom right there on the Formica-topped, Elmer's glue encrusted art table. I might have left out details like "Today's Special Value" and "Easy Pay" but he got a quick introduction to the quality, value and convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home.
I don't think he ever complimented my jewelry again.
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