Love And The Comforter Conundrum

Love And The Comforter Conundrum

By Bob Faubert

couple shopping


Love is eternal, but it finds inventive ways to reveal itself.

Not so many years ago when people preferred to shop in malls, a good sale could draw many customers. A comforter sale at the bed-and-bath department in a mall north of Denver was such an event.

The department stocked a variety of comforter designs and displayed its best sellers, all unfolded, flat against a wall so shoppers could admire their splendor. Designs included florals, geometric, rustic, cabin, modern, and several other looks.

The store opened at nine. The first customers wandered in at ten. Just before eleven o’clock a couple in their late twenties entered. The husband, Jason, had strong arms that he flexed as he strolled into the department. His mind was elsewhere. “We won’t be here long, will we?” he said to his wife, Amanda, who was leading the way. “I want to check out the home gym department. They’re doing a sale on treadmills.”

“This won’t take long,” Amanda replied with haste as she looked up to the wall that exhibited all those comforters. She reached out her arm as she evaluated each design. Jason looked at a couple of the comforters then proceeded to do some waist bends, effortlessly touching his toes, while Amanda continued the search. “That one,” she said, now pointing with a bright smile as she pictured the comforter cloaking their bed. “I like that one.” Her comforter of choice had a subtle floral design featuring some tiger lilies and bluebells. In just a beat Jason arose from his routine and responded, “I don’t think so. I don’t want anything with flowers.”  Amanda’s smile dissipated at once.

Jason rejoined Amanda to look at other comforters, both against the wall and placed on the department display counters. With his prodding they bought a country style comforter with no hint of a flower for 40 percent off. While Amanda said the usual polite things one says to a salesperson, she never made eye contact.

Half an hour later another under-thirty couple arrived at the bed-and-bath department, Cody and Emma, side by side. “Bed and bath,” Cody said. “What do they sell here?”

Emma replied, “Things for those two rooms. Towels and necessities for the bathroom, and for the bedroom, pillows, blankets, sheets, and what I want to look for–comforters.”

“What’s a comforter?” Cody asked.

“It’s that top bed covering that goes over everything else,” Emma explained.

“Can I go to the tool department?” Cody implored. “We can go there next,” Emma answered. “I want you to feel okay with what we get here.”

Cody turned Emma so that they were face to face, placed his hands gently on each of Emma’s arms, drew her close to him, looked directly into her sparkling blue eyes, and said with sincerity, “Not to worry, love. Get anything you want. Whatever makes you happy.” Emma caught herself blushing. They migrated to the comforter wall. Emma had her hands on her hips as she perused the options. With purposeful intent, they paced down the aisle, giving each comforter an evaluation.

“There we go,” Emma announced beaming with joy, “that one there. It’s perfect.” Emma’s selection featured mostly bold stripes with a dash of sun flowers. “Nope,” Cody replied, “I ain’t sleepin’ under no flowers.” Emma gasped, about-faced, and dashed out of the department while she muttered something incoherent. Cody chased behind.

A half hour before closing a third couple arrived, this duo more sixty-plus in age, Fred and Margaret. Margaret led the way with Fred close behind. Margaret looked right at home. A pert smile betrayed that she knew what everything in the department was. Fred appeared bewildered, scanning the environment with caution as if he were a lost puppy on a spaceship. They sauntered together to the comforter wall.

Margaret took her time as she looked over the many designs. Fred followed with unease near Margaret, taking only hasty glances at the comforters.

“Oh, look at that, sweetheart. Such a beautiful one; like the one my mother had,” Margaret proclaimed while pointing out the comforter that displayed the biggest and most plentiful flowers, having enormous roses and chrysanthemums splashed all over it in bright reds and yellows and green. At once Fred looked up to the comforter and said, “Yeah, sure.” In the next minute they bought the flower-filled comforter with a 30 percent discount. As they walked out of the department, were it not for the package Fred was carrying, they would have been holding hands.

The End

Bob Faubert retired as a data analyst in 2021. He holds master’s degrees from Boston College in Counseling Psychology, and The Ohio State University in Healthcare Administration. Born in Boston and now in Kingman, Arizona, Faubert also lived in Colorado, Ohio, and Rapid City, South Dakota. He directed marketing efforts and was an actor with a local community theater company during his time in the Black Hills. He is a widower and has a daughter and grandson.


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