I relish the moment of true surprise. It is an unexpected special gift from the universe aimed with swift spontaneous force. I am often left with a memory I will never forget.
Years ago I was shopping and exploring stores in San Francisco. It was a grand opening proceeded by weeks of billboards and banners on building and buses all over the city. Grand openings are over the top exciting. People often dress up and are given free gifts, champagne and lots of samples! All the brass, glass and chrome throughout the store is sparkling and polished perfectly. The store staff is smiling, meeting and greeting everyone as if they were a celebrity.
I scanned the monster store feeling like I was inside a beautiful museum. I rode the escalators and elevators to the top while I gazed at the whimsical displays. I was with my attorney friend who is a clotheshorse. It was not long until we found ourselves in the men’s custom suit department. I was fascinated and entertained by the glorious fabrics and the handsome customers who looked like models.
I patiently waited as my friend shopped meticulously for ties. I found myself discreetly studying the customers as they seriously sorted through the racks of suits. My eyes stopped and stared at a tall polished shockingly handsome man. I was hidden behind the shirts which allowed me to easily watch him. Then it happened, my body was flushed with a rush of awareness and excitement. The man I found so charming, graceful, and naturally rugged was JFK Jr.
As a child my mother and I shared the joy of reading about the Kennedy family. I was a big fan. I followed John’s career at “George” and his wedding to Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island.
My heart was pounding, I felt silly but I could not help it. I looked around and no one was acknowledging his presence. I calmed down and tried to relax. Later I slowly walked over to my friend, he was shopping a few feet from JFK Jr. I quietly whispered to him and asked if we could please leave and go to the next floor. As we walked to the elevator I passed Carolyn Bessette shopping, she was incredibly delicate and beautiful.
We waited for the elevator, finally we were alone as the doors closed, then it was just the two of us. I took a deep breath and explain to my friend what just happened. We both had a good laugh.
That afternoon I kept bumping into John and Carolyn as we continued to shop in the mega store. I remember many special moments. One time in the middle of the store Carolyn stood on her toes to lightly kiss John’s cheek. It was like looking at a magazine photo, but it was real. We all tried to respect the famous couple’s privacy. Thinking back, it was simply delightful to share my shopping afternoon with “our royal couple.”