Un-nosey parkers


(This is a satirical piece that is part of my long-running series on what is like to be a first-time needlepoint shop owner.)

These days, the world can seem to be full of nosey parkers.

You have your FB spy parkers, who will do their darn best to know who all your friends are.

You’ve got your Yahoo we-read-your-emails and don’t even try to hide it parkers.

You’ve got your Google let’s-track-you-wherever-you-go parkers.

And then of course who can forget your regular NSA / CIA James Bond parkers, who think nothing of demanding that phone companies and ISPs hand over (without a court order mind you) records about whom you call, email, even if you happen to be a US Senator.

Nosey parkers all!

But here at Needlepoint Land’s parking lot love-in, not so fast!

Especially on Saturdays.

As a friendly retail store owner, I would actually love to have nosey parkers in front of Needlepoint Land — the more the merrier — providing they actually come in the store once in a while, and maybe even buy something.

Alas, this has not turned out to be the case on Saturdays.

When I originally rented the space last summer, the restaurant next door did not have a beer license.

Now they do.

I checked out and rented the space during the middle of the week, not on a Saturday, when I might have noticed the hordes of cars driven by 7th Day Adventists that take up many of the spaces within reasonable walking distance from my store.

Now I have nothing against 7th Adventism.  I don’t know much about it, actually, so did not realize the importance of Saturday — which, by the way, is usually THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY in the retail week.

Sorry about that.

I guess it just never occurred to me that an innocuous looking place four storefronts down from me could actually serve as a church — old-fashioned Yankee that I am, I tend to think of churches as old stone buildings with steeples and spires and bells in high towers, not so much as converted office space that could double up as a funeral parlor.

As for the beer license next door, well I don’t know: picture the reassuring sight of good ole boys sitting on plastic chairs, swilling Bud, talking loudly (maybe I ought to call them noisy parkers!), and chain-smoking coffin nails, nice and early on a Saturday morning.

And a parking lot crammed with gigantic pickup trucks and gleaming hogs, complete with the occasional ZZ top lookalike riders with grey beards down to their boots.

Just the thing to make the hearts of my dear needlepoint ladies flutter a little faster!

Then again, maybe not so much.

I can assure you that not a single one of those parkers came into my store to buy anything.

Now, if you had forked over a substantial amount of hard-earned lettuce to open a needlepoint shop, is this the sort of thing you would want to see during what  is ostensibly the busiest time of year?

Nosey parkers?


Indifference is more like it.

Stands to reason, though.

After all, how does a lowly needlepoint store rank exactly when compared to lure of brewskies in Beulah Land first thing in the morning during the height of the all-too-short Sunshine State retail season?

Not that much, actually.

Just ask the mall’s property manager who has refused point blank to allocate my store a space or two so that my customers don’t have to walk a country club mile to get here all the way from the produce market at the other end of the mall.

Well, as the executive of a major corporation (my tiny LLC, that is), I’ve decided to adapt.

Starting with the New Year, I am going open my store at noon on Saturdays. Or maybe do what Mary Agnes does up in Vero, and not open the shop at all during the weekend.

I know.  It’s absurd. Completely bananas, when you think about it.  A retail start-up that is closed all weekend. Wow.

But what else am I supposed to do?  Insist that only stitchers on bicycles be allowed in this mall?


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