Considering what went down in Colorado, I felt that I was owed a little something. I thought it was perfectly understandable that we could do something that I, the lone female, wanted to do this past weekend. I had been wanting to explore some antique shops in San Antonio on Blanco Road. I had a few things that I was looking for in particular, but John, two rowdy boys, and antiques really don’t mesh well. Aware of the pushback I would receive, I stated my case and laid it on a little extra thick. Miraculously, we all ended up in San Antonio at the shops. After a summer of “shoot them up” movies, camping, Bass Pro Shop visits, having daily requests for pizza and hot wings, river floating, and boy sleep-overs, I was more than excited to do something a little “girly.” It had been a great summer and now that school was starting, I felt the need to be just a little selfish.
As Mimi and I started surveying the store John, Popsy, and the boys were left to entertain themselves with all of the curiosities that antique shops hold and with a little searching often reveal. My 10-year-old Jamison plopped himself in a huge leather chair with a loud sigh and said, “I’ll just sit here until you are through. I am really hungry. How much longer are you going to...well, will you look at that?” He was immediately off looking at a rusted antique bicycle in pieces on the opposite side of the store. His partner in crime and older brother Austin, trailed closely behind him. The next 30 minutes were a blur as I was digging through this shop stacked with interesting pieces. Every once in a while I would see Austin’s brown hair stick up over a pile of rugs, then disappear as I heard boy laughter. The Jamison would walk by with not so much as a glance in my direction with toy six shooters on his hips and a pair of antique spectacles placed over his own glasses. I heard Austin pleading with John for something in particular and I glanced up to see Austin clutching a Samurai sword, explaining to John that he “needed it” and it would be most “useful.”
My search exhausted, I took a few china bowls to the counter to pay. I noticed that Austin and Jamison were poised near the counter with plastered grins, a few escaping giggles, and feet that they couldn’t keep still. Then I noticed the salesclerk that was waiting for me. He was standing next to a little, white, fluffy Matlipoo with a tongue that perpetually hung to one side and wide eyes that never seem to blink. This salesclerk was a man that put Arnold Schwarzenegger to shame. With bulging biceps, a strong jaw, and tanning-booth skin, he cut quite a figure and made an impression. Austin turned to me and quietly whispered, “I am the Governor,” in his best Austrian accent. While his figure was intimidating, this little dog seemed to really rule the roost. He yipped at everyone and everything, and don’t even think about petting him. As the boys were waiting for their purchases to be rung up I noticed that the tiny dog on the counter sniffed especially intently at Austin’s bag. He sniffed then slowly backed away from the bag moving as far away as the countertop would allow.
As we got into the car, I was eager to see the purchases that they seemed so excited about. Out of his shopping bag, Austin produced a large snout lined with teeth that appeared upturned in a toothy grin. Austin, not hiding his enthusiasm chimed in with, “My, what big teeth you have.” as he winked at Jamison. Suddenly I noticed the beady eyes and the skin that great cowboy boots are made of. Then the entire head of a large alligator came into my focus.
Jamison then squealed that it was his turn. He produced an alligator jawbone that was supposed to be used as a letter opener. He believed he simply purchased a “cool alligator bone” for his room, but I saw it as a potentially deadly weapon. Austin, noticing my apprehensive look, ran his finger down the jawbone, “Man, this could do some serious damage, bro.” He smiled proudly realizing that he captured my sentiments exactly. John and Popsy didn’t help the situation as they encouraged the boys and marveled at their treasures.
My decorating tastes are much different from my boys. Although I have made friends with the alligator head and can tolerate the jawbone, I still laugh at how Austin and Jamison seem to make the best of any situation that they are thrown into. It was my idea to go antique shopping, and although the boys initially protested, they ended up with a new appreciate for the treasures these shops can hold. I think about their interesting taste in room accessories, how they found them, and the pride take in them. My boys certainly have their own style, and in their rooms I let them explore that.