Little Ethiopia is a nice place to go, I usually end up there whenever I get lost driving, but now I go there on purpose. I found a furniture store owned by a large woman named Mona who looked like a gypsy. Mona had painted a beauty mark on her face and was wearing bells so she jingled when she moved around. I was with my boyfriend and we both had different takes on Mona. While I was enchanted, Taylor saw her for possibly what she really is, a woman with a painted face trying to sell crappy chairs for way too much money. She looked at me, “So we are looking for kitchen chairs you say? I have tons! What is our price range?” I paused for a moment and then said “poor.” Mona linked arms with me and we walked around the shop while she showed me different chairs. “You have a black cafe table you say? Look at these black chairs, they would be perfect! Go on! Sit down!” I sat in the chair and relaxed, “This is great,” I wiggled around, “I’m incredibly comfortable.” Mona winked knowingly, “I know.” She looked at Taylor, “Go on! Sit down!” Taylor sat down with raised eyebrows, “Yeah…this is nice…”

Now that we had established that the chairs did in fact work, they could support the mass of a human, it was time to talk about pricing. “I give them to you for $50 each, that is a great, great deal.” I looked at the chairs and back at Mona, “Um, $100? I said poor? I’m-” Mona’s face got serious and she stroked the chair, “These are nice chairs, you will not find these anywhere else for this price.” I definitely believed her about that. Taylor was behind Mona shaking his head no, but she kept going. “What about these?” she motioned to a neon green and purple set of chairs,  ”bright colors will make the black table pop!” I looked at the chipped neon chairs, “are they cheaper?” I asked. “$50 each! I do painting too, and wood staining.” She raised her eyebrows when she said “wood staining.”

Mona and my brief romance had reached that awkward moment where I knew it was never going to work, due to the fact that although I loved her, I could never buy her chairs, and she was never going to give in and just give them to me for a cheaper price, I could tell she was a woman with a strong spirit, lots of guts and a temper. She could tell that I wasn’t going to buy chairs from her now, and her demeanor had changed and I was slightly afraid of her now. “Mona, the chairs are nice, but I may need to wait on buying them, maybe I’ll come back them…then.” Mona looked pissed but then her face softened, or as much as a face can when your eyebrows are drawn on. “Ok beautiful, let me give you my card, you come back and see me anytime.”

As we walked away from Mona’s store and back to the car I tucked her card into my wallet where I’ll keep it safe, forever.


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