Last updateTue, 14 Jan 2020 10pm

Martha Williams

The Way It Used To Be: Beware! A “Researcher” Calling More Than A Dozen Times Is Not Researcher

Reprinted from November 1996

RB used to hate negative people. He always said, “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.”  Well, RB had some strange ideas and he and I were not cut from the same mold either. I can think of a lot of unkind things to say about one or two competitors here.

There is a jeweler here who is just fizzing and bubbling with bad news about his competitors. He has articles about how stupid everyone else is and how talented, smart, handsome, ethical - did I say ethical? Oh, yes.

The Way It Used To Be: From Urine Test to Extramarital Trysts, I’ve About Heard it All

Reprinted from October 1996

We have customers who live in smaller, surrounding towns and on farms and ranches who come to the big city for a variety of services.

Last week, one elderly woman came in and there was some little jewelry repair we were doing for her. My nephew, Chip, chided her. “I’ll bet you came to El Paso just to watch the Cowboys play, didn’t you?

She tucked in her chin, gave him a stern look and replied, “No young man, I came to have my urine checked.”

The Way It Used To Be: Being a widow is tough, but don’t look for me in the personal ads

Reprinted from August 1996

I never thought much about becoming a widow because those things happen to someone else, not to me.

In one breath everything changes, like the little spaces you mark which say married, single, widowed or divorced.

I found myself staring at that “married” block tempted to check it rather than widowed because it offered a specific security to which I’d become accustomed.

It isn’t just the difficulty of adjusting to the loss of a man around the house. A woman has to adjust to society and her associates and friends as well.

The Way It Used To Be: Tennis balls for Dad’s love- That’s not my type of Father’s Day

Reprinted from September 1996

Because I am old enough to recall the enthusiasm we jewelers felt with special occasions approaching, I recently wrote about Mother’s Day.

After this disappointing gift occasion, I thought about how many items we no longer sell that once appealed to women. Items such as compacts and dresser sets.

If you were disenchanted with Mother’s Day, it is a probability you were also disappointed in Father’s Day.

The Way It Used To Be: A Mother’s Day fiasco: “I am the only gift my mother needs”

Reprinted from July 1995

I was looking forward to Mother’s Day business this year although this event seems to have dwindled in popularity somewhat over the past decade.

When I didn’t see anyone asking about Mother’s Day items in May, I started mentioning it to some of the browsers I encountered.

Here’s a sampling of what I drew as responses:

“Say we have some lovely Mother’s Day items, rings, pins…nicely priced, too,” I said to a baby boomer female who was looking in the showcase of better rings.

“Mother’s Day?” She seemed in daze.

The Way It Used To Be: Gemology and Geography don’t always go hand-in-hand

Reprinted from June 1995

I live in El Paso, Texas.

It is a simple fact that every telephone book has a map indicating the various time zones. And it’s fairly simple to see that not only are we nowhere near Dallas, we are in the Mountain Time Zone. 

I’m writing this because we have salesmen call us and say, “I will be coming down to Dallas next week. I’ll be renting a car, so I thought I’d drop over and see you.”

The Way It Used To Be: Mondays Are Easy Compared to Bummer Saturdays

Reprinted from July 1995

Remember Jonah?

That was the old-timey word used to suggest anything representing trouble or misfortune, such as a “Jonah” watch, which caused problems or simply would not lend itself to being repaired easily.

You can purge that word now because the modern slang has replaced it with a far better word - “bummer”, which means the same thing, only more clearly defined.

Last Saturday turned out to be a complete “bummer” day. We were awakened about 6 a.m. by the garbage men playing shot put with the can lids outside out bedroom window. This type thing always puts R.B. in a jolly mood, which is sure to last the balance of the day.