I’ve been meaning to tell this story for a while. Grab a coffee so you don’t have to interrupt your read.
We like strangers. I often refer to Léonie as a puppy, because she makes friends with everyone. It’s taught me to be far more open than I ever was before, and we’ve made a lot of friends along the way. Our running joke is that she makes the friends, and I keep them. It seems to work really well most of the time.
So on the day of my mermaid-tailing birthday party (yes that’s a thing, my true self was realized) when I arrived at the shop, her first words were: I invited a girl to your birthday party. My first thoughts were not overly positive. Its one thing to make a friend and hang out on a random Tuesday but to invite a total stranger to our home to my birthday party of only very close friends seemed a tad odd. But I went with it, because when you close your heart, you miss out, and when you open it, you meet wonderful people and experience new things.
Bailey was a young woman from England. She had gone travelling alone to Chicago and afterwards came to Toronto. Her experience in Chicago was not quite as amazing as planned. So when she arrived in Toronto, tired and unsure, and knew no one, she didn’t quite know what to do with herself except sleep. She opened WHERE magazine in her hotel room (the Pan Am issue) and found an article about Pipler and said to herself “that looks cool, I’ll go there”.
Léonie has been the tired and weary, lonely traveller a few times. She knows it can be really frustrating to start off a journey somewhere and be excited, and then to have hopes dashed and dreams crushed when you aren’t having a good time and then you’re alone in a strange place. So when Bailey came in to the shop and told Léonie her woes, Léonie came to the rescue, as she tends to.
She came to my birthday party. She hung out with our friends, beers were had, and after the Pan Am closing ceremony fireworks (which I pretended were in my honour) she left with another of our friends to check out the beer garden up the street. We made further plans to take her to see an amazing band (big up NLP!) play later in the week and at the end of the week we were sad to see her go, but glad to have made a friend. We will totally go see her when we go to England next.
So the moral of the story?
When you’re lonely and tired in a strange place, open a local magazine and find something you’re into (Pipler Accessories, where possible). Then go to a stranger’s birthday party, and keep your heart open.
Or if none of those things apply, visit Pipler anyway and make friends with us. We like to laugh and make merry.
Pipler hearts Bailey. Come back soon! xo