Today was Michel(l)e Day


Image Palace Florists

I’ve lived near, worked around the corner or down the street and passed by Palace Florists at 19th & N near Dupont Circle for many of my nearly 20 years in DC. I don’t remember when I first noticed the sign, but for several years they have had a sign out front that reads “If your name is ______(fill in a name) come in for a free rose.” There is a different name everyday. They seem to roll through the alphabet.

It always makes me smile, but I’ve never seen my name before. Once I sent an email to my friend Lisa that worked around a different corner nearby to let her know it was Lisa day.

Well, today was Michele day. With one “L”. That’s what the sign said. I smiled, and also felt sort of desperate and full of anxiety and wondered would they turn me away for my extra-L? After all these years of telling people, “Hi, my name is Michelle with two L’s, like the song” would I come to regret the traditional French spelling? Would they card me?

As I entered the lushly green store, there was a female customer at the register. From behind one of the counters filled with beautiful arrangements appeared another woman who obviously worked there – the single rose in hand gave her away. As she notice my “gee-I-wonder-how-this works” look, she smiled brightly and asked, “Michel(l)e??”

She asked in the way you say someone’s name when you go out on a blind date or think you recognize someone from Jr. High, full of hope and anticipation. I didn’t recognize her. I felt that brief deer-in-the-headlights sensation. What a coincidence to run into someone who knew me here. How did she know me? My mind raced…then I remembered why I had come in to the store. ;-)

She must see that same look on lots of people’s faces each day. It turned out the woman in line was also Michele, with the requisite single L. But it turned out it didn’t matter. They didn’t card me after all. But they did gain a loyal customer. No more plain old FTD or 800flowers for me.

No, from now on Palace Florists will be a part of my family too – check out their tagline.

Strengths & SuperPowers – Kind Trusting Service, Engaging Anticipation

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