Love: Sold Out. Come back later.

It was kind of funny to see a sign for once, and even more so to take note of the naivety of its assertion: “Come back later.” As if anyone would look for love in the same place twice.

Truthfully, the shopkeeper had no real expectation that anyone would come around looking for love in his shop in the first place. Love had never really been in stock. Maybe a knockoff or two here and there, but true love? No, not at all. It was all the same, though, wasn’t it? Customers should know that there would be no hope of finding what they were looking for before devoting their precious time to searching for it. That’s what he believed, at least. However, he never found similar warning signs at the other local shops.

Often he wondered if part of the thrill of shopping was searching for that special something that may or may not even be there. In which case, broadcasting its absence would be the same as robbing his beloved clientele of the experience. Still, the shopkeeper just couldn’t understand how anyone could enjoy the hunt. How could they enjoy the anxiety, the false hope, the let down? Sure, maybe they’d find what they were looking for in one of the several nearby shops. But then, maybe they wouldn’t. Maybe what they found would turn out to be a knockoff they’d paid full price for. That would have to hurt, wouldn’t it? Of course it would. He knew it did. He’d been a customer before. It hurt like hell — and all that time wasted…

No. It was certainly better to put up a warning sign.