There’s an ages-old perception out there that what we conjure up in our imagination is reality. When I wrote my first book Decorating Eggs and flew to North Carolina to work with the editor and art director, I was sure that authors were met at airports with red carpets and roses by the dozen. In fact, the editor (not a limo, by the way) came to meet my plane about 45 minutes after it had landed. That was a reality.

So, when Sharon McCormick and I were on the phone this morning, I had to laugh at her dose of reality. On a very snowy New England day earlier this month Sharon, a widely publicized interior designer, was at Home Depot selecting some hardware for a job. She had on her L.L. Bean duck boots, a parka, muffler and hat to ward off the bitter weather. As the clerk rung up her order, Sharon handed over her AMEX card. After examining it the woman at the register commented, “You know, there’s also a very famous designer in Connecticut by the name of Sharon McCormick.”

Sharon, touched, replied humbly, “That’s me.”

Without missing a beat the cashier looked at her quizzically and asked, “Really?”

Really! Take a look:

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