I have been hired as a consultant for a trade show in another city. I was only supposed to be there for one day and maybe an overnight, so I have traveled lightly and brought little with me. I wind up having to stay an extra day and do not have enough clean clothes to see me through. At the trade show, a semi-emergency happens and I am pressed into helping to resolve it on short notice, wearing only pajamas (the only clean garments I have left by then).
Once that is sorted out, a famous and talented fiber artist (totally unconnected to the trade show I had been working on) decides to reward a group of us for our hard work by inviting us to her new fiber arts store. There is a long line of people at the store's grand opening snaking through the aisles. It is noisy, crowded and very chaotic due to people being very excited to be there. As the line inches forward I accidentally cut in front of half a dozen people. I feel bad but few seem to notice what had just happened, and no one seems to care. As the line inches forward, I "accidentally" let them cut back in front of me a few minutes later to make up for it, but even more people than the ones I had initially cut in front of stream right on past me, putting me farther back in the line. But at least I become reunited with my group.
Soon my group and I reach the choke point, a door into another section of the store. It opens up to allow only a few people through at a time, and I see the fiber artist right there in a hallway, sorting through bins of merchandise. She is so happy to see us and pulls us aside into a private area of the store to give us special gifts she has made to express her gratitude for all our efforts to help her (although exactly what we have done for her is a bit of a mystery to me).
One person is given a clever miniature rattle made from oval red beads at the ends of curving wires. It makes a gentle white noise when shaken and its vibrations feel pleasant in the hand. It makes everyone who plays with it smile broadly. Another person is given a small sculpture of a house decorated with wild and whimsical ornamentation. Others receive hand-made jewelry and scarves. A few of us have to wait for our gifts, though, and the fiber artist disappears into another part of the store for a while, presumably to fetch our gifts, and we are left hanging around empty-handed. I wake up before she returns, full of disappointment and unfulfilled expectation.