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I’m telling this one on myself, just because I think I should.
And the story reminds me of the good angel, and the bad angel, who used to sit on Fred Flintstone’s shoulders. Remember those?
Last year in June, I was in Richmond, VA, with my dear friend Anne. She took me to the crème de la crème of Goodwill stores, and immediately upon setting foot into the store, I saw this gorgeous little frock. What else are you going to call a dress that is way out of your league, and covered in sequins?
I saw this dress hanging on the door of an armoire that was in the store, and loved it at first glance. I ambled over, checked the size, and low and behold, the size was MINE! At Anne’s insistence, I took it back to the dressing room to try on. I would never in a million years have a use for a dress like this one, but Anne insisted that I try it on, à la Field of Dreams: “If you buy it, the occasion will come.”
I tried it on. While not exactly “my color”, it looked pretty dang bueno.
Anne kept insisting. I kept resisting. I just couldn’t imagine an occasion where I could possibly wear this dress…
Then, this sweet elderly lady, probably in her late ’80s walked to the back of the store where we were, and asked me, “Who designed that?” (It honestly was THAT kind of Goodwill, and that kind of dress.) I said I wasn’t sure. Turned out, it wasn’t anyone I’d ever heard of…but…still… So she starts telling me how she’d admired the dress, but was so sad it wasn’t her size. And how great it looked on me. And how I should just go ahead and buy the durn dress. At the price they were asking, it was a steal! Somehow this lady was like a little couture angel, sent from above, to encourage me to buy. that. dress.
And Anne was right: the occasion DID come.
But I’ve never forgotten that sweet little old lady, my Good Angel of Couture.
Here’s me and my pal Chloe at the Blissdom blogging conference in Nashville, with me sporting that Goodwill dress:
|Although they’re both great dresses, mine is on the left.|
Flash forward to last week.
I was out of the Boonies, driving around, with a half an hour to blow before I picked up my sister at the airport. What do I rarely take the time to do, because I rarely have the money?
Go clothes shopping!
I had a half an hour to run into T.J. Maxx, all by myself, to see what they might have on hand. I have a couple of parties I will be attending this summer, and so I thought I’d have a look-see if they might have something stylish and affordable for my parties. Not that I had much money to spend. But…you never know. T.J. Maxx? There might be something cute enough and cheap enough that I might get lucky.
So…as I was looking around, I found the most adorable top. And then a second one. Both really cute, and both in the color of green that really brings out the green in my eyes. I was kind of excited.
I walked to the dressing room, and there, hanging up clothes on the dressing room rack was a sweet looking little old lady in her late 80’s. She had a dowager’s hump, and was well-coiffed, with lovely white hair. She was as cute as a bug. And, what’s more, she reminded me of my sweet Mama, who also used to work in a department store when she was alive, and who cared very much about how I dressed.
So…I go back in the dressing room, past the cute little changing room lady, into a booth, and I try on the first top.
Ba-da-bing. Ba-da-boom. If it doesn’t make me look like a hot little tamale! Score!!!
So then, I try on the second one: Holy Cow! Two in a row! I am looking so fine, I can’t decide between the two. I just love how they fit me, and the color? Wow! My eyes are sparking! What a find!!! But how to decide which one to choose?
So, I go out and ask the 80-something year old lady:
“I have two tops, and I’m having a hard time deciding. Could you help me?”
“Well,” she says, “I’ll give you my honest opinion.”
“Excellent!” I say. That’s exactly what I want. Your honest opinion. I’m trying to decide between two tops, and I’m wearing the first one.”
“OK” she says.
“Now, I’ll go try on the second one.”
One minute later, I’m back, sporting the equally fetching second top. I do a little spin, so she can admire the way this one falls.
“To tell you the truth, honey, those are really NOT your color. At ALL. I just don’t think they look good on you AT ALL.”
(That rushing flatulent-like sound you hear is the wind escaping from my style-conscious sails.)
So much for green making my eyes sparkle. The Bad Fashion Angel has delivered her tidings of doom.
What could I do, but shuffle off, deflated, and somewhat dejected? And what’s worse, questioning my own fashion sense.
The truth hurts, I guess. (If it WAS the truth. And honestly? Now, I don’t really know!)
I took it as a sign, at least that day, to keep my money in my pocket!
May you never, ever, in a thousand years, receive a visit from the Bad Fashion Angel.