Sunday, June 10, 2012

Choose Wisely

I shopped with my friend, A, to outfit her for her honeymoon for 7 hours yesterday! I would run back and forth to the clothes racks and return with piles of choices for her which I stuffed into her dressing room. We had a few saleswomen helping too. Soon, she had such a backlog that she banned me from getting any more. So I sat in a chair in the dressing room alcove and each time she emerged in a lovely new outfit, I oohed and aahed. A few got the thumbs down, but most of them looked spectacular. Maybe I need a new career in personal shopping assistant. We moved on to the dress section after a rather unhappy stint in the bathing suit department. (Bathing suits tend not to be a favorite for most women, I have found). The dress department, on the other hand, was a bonanza. We found several fantastic dresses.

While A was trying on her dresses, another rather short stocky matron who spoke almost no english, came out of her dressing room in a dress that was clearly 3 sizes too small. The open zipper gaped, showing way more than I, a total stranger, wanted to see. In broken english, she asked me to zip it for her. There was NO WAY that dress was going to zip. I tried, valiantly. Finally the saleswoman came back and told her as gently as she could that perhaps the dress was too small.

I wanted to shout, "AND you look like a tart in it!" This was the mother of the groom and she was short and stout and at least 50 or 60. She should not have been in a lime green slinky dress that was held together by skinny straps across the back and bodice. She looked at herself in the three way mirror, and then looked at me, and sighed and said, "Fat."

At that point, I felt sad for her and wondered why she didn't choose a style that accentuated her good points rather than flaunt a body she probably never had...none of us ever had! She went back to her dressing room, and emerged again, in a new less revealing dress, still unzipped.
"Help me zip?" she asked.
This dress again was too small, but less wildly inappropriate for a mother of the groom. In fact, it was only mildly inappropriate. I managed to hoist the zipper up almost all the way. As she stood in front of the mirror, I told her, "That one is better."
She nodded, had me help her unzip and returned to the dressing room.

Then she emerged, with a dress with no zippers, that fit, and was gorgeous. In fact, it was the same dress my daughter in law's mother had worn at my son's wedding a year ago.
"That is gorgeous!" I told her, "And you didn't need help zipping it!"
She nodded again, and smiled as she looked at her reflection.

As she was leaving with her arms filled with three dresses, she held them out to me and said, "Which?"
"This one," I said, touching the last elegant choice, "Without a doubt. Don't even consider the others. Get this one." She smiled again, said, "Thank you," and was gone. The worried scowl on her face had disappeared.

Are we all that deluded, I wondered, as I watched her walk away? Do we all look in a mirror and see something we wish was there but it really isn't...never was? Are we all that pathetic, grasping at an image that only makes us ridiculous? Yet something had made her choose the wise choice, the perfect choice, the one dress that accentuated her lovely shoulders and pretty face, and dark complexion perfectly while draping nicely over the waistline that had seen many years of childbearing and living. Something inside of her yearned for the wrong things, but still knew what the right thing was. Dress number three gave me hope for mankind.

Joshua 24:15
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

-save a dog-


  1. I just finished your book ...loved it. I made a donation to hollow creek farm...I hope they are receiving more money because of your book!

  2. thank you so much Mandi! I know they deeply appreciate the donation, and I am very grateful for your kind comments and actions!