Dressing-Room Optimist

I was in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room.

Never mind why I was in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room at 11 am on a work day. Never mind that I came to the mall with the sole and specific purpose of picking up a father’s day gift that was already on hold, with a definite intention of not shopping.

So I was in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room, when another shopper came out of her stall wearing a very pretty new suit jacket, trying to decide, with the help of smiley salesperson Sharon, what she should wear underneath it for a job interview.

They both looked at me. Despite the fact that I was in a hurry — it being 11 am on a work day and all — I stopped to consult. “What type of job? Where? First interview? Crisp white blouse, definitely, but change the buttons, and you need some signature piece of jewelry, so they’ll remember you. Bright color, chunky. Really, that’s the key. Good luck.”

Smiley Sharon showed me to my stall and looked at me with a mixture of admiration and surprise (really). I said, “Well, we’re all in this together.”

Smiley Sharon looked at me again, this time adding awe to the mix (really). “That’s a really nice way of looking at things,” she said.

“I suppose it is,” I said, thinking about it with a mixture of admiration and surprise. As I consider myself a pretty judgmental pessimist, I was pleased to find my humanity in the Bloomingdale’s dressing room. Perhaps I need to go there more often.

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