It was a Sunday afternoon, and I had a really great coupon to one of my favorite clothing stores that was expiring soon. I decided to make a quick stop at this favorite store of mine. I found a few items, tried them on, was pleased with how they looked, and proceeded to check out with the cute, friendly, sales associate, who most likely goes to high school with my kids.
Let me stop right here. I’m in this stage of life where I am well aware that I am a forty-something. I like to dress in what’s stylish, but I’m too old for some styles and too young for other styles. I know this. So here I am at this store. I vacillate about shopping there every time I enter through its double wooden doors, but I feel like a rock star when I’m there. I get my own dressing room with my name on it. I pick out a few items to try on, and an employee takes them to “my room.” By the time I get back to “my dressing room” to try on clothes, some invisible fashionista has added accessories and sweaters and jackets to show me the cute outfits I could wear with the items I’ve chosen. And of course buy—which is probably what it’s really about.
As I frantically searched through the several hundred emails in my inbox to find the most amazing coupon ever, I heard the sales clerk say, “Oh I love the skull shirt you chose.” I looked up from my phone, smiled, and said, “Me too.” Yep, I’m pretty sure that’s what I said. I was half listening and half searching my emails, which clearly need some pruning.
“Here it is,” I said, as I handed over my phone.
“Oh this is a great coupon! You definitely saved some money.”
I walked out, well maybe skipped out of the store. I was really happy with my purchases, and even more happy with the savings. I don’t seem to have the best luck when it comes to using coupons. I cut them out, save them in a special tray in my office, and then they expire before I even remember they’re there. Or, as the case was this day, they get buried in my unorganized inbox. But regardless, I scored this particular day, and nothing was going to ruin my joy.
Except for maybe a certain shirt folded nicely at the bottom of my bag.
I got home and excitedly showed off my finds to my husband. I pulled out the infamous shirt, and he said, “Hmm. Wait. Step back a little. “ I stepped back and held up the shirt.
“Honey, that has a skull on it,” and burst out laughing.
“No. No. it’s flowers in a pretty pattern, with two holes, and, oh my goodness, that’s what she meant. But it’s cute, right?”
“It is, but it’s not you. And maybe you’re too old for the demographic of skull shirt wearers.”
“Well sheesh, that’s not nice to say.”
He’s right though. It’s not me. It may work for someone else. It may even work for a fellow forty-something, but I have a style, and skull shirts just aren’t it. I would even go as far as to say I like to wear things that represent life, not decomposed corpses.
So, Friends, lesson learned. I need to pay a little more attention when I shop at youthful stores with a great coupon; and an even bigger lesson learned, I need to be fully present when visiting with young sales associates who are working hard and making conversations with someone who could be their mom.
Not the biggest life lessons, but important none-the-less.