Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Skirt

I've worked a retail job for many years.  If you talk to anyone who has done this sort of thing for awhile, they will tell you that although the pay, hours and all that standing is a lousy way to make a buck, they love the job.  I couldn't explain to you why it has suited me for so long until I met Fannie.

Fannie came in the store and bought a skirt.  There are two kinds of women who shop for clothes.  There is the kind that don't like their bodies, will tell you everything they hate about it and love company on the misery train.  The other kind have come to terms with their physical flaws, have their own style and move through the day with far more grace.  I can spot the latter a mile away and that's who Fannie was. 

A few months after meeting her, Fannie came to the store again to get the skirt in a smaller size because she'd lost some weight.  I took down her info and told her I'd call her when the next order arrived but the skirt was sold before she could make it back.  On her second trip to the store and still no skirt, she put her head in her hands, started sobbing and told me her husband was dying of  cancer.  He loved that skirt on her and she wanted to be able to wear it to his funeral.  Since I had bought the skirt as well, I offered her mine.  If it fit, she was welcome to it and a few days later, I showed up at her door with the skirt in hand.

My plan was to ring the bell, wait five seconds and leave it on her porch because at that moment I began to think that this wasn't such a good idea.  She answered before I could run off, let me in, held up the skirt and sighed saying it was perfect for "the upcoming events".  She began to cry and so I said, "Things aren't good are they?"   She hugged me saying, "Oh, honey, things are very good because out of nowhere somebody shows up at my door with a skirt just when I needed it most."

Shortly after that visit, I read in the paper that her husband passed away.  I'm sure she looked lovely and that he was proud of this woman who loved him until he had to let go.  And what in the world was so special about this skirt?  The pattern on it was The Tree of Life and I learned a thing or two about that from a woman who wandered into the store on a day I happened to be working.


  1. what a perfect post!! your overwhelming amount of kindness makes me love you more and more :)