This week had me in full-blown Pity Party mode. We could have a blog—or 4—about why– but the why I was so distraught and sad and mopey aren’t really the point of this particular story.
Pity Party. Patty Pitiful. Sad Susie. That was me. I was fighting it but the woe-is-me fever had a pretty good hold. And then it all changed. There wasn’t a poof of glitter or a sparkle of magic…no bells chimed but in a moment I went from sad, drab urchin girl to…..
At 8:30a I am sitting a swim practice lost in negative thought. I sat perched primly on the edge of a lounge chair. Perched because I was afraid to put my fat rear all the way down and embarrass myself when the other end went flying up like a drunken see-saw and primly because I had on a dress and heels and was worried that the coach across the pool might see things he never wanted to see if I tried to cross a leg. So…I sit…as properly as a commoner about to have tea with the Queen. Today I purposely have on a dress I like and heels. Heels that make me strut. There is a meeting today that I want to look swanky for. Plus, the heels are new and they make me feel sassy. I was an actress long, long ago…I know the value of a good costume. If you want to act a part you gotta look the part. I was costumed as a confident, HAPPY, stylish and fun lady. “Fake it ’til you make it’, right.
So…I am sitting here and this women, this stranger comes up to me and says, “I noticed your shoes.” I look up at her and then down at my shoes. “I like shoes,” I said. Award winning conversationalist I am not. “I noticed that you like funky shoes,” she didn’t use the word funky but it was something to that effect. I was too busy trying to think of something witty to say to completely hear the word. “The other day you had on blue saddle shoes and today you have on those great heels.” Holy crap. A compliment. “I figure if people are looking at my feet they aren’t seeing the rest of me,” I admitted. I totally suck at conversation. Luckily she chuckled. “I feel that way about bangs. They hide a lot.” She puffs and her bangs fly up a bit. “I just thought since you went to all the trouble,” she indicated my head to toe look, “the least I could do was tell you that you have great shoes.” I said thank you and she ambled away to cheer on her little swimmer. I went back to perching primly on my pool chair.
But this time my thoughts were totally different. I couldn’t believe that she noticed by blue and white saddle shoes. That particular outfit was adorable in my mind and was constructed solely as a way of highlighting my shoes. Shoes that I’ve had since I was barely out of college! Shoes that year after year make it thru the ‘will I really wear these’ debate. It was the first day of summer…at least as far as the kids were concerned. I was ready to feel a little young and funky so I crafted an outfit to wear with my shoes.
It wasn’t until mid-day that I caught sight of myself in a full length mirror and was appalled at the way I looked. White short, full linen skirt with a tie belt and a ruffled waistband, white t-shirt tucked on with a button up navy blue sweater over the shirt. No-show socks and my beloved blue and white saddle shoes. Chic and classy in my mind. Frumpy and dumpy and random looking in reality. Yet this random women noticed my shoes and saw a put together outfit. She also held onto that ‘look’ and went to the trouble of mentioning in more than a week later.
It was simple and silly and totally random but it snapped me right out of my blue mood. With a single compliment I realized something….I had forgotten all about my promise to find the A+ part of each day. I had fallen right back into the habit of focusing on the failing parts of the day and allowing those to be the grade. A single compliment reminded me that there is something positive in each day. Even though I considered my outfit an epic FAIL this women noticed my shoes (my intent), liked them and complimented me on them. My mood lightened. I’d just had an A+ moment and no matter what else this day threw at me…I had a bright spot.
Sometimes the oddest things snap you out of a mood. That swim Mom has no idea the difference she made for me today. I am a believer…a pair of shoes can change everything. Wonder what she will think when I wear my really funky-gotta-rock-this-wedding-despite-my-size SHOES?