September 9, 2015

Formerly titled "Domestic Affairs"
Formerly titled "Once in a Blue Moon"

I live in New York City, a fashion capital...or fashion disaster zone, depending on what street you should happen to be on at any given time. SSBT is code among my friends for "She Should be Told." But that would be mean if it was only to say "Wrong choice!," right? And we don't want to be mean. God knows we've all had bad hair days or made regrettable fashion choices. (Such as my eighties perm - dear God, what was I thinking??). Recently I decided to speak up. As in "She Should Be Told She Looks Good."  Now whenever I see another woman in public rocking an outfit, I tell her. I was a bit nervous at first going up to a perfect stranger, but...wow. I had no idea. I discovered a whole new way to make the sun come out. You should see the smiles I get! 

Yesterday I was riding the bus to my doctor's appointment, thinking only of how much I wanted to get it over with and get on with my day. I spied a young woman who looked to be on her way to work. She wore a pretty summer dress and, because I was standing and she was sitting, I could see the photo on her smartphone of her wearing another pretty dress.  I complimented her on the dress she was wearing, and her face lit up. I added, pointing at the photo of her on her phone, that I could see she had a great sense of style. She credited her mom. But she was smiling as she stepped off the bus. I hope she had a nice day, but if not, I know it got off to a good start. Sometimes all it takes is a kind word. 

If you're like me, you occasionally feel guilty because you don't have time to devote hours a week to volunteer service or it's been a while since you donated to your favorite charity. You think, "One day when I have time (or the money)..." But it's takes no time or money to make someone someone smile. We all need to be told when we look good. God knows we ladies spend enough time being mean to our reflections in the mirror. No matter what size we are, we always wish we were smaller. Or that our breasts were bigger or our thighs slimmer. We worry after we walk out the door that we chose the wrong shoes for the dress we have on. We wonder if our butt looks big from behind as we walk down the sidewalk.  With all those thoughts going through your head, imagine how lovely it would be if a perfect stranger walked up to you and said, "I love that dress on you!" or "what a great outfit!"

Try it. You'd be amazed. 

On a book note, being fashion-minded these days led to my retitling two of my novels. WOMAN IN BLACK (formerly Domestic Affairs) and WOMAN IN BLUE (formerly Once in a Blue Moon) to go with WOMAN IN RED.

Red is my favorite color, so if you see me walking down the street in a red dress...   

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Leanne Dyck on Wed, September 09, 2015 at 3:39:00 said:

Right you are.
Case-in-point, I was hustling down the aisles, trying to catch up to my quickly moving husband. Oh, yeah, I was fuming. That man!
She was pushing a cart the other way. She had time to say, “What a pretty dress.”
And not only did I smile but the fuming stopped. By the time I caught up to my husband, all I was—I look good. And someone noticed.
And I have and will continue to play it forward. : )

    eileen goudge on Wed, September 09, 2015 at 6:09:16 said:

    Love it. Goes to show it doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day. And there’s a good chance it’s a day in need of brightening.

Patricia Stoltey on Wed, September 09, 2015 at 4:03:21 said:

This is a perfect way to make folks smile. A couple of little boys brought out my biggest smile the other day when they ran to open the door for me at the library, and their mom didn’t have to say a word. Absolutely charmed me for the rest of the day and beyond. And I hope I made their day with my enthusiastic thank-yous to the kidlets and an aside “Well done,” to the mom.  :D

    eileen goudge on Wed, September 09, 2015 at 6:12:46 said:

    Nice, Patricia! Nice to know that manners are still alive among the younger generation.  I never knew how many nice people there were in NYC until I had my arm in a sling post-surgery. Lots of caring folks out there.

Kay Murcer on Wed, September 09, 2015 at 10:52:20 said:

Great one, Eileen… I, too, am a fan of giving a shout out to others… whether total strangers, or friends.  I wish I could attach a photo of the lady I spoke to at the food court in the Dallas mall yesterday.  I’m guessing she was in her eighties, decked out in huge mod eyeglasses, silver sparkling earrings, sipping a Sonic soda and having a grand time people watching.  I admired her spunk and fashion sense from across the way, and knew I had to chat before she left.  I told her if they were giving out style points, she’d win top prize… she seemed shocked that anyone even noticed her, and I hope she left feeling glad that someone did.  We can all use a little more kindness in our day, and as my granddaddy always said, “It doesn’t cost a dime to be kind to someone”... more, please!  Xoxo

    eileen goudge on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 9:40:59 said:

    With a dollop of Southern hospitality. Love the older gal with sass and style. Next time take a picture. Love YOU. I wish you were here so I could tell you in person and hug your neck smile

sherry ortiz on Wed, September 09, 2015 at 11:04:49 said:

Love this Eileen!! I will keep looking for your posts!!
Sherry smile

    eileen goudge on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 9:41:48 said:

    Thanks, Sherry! If I don’t blog as often these days it’s because I’m busy writing books. As it should be. Stay tuned…

Cathy Jackson on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 12:03:55 said:

I also try to do this. I’ll tell someone I love their purse, shoes, jewelry, outfit even their haircut. It takes so little time but can make a big difference in someone’s attitude or the day they are having. I know how it makes me feel when someone says something like to me!

    eileen goudge on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 9:42:48 said:

    We all need a little kindness, especially when we’re having a bad day. Be kind to ourselves first and foremost.

Janet Hopkins on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 12:29:26 said:

I do it all the time, with equally great results!

    eileen goudge on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 9:45:41 said:

    We New Yorkers tend to be wary. We’re accustomed to being hit up on every block by pahandlers, people wanting us to sign petitions, handing out flyers, you name it. I enjoy seeing the surprise of strangers’ faces when they realize I’m merely paying them a compliment, not expecting anything in return.

Andrea (Ann) Salustri on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 10:00:48 said:

I enjoyed reading this blog about complimenting someone.  My daughter Cathy is journalist. She does various presentations around Florida.  She certainly appreciates nice comments but, being told before her presentation that her particular choice of apparel is nice, gives her that extra boost of confidence.

    eileen goudge on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 10:12:26 said:

    So true! A little boost - even if it’s just a smile of encouragement—before a speaking engagement can make all the difference. I know from my own experience.

Cherone on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 10:51:27 said:

I enjoyed reading this piece! Not only is it well written but it’s on a great topic. I try to do this as I know what a boost it gives to my confidence when it happens to me so I definitely want to pass that on. Thanks for the reminder!

    eileen goudge on Thu, September 10, 2015 at 10:59:31 said:

    Thanks, Cherone. It’s heartening to know the sisterhood is alive and well. We need to support each other, and even a kind word can make a difference.

Sarina Cofield on Fri, November 06, 2015 at 3:03:05 said:

Kind words are never misplaced.  You never know how much good they may do.  God bless you.

    eileen@eileengoudge.com on Sun, November 08, 2015 at 7:44:26 said:

    A little kindness goes a long way. Even if it’s just a smile. I’m reminded of that every day.

Lori Garcia on Tue, January 05, 2016 at 12:35:30 said:

Thank you so much.I was fuming. So man!
She was pushing a cart the other way. She had time to say, “What a pretty dress.”
Oh, yeah

Joyce Cosh on Thu, September 29, 2016 at 1:31:30 said:

I can totally relate to this post as I have a hubby who does this kind of thing all the time. His adage is that people take time to complain a lot about things but no one takes the time to complement when it is warranted. Just yesterday, we were in a fast food restaurant & there was a young lady moping the floors. She was VERY thorough at what she was doing & the floor looked awesome so he went over & told her she what a good job she was doing. He does it ALL the time.
One day as we were walking in to the grocery store he spotted an elderly lady walking in ahead of us. As he went past her looked her in the eye & said, hey, nice hair, you look verry nice! She blushed & said, Thank You, I just left the beauty shop & the girl did it differently & I was not sure I like it! So I appreciate your input!!
I sometimes wish I had the ability to do what he does but we are polar opposites that way, he being an extrovert & me being VERY introverted. Somehow, we have stayed married for 50 years so I guess we balance each other!!

    Eileen Goudge on Thu, September 29, 2016 at 8:08:21 said:

    You married a gem of a guy. No matter if you’re polar opposites, it takes a good person to marry another good person. So you get credit for that. I’m married to such a man myself. He frequently compliments me as well as those with whom he comes into contact. Anyone he sees is doing a good job will hear about it from him. He’s especially good about praising young people who are just starting out in their careers. Many have attributed their success to his encouragement. You never how far praise will take someone.