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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