By Eliska Counce, TSB Columnist
To be so angry, you looked amazing. There you were, trying on ridiculously expensive shoes with a friend who left before you did. You weren’t young, you might have been pushing fifty, or maybe you were just a hard-looking forty-something. But I thought you beautiful. A cloud of dark hair. A figure you clearly work to maintain. A well-made up, pretty face. Your fashion sense was wicked: you and your friend were shopping Steve Madden stillettos, and you were looking fierce.
I, on the other hand, was looking wilted, having made time between the gym and picking up the kids to go pick up a pair of leather clogs I had seen there the week before. I was in smelly spandex, you in a tight mini-skirt and revealing top. You were clearly the power player in your high-priced clothes and jewelry. I was your foil buying canvas flats.
I evidently interrupted the work the shoe salesman was doing with you when I sent him to get my size. Because you, lady, were impatient. You wanted different sizes of the Jessica Simpson sandal you were trying on, and you weren’t having any truck with being kept waiting.
The irritation was all over you as the salesman I shall call “S” turned to the task of fetching my hippie shoes. “I’m in a big hurry,” you huffed to our salesman, who was, to his credit, laboring with the two of us and a constantly ringing phone. Your face was pinched, your mouth turned down, turning your attractive face sour.
“You can go in front of me,” I said. I turned to S. “You were helping her first.” S, looking slightly less stressed, smiled a half-smile of what was clearly relief and scampered off to fetch your size six shoes. Or was it seven? It was a hell of a lot smaller than my size ten peasant feet, I assure you.
You, however, my dear and fellow shoe shopper, were unimpressed with my offer, declining to speak to me despite my gesture. We waited together a moment as you avoided eye contact with me and tried on other shoes.
Undeterred, I told you how I liked the studded kitten heels you were trying out, knowing if I dropped the amount on that tag for a pair of shoes I’d be sleeping in a tent in the backyard when Hubs found out. “Those are cute,” I said to you, now fascinated by your unfriendliness. “They look good with what you’re wearing.” You didn’t look up to experience my winning smile.
The way you spoke to S when he returned with your shoes was pretty withering. You treated him like an underling. You showed annoyance at his chatting with me, taking time to get me a coupon, thank me for my business. And as I was walking away with my new comfy shoes, I heard you once again remind him you were rushed for time.
It all just left me thinking. You clearly work and were getting work related clothes. Could it be possible that you sell goods or a service? Perhaps work was what had you feeling so stressed you felt the need to smear such stinky energy around the place. You clearly had other obligations.
But honey, I got to warn you: pretty is as pretty does. You looked like you had plenty of disposable income. Your clothes and shoes were designer. Your makeup was flawless, and your hair was a cute brunette cloud that I’m almost certain God didn’t bless you with naturally.
So many blessings. Why so angry? What was it about your day that had you treating strangers around you in such a way? I tried to imagine what caused your pain that day. Perhaps you were divorcing. A Packers fan. Had a daughter on drugs.
Whatever the cause, it ruined your looks, sweetie. All the Karen Kane and DKNY can’t cover that up. You can buy all the makeup MAC makes, and it ain’t covering up the kind of ugly you were wearing in the department store shoe section this week. And it certainly won’t build your business. So you’re not on the clock? You’re always representing yourself, dear.
So whatever was going on with you that had you feeling the right to share your pain with the rest of us, I sure do hope you get some relief from it. In the meanwhile, save the money you might have spent on those fabulous nude platform pumps you had on. They may have gone great with your dress, but in the end, it won’t cover up your attitude.
Here’s to your improved happiness and indeed to the happiness of the many strangers you and I encounter every day. We are in this together. And may we all realize our energy affects everyone around us. And most of all? It shapes us. And Chanel lipstick on a pig? Just makes for a painted pig. Mind your heart. Because pretty, my unhappy dear, is only skin deep. Ugly goes clear to the bone.