Handling life’s ego-brusing moments with grace.
Let me set the scene for you, and I shall tell you my tale of woe. There I was – on a journey to find a dress I could comfortably trash for an upcoming photo shoot involving a swimming pool, Miss Florida, and a GoPro.
This already sounds like a Quentin Tarantino movie, huh? It get’s better. My mission led me to a local Goodwill store – a secret little gem I often use for procuring photo shoot items and vintage-looking furniture I can paint for editorials.
I pull up, park, and say a little prayer. I am going to find the exact item I need for this shoot, because I am a notoriously particular woman when it comes to how material will flow in a shoot.
Now, admittedly – I am not dressed in J Brand jeans and a fabulous sweater. No ma’am, I am rocking some yoga pants and a zip-up hoodie, because Florida has lost her mind and it’s cold as hell outside, and I’m in hibernation.
I go inside, make a hard left, and start to rummage for a dress. I could feel my face wrinkle with disappointment as I wasn’t finding anything – until I moved a very bright and bedazzled-to-filth lime green moment out of the way and found a dress that would do perfectly.
I grabbed it and headed straight for check-out. This, my darlings, is where the chic show begins. Ahem – let me take a moment and collect my thoughts, as my ovaries still hurt from the experience.
This lovely older gentlewoman summons me to her register and proceeds to utterly gush that I found the dress I had in my hand. “You found it!” she beamed.
I just nodded and smiled, and she then began asking what I intended to do with the dress. “It will be so pretty! Where will you wear it?” she asked. Now, the dress is white, and I could tell she was itching to ask if I was getting married in it, because she began forming the sentence.
But she shifted to something else mid-sentence. At this point, I just wanted to go, but I politely answered, “Well, it is actually for a photo shoot. An underwater photo shoot.”
I think she thought I was lying, because she was looking at me thoughtfully for a moment. At that exact moment, I felt like I was on the spot – because the way she was looking at me was like she found something had been hidden.
She then practically sang that I got the dress for 50% off and told me I was having a good day. You know when someone is being overly nice? You start getting a little suspicious.
Hold on to your pearls, girls, because this is where you will get on my team.
She then asks me if I am VIP member – okay, normal. I answered no.
She then leans into me, eyes locked with mine, and says, “Are you one of our senior members?” Now, I just stared her down for a moment and gave her the benefit of the doubt because I was wearing a mask, she was 62+, and I was trying in every way possible not to let my resting Balmain face show.
I giggled at her and said no (I’m still in my 30’s, for Gucci’s sake!) and then she leans closer and says, “Well, I know it is a sensitive question to ask, but are you sure?”
It was at this exact moment I know my eyes went into mere slits and I was just starting at this woman with a clear look of what in the actual Halston are you playing at here?
She leans back and without missing a beat rolls into, “So you said it was an underwater shoot. For what?”
I was still recovering from the last verbal whiplash I got from her and then took one business card out of my purse and slid it over to her very slowly. I told her it was for LUXYMOM® and what we were about, and she just looked at me and said, “Never heard of it.”
Deep breaths… I explained we were new and that she should visit the site and see us. I grabbed my dress and marched out of the store fuming. I immediately called my girlfriends for emotional reinforcement because in all my adult years I have never encountered that scenario.
Ring… ring… ring…
This entire time I am staring in the rear-view mirror analyzing every wrinkle and pore when my friend picks up and I go over the whole situation and she was both laughing hysterically and mortified for me.
I was like, “Did COVID Fendi me up that bad? You must tell me?! I know my brows aren’t done right now, but girl – I am 36 and I know I do not look like I aged that much.”
Now, there is nothing – and I do mean nothing – wrong with being a silver fox. I thoroughly cannot wait until I have my head of silver hair and more vintage clothes packed in my closet than I know what to do with, but ladies my time has not yet come. I am still a silly thirty-something finding her correct facial care routine – okay?
Then I call Libby, my business partner and other half for all things LUXY, and she was just as mortified as I was. She said to me and I quote, “You better go have another baby just to prove you can!” (Cue the ovaries coming back to life.)
Now, that had me laughing my Balenciaga off, and she made me feel so much better about it. We talked about how sometimes women who are not pregnant get mistaken for being pregnant and how that can really ruin your day whether the person meant to offend or not.
We have the power to let it bother us or not, and if you feel great or if you can laugh it off as a completely absurd moment, you are in control. Got to love that Libby. But I tell you I went home and recounted the whole thing to my husband in my totally animated fashion. He was so sweet and he, too, asked if the cashier was still alive.
The takeaway? Laugh. Do I know if she was being intentionally offensive? Of course not. But oh my goodness I felt the heat coming off my mask! However, in the great scheme of things, I know how I look, and I know how I feel – and darling, that is 100% fabulous. So, it really doesn’t matter what anybody says because I know that I am – and will always be – LUXY AF.