Monday, February 8, 2016

Birthday Chronicles

Well, Dear Readers, I had every intention of catching you up on what’s been happening over the last few weeks (the Blizzard, the Great Baguette Battle in New York, etc.), which I promise to do soon, but, on Friday, a brief encounter with a young woman turned a very good day into something special.  So, I just had to share.  But first, a little background.




Saturday was my birthday, and since February is the shortest month (Please, no jokes about my 5’1” height, s’il vous plaît.), I like to celebrate the entire month.  I think it’s only fair, don’t you? 





Birthday cards and good wishes come in from friends and family all month long, not to mention lunches and afternoon tea with my girlfriends.  My dear blogger friend, Mariette, of the beautiful Blog Mariette’s Back to Basics, always sends me a lovely message.  Connecting with people like Mariette is one of the many blessings of blogging. 

This year, my husband gave me an early present – a very generous gift certificate to Talbots.  I don’t need to shop very often, since I have a wardrobe of versatile basics (See A Wardrobe for All Seasons), but, from time-to-time, even basics need updating, and Talbots is usually where I go to do just that.  For those interesting, dare I say quirky, pieces and accessories that add a dash of je ne sais quoi I go to boutiques and vintage shops. 




Anyway, it was Friday afternoon, the day before my birthday, and Talbots was running HUGE sales – 25% off, 30% off, 60% off.  Armed with an additional coupon for 25% off, my Gift Certificate PLUS the 15% off Talbots gives you during your birthday month, it was time to do some real retail damage!! 

Did you ever have one of those shopping days where everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, you try on looks great? 




I admit they are rare, but when they happen, it’s like being on a winning streak in Vegas.  The hits just keep coming.  The dressing room was filling up, and my only problem was triage.  I even found that great little, navy blue blazer I’ve been hunting for for ages in a size “0” Petite, which meant no alterations!!!  It’s rare to find a “0” at Talbots these days, but, apparently, someone had ordered it from the catalog and returned it to the store, so I snapped it up. 

As I walked up to the cash register with my purchases, a young woman was standing in front of the accessories display.  She was clearly having trouble making a decision.  The well-meaning sales lady was trying to help, but she was hell bent on talking her out of something the customer wanted. 


  

It was time for this mild-mannered shopper to turn into mutant Jean-Grey, a/k/a the Dark Phoenix of Style, whose telepathic and telekinetic powers shield and protect shoppers from well-meaning, but pushy sales clerks. 

“Do you mind if I give you my opinion?” I asked.  “I do this for a living.  I’m an image consultant.” 

“I’d love it,” said the young woman.  “I really don’t know what I’m doing here.  I’m so confused.” 

It turned out that she had a special event to go to in a few hours, her husband had dropped her off at Talbots, and she literally had about 45 minutes to put together an outfit.  She had chosen a pair of pearl gray dress slacks, but was torn between a silk blouse in fuchsia and one in pale pink. 




To make matters worse, she was drawn to a fabulous pair of red and rhinestone earrings.  The sales lady insisted that they wouldn’t go with either blouse (She was right about the fuchsia and wrong about the pink.), and was trying to find something that would work with the fuchsia blouse.  Everything she showed her seemed to confuse her even more and time was running out. 

It was obvious to me that she really wanted those earrings, so I asked her why she was drawn to them. 

“I don’t really know,” she replied, “but it’s been a really tough year for me.  I had some serious health problems, and I just think wearing those earrings will make me feel good.”  That’s all I needed to hear.  Those earrings meant something special to her on an emotional level, so, instead of accessorizing the outfit, we needed to outfit the accessory, which is exactly what we did.  In no time, the sales lady and I pulled together the perfect outfit to showcase those red and rhinestone earrings.   The look of happiness on that young woman’s face as she left the store was the best birthday present I could have received – that….and all the great clothes I bought. 




Another year, another birthday.  I don’t kid myself.  I notice the little changes from year to year, but I can still pass the pencil test, I still have a waist and I think the comfy shoes can wait another year.  

18 comments:

  1. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday month and love the story.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the Happy Bday wishes. Much appreciated. Will pop over to enjoy your Fashion Flash Monday.

      Cheers, M-T

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  2. Happy Birthday! And I am sure you were such a blessing for that lady! So nice of you to offer to help!

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    1. Thanks for the Happy Bday wishes. Much appreciated.

      I think it was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time -- in other words....serendipity.

      I'll never know how her evening went, but I'll bet she felt confident in how she looked.

      Thanks for stopping by, Corina.

      Cheers, M-T

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  3. Happy Birthday! By all means celebrate all month long. Today is my father's birthday; I think he'd be interested in celebrating all month long too!

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    1. Thanks for the Happy Bday wishes, Reese, and lots of Happy Bday wishes from me to your father. I think he should definitely celebrate all month.

      Delighted you stopped by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  4. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    What a surprise to read this here! Yes, we do share our birthday and some other favorites!
    I too have bought several Talbots pieces as they do cater very well to the more petite woman and I mean not only in height. You were very lucky to find your navy blue blazer!
    And what a blessing you were to that young woman and how warmly you helped her feel happy and special by offering your expertise! So happy for her and yes, that works like receiving a GIFT yourself.
    Some sales persons absolutely lack that insight. Whatever we do in life, there ought to be a perfect balance between body and soul and you can achieve it by underlining one or the other.
    Thanks for being who you are; one of the reasons I love you as a blogger friend.
    Together with President Reagan we celebrate our birthdays with lots of happiness and hope for many years to come!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dearest Mariette,
      You are so right!! Finding that perfect balance between body and soul is so important and difficult to achieve.

      We do share some wonderful Birthday partners, you and I, don't we?

      Hugs to you and Pieter,
      M-T

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  5. Happy Birthday! What wonderful birthday presents! I'm so glad you got to make someone else happy and found lots of wonderful things for ypurself!
    Mary Lou

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    1. Thanks for the Happy Bday wishes, Marmielu. Much appreciated.

      I know it is better to give than receive, but when you can accomplish both in one fell swoop, well..........isn't that just the best?

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  6. Happy birthday to you! Enjoy celebrating all month. I celebrate for a week, but a month sounds even better! That young woman must have felt she hit the jackpot running into you. How great you were able to help her feel wonderful for a special evening out. What a kind gesture on your part. And yes, I either have shopping days where nothing works, or everything does! Nice you were able to get yourself some presents. xo Deborah

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    1. Thanks for the Happy Bday wishes. Much appreciated. I don't know about hitting the jackpot, but I do know she was very happy with the results and gave me a big hug before she left. Payment enough, don't you think?

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  7. Hi M-T,

    Loved your post. When I saw the earrings you were referring to, I knew why the customer wanted them. They add much to a simple outfit & get many compliments, I should know because I have them. And they never fail to get noticed - in a good way.


    How very nice of you to help that young woman. Its the little acts of kindness that help people so much when they need them. And add joy to the person giving them.

    How very nice of you to help that young customer get the look & feeling she wanted.

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    1. Rosie, you are so right. It's better to give than to receive, but when they coincide, how great is that! I could not have stood by and let that poor woman flounder, so NOT stepping in was NOT an option for me.

      I think I may do a post on outfitting the accessory, instead of accessorizing the outfit.

      As always, Rosie, thanks so much for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

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  8. Dear Marie-Thérèse - Happy Birthday month tooooo yooooo. February is also my birthday month and that of my first and only grand-daughter. Her's on the 6th as your's and mine on 11th and still celebrating. As for Talbots, it was my "go to" shop whenever I visited the US. I am sure I still have a few pieces in my wardrobe. So kind of you to help the young woman and I am sure she felt very special for her soirée.
    Bizzz, bizzz
    Swan

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    1. Thanks so much for the Happy Birthday wishes. It appears that only a special few are allowed to be born during the month of February. Aren't we lucky??

      I do enjoy shopping at Talbots. The quality may not be quite what it was a decade or so ago (What is?), but it's still my "go to" place, as well, for great value for money and excellent customer service. Like you, I still have some great, old pieces that never go out of style.

      Big bisous to you, too, ma chère Swan.

      Cheers, M-T

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  9. A Belated Happy Birthday! I'm a great believer in celebrating all month long. Hope you are still enjoying little treats, as well as, counting your blessings. Here's to a content and productive year ahead!

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    1. So nice of you to wish me a Happy Birthday, and, yes, I'm still enjoying my little treats. As to that content and productive year, I can definitely drink to that. Please pass the Veuve Clicquot (one of those delicious, little Bday treats).

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete

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