Jul 16, 2017

What was said. What I’d have loved to have said. In Two Parts.

What was Said. Part 1

Mrs. Bellejambes celebrated a birthday recently. Some of the things I picked up for her were not perfect, and one was a complete repeat of a top she already has and does not wear in high enough rotation to require a double.

Back to Bloomingdale's we go for the true up effort. Mrs. B attacked the racks while I managed the return transaction. Mrs. B is not so avid a shopper as I. She was hailing me and holding aloft hangers for quick thumbs up or down from me while I engaged with the shop assistant.

The assistant swanned off to a rack to grab an SKU number, all tall, elegant and compelling. Apart from a smile that could cause large ships to run ashoal, she was tall and stately in a gorgeous black midi sheath dress with a big knee to nape exposed back zip all perched on a pair of 5 ½” pumps. 6’3” easy and of perfect, healthy proportion.

I, at this moment am merely dying of envy.

One of her colleagues happened by.

“New shoes??!”

“Yup! Just yesterday. Love them. Didn’t even pack flats today”

Back at counter, she is now clicking away at the point of sale terminal.

Did I hear new shoes, no back up?”

Yes!” (blinding smile)

And you are on your feet all day.

Yes!!”  (big eyes)

“That is a bold choice”

Well, I am only on for 6 hours today so I should be OK

“Ah. Well, you look terrific so I hope it all works out for you”

Me too! Thanks!!” (more click click click)

I arbitrated a few fashion coin tosses with Mrs. B. She traded complements with the assistant. Mrs. B is as much of a traffic stopper as our towering new friend. Both clearly not jealous types, and naturally generous. We (You and I dear reader) envy too that happy sororities freedom to share compliments, do we not?

Our transaction done, tissued and tariffed, off we went with the rest of the day.

What I Would Have Loved to Have Said. 

Do you cover the BCBG and Alice and Olivia racks too? I want to be sure you are paid if I find anything really pretty for me while my wife takes care of business here. Don’t get me wrong, I love Eileen Fisher, but she is not in my sweet spot. Yours either, am I right?

I just wish I was in pretty mode today so I could try a few things on. And don’t hate me but I need your dress. It's a Victoria Beckham isn't it? Where is she and do you have a 6??”

What was Said. Part 2

In chap mode recently, with friends and family, all together celebrating a milestone birthday (not one of mine or Mrs. B’s) at a nice restaurant. I was seated next to the BirthdayGirl. She was bejeweled, hair piled up and pleated party dress all atwirl. It did register with me that she chose a flattering silhouette. High waist, full full skirt, square neckline, all elements conspiring to do the job of accentuating the positive and obscuring the negative. I chose a pretty typical guy compliment.

You look great. Happy Birthday

Kisskiss and hughug all around the table.

We settled in for apps and bubbles and the chit chat started up in the way it does. BirthdayGirl and myself uniquely at the table had a great long view of the room which allowed us a peek at the big glass entrance beyond the Maître D's station. Loads of light and people pouring in at dinner hour here close to the Summer Solstice. Terrific eye candy and BirthdayGirl is reliable with the play-by-play people commentary.

Some couples make an effort together. 95% of the women really knocked it out of the park. 95% of the guys total schlubs. Lots of dazzlers, just no dazzling couples. You really wonder at the lack of symmetry. I mean guys, thanks for leaving the ballcap at home but, really, would a jacket kill you?

Anyhow... The two tall women breached the big glass door. You and I of course would have spotted them a mile away. Apart from the height, there were the broader shoulders, the giveaway gaits, the weather tossed wigs, the wardrobe choices that set the ladies apart from us all and from each other too.

One conservative, long skirt, boxy cardigan, sensible shoes and the big baubly necklace. The other all rhinestone-glitter, body-conscious, clingy party frock barely covering butt all perched atop the black sheers and towering strappy platforms.

BirthdayGirl is a proud, liberal, contemporary city dweller. Her social circle is a crazy quilt of diversity. She is in most of the rooms she occupies a minority, and feels a real kinship with other minorities in part as a result of her personal experiences. She really does take joy from being in the company of people with different edges and expectations. Rather a generational hallmark in my experience and one of the perennial badges of urban sophistication.

Arched eyebrow half in my direction, the other half towards our new minority diners.

             O. My. God. My day is now fully made…”

 I returned her conversational volley.

Hmmm. Maybe she should have stayed away from the rhinestone number. It’s a little too after-dark-dance-floor for an early supper table don’t you think…?

She ran to the net and lobbed:

Her bag is wrong too. Big satchel and small dress is a never-never no-no

Yes, we big city types have that class of Cole Porter blasé repartee on tap at all times. We even use words like blasé and repartee. We are loathsome, no?

The hostess waltzed our minority diners through the buzzing dining hive and sat them nicely, somewhere out of our field of view. At which point the conversation drifted back to careers, milestones and the ceaseless examination of our various and manifest quirks of inherited and privately cultivated neuroses.

Dinner was choice.

What I Would Have Loved to Have Said. Part 2

"Oh my dear, I have to tell you. She, well, both ladies might at this moment feel at some level terrified, but that feeling is overwhelmed by every else. They feel free. They feel beautiful. They feel electric and more alive right now than any other time they can remember. 

They feel right. They will want to bottle this feeling and spray it on every other moment. They want to have this feeling, this memory as their deathbed thought.

I do not think we can hope to see anything so beautiful as these two ladies tonight.

I know this in my heart. We should talk. Really, really talk"


These things are not said. An opportunity for honest, full expression is missed. 

Turbulence is avoided and the bright blue vistas on the other, unseen side of the clouds remain a Shangri La, a Never Never Land, a Passport page unstamped. 


Anonymous said...

I think I squeaked a narrow escape once..
When I was working, I'd have a regular visitor to my office - a slim 40 year old who could wear anything.. (there was some kind of minor flirtation going on on both sides to be honest).
This particular day, she walked - no, sashayed - in to my office and I think she managed to stop herself from doing a twirl by some superhuman effort of will..
She looked great (I use that expression too!).. she was wearing a black pleated skirt (that was itching to be twirled!) and a beautiful tailored jacket.
Before I could stop myself, I said it, "I love your jacket.."
There was a pause and she looked at me quizzically..
I said (making it up as I went along), "My wife's been looking for a jacket like that - we're going somewhere special and she's not been able to find what she was looking for..."
I don't think I was that convincing..
It's so easily done isn't it..!
Good to see you back in the saddle!

Lynn Jones said...

Welcome back!

Things left unsaid? Perhaps a quick survey of a dozen trans folk would turn up enough ammo for a coffee table book, if not a short TV series. If you're listening NetFlix.... :-)

It's tricky isn't it? Well, IMHO. Are you honest and share your thoughts, making you part of the conversation, and able to be all of yourself? Or, do you wind it in, snub the inner you, but not run the risk of causing the other party upset? Like much in life, it's more than those black & white either/ors.

But, you were right about the short dress in day time :-)

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