To Choose or Not to Choose

I realized a long time ago that if someone made a pleasant remark about something of mine, there was a hidden meaning. Determining the meaning was the next step in knowing how to react. Sometimes, salespeople will falsely flatter you to move you closer to a sale. When my ego needs boosting, it is fun to go shopping, try on something and then ask the salespeople what they think. Complete strangers often find something nice to say in these situations and the comments are universally good.

Shopping with a true girlfriend will get you a little closer to the truth, especially if they have the good sense to take you by the hand and steer you toward a different rack, another department or lunch. I accused Mags of using a code when we shopped together. Whenever I started sorting through clothing that was not in my best interest to wear, she often became light-headed and needed a soft drink and a chance to sit down and chat. It took me a while to make the connection, but I gradually followed her lead better and there were less frequent interruptions in shopping.

I find the real truth comes from grocery store cashiers and other shoppers. While perusing which chicken to purchase at Martel’s, another shopper started a conversation with me about roasters. We shared some thoughts on how versatile they were and ideas on whether a lemon inside of the cavity really added any flavor. I personally add a cut up onion. As I turned back to my shopping cart, the shopper must have noticed my handbag. She animatedly let me know how pretty it was and leaned in closer to ask me where I bought it. Her interest was genuine and I could see in her eyes that she earnestly liked it. I pondered for a split second whether to tell her but realized that information was not top secret and told her the name of the shop. She told me that she shopped there often and had not seen it but would definitely check back to see if they had any more like it. It was unlikely we would ever be in the same place at the same time with matching handbags. And it is a really cute bag.

In the checkout line, I exchanged pleasantries with the cashier and after she had rung in my purchases, I reached into my handbag to get some cash. The cashier leaned over a little and looked at my handbag.  She smiled and made a remark on how adorable it was.  This bag must have special powers to make people happy. I thanked her for the comment and told her right away where I bought it. She hadn’t even asked, but there was no need to hide the knowledge in case she shopped there too.

That afternoon, I was holding dresses in front of myself as I checked my full-length mirror. I could not decide between two of them as Junior came in to ask me a question. He must have been standing and watching me before I noticed his presence. After he cleared his throat, I turned to ask him what he thought. Junior told me to do what he does when he has important decisions to make. I put down the dresses and turned my attention toward him. My son had a method to make decisions. Stevie fished into his pocket and pulled out a bottle cap, a small rock, an army soldier and a small coin. He asked me to choose heads or tails and I chose heads. He looked at the dresses and tossed the coin onto his other hand, covering it for the big reveal. I looked at his hand as he showed me the coin and he said to choose the red dress. I picked up the dress and held it up for his approval. He smiled and told me that I looked pretty. There cannot be higher praise. I hung up the dresses and invited Junior to the kitchen for a special treat as a thank you.

Decisions can be made in many ways. and random choices work out most of the time. What Junior reminded me was not to take myself too seriously. That will probably leave me more time for bigger decisions. What a bright kid; he didn’t have to give his own opinion of the dress. I wonder if that is why Steve always seems to get busy when I ask him to help me choose. Maybe Steve needs a lucky coin.


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