Hey, hobo man
Hey, Dapper Dan
You’ve both got your style
You’re never fully dressed
Without a smile!
— from the Broadway musical Annie
Recently, my wardrobe (or lack thereof) has been a great sense of embarrassment. I love the clothes I found on Black Friday, but I only wish I could multiply those by fifteen. 😉
My closet is broken down into three segments for my work clothes. The smallest section for the five outfits that I absolutely love. The middle section for the six outfits that I really don’t like, but which I can’t throw away because they’re perfectly good clothes. And then the larger section of seven outfits. These are sweaters that have shrunk, shredded, or fuzzed a bit too much and of which should really be in the trash. But I can’t yet throw those away, or else I’ll have only about eleven outfits. Which means, for the rest of winter, I’d wear my entire wardrobe every other week.
And so yesterday, I found myself wearing a fuzzy red sweater that had shrunk and was now a bit too short. So I paired it with a long tank top and kept pulling and tugging, hoping it would stretch. In all honesty, I felt a bit like a dork and wanted to hide under my winter coat and risk melting.
I called Nate to vent, sure that all the laughter around me was based on how tacky the curly-haired girl looked. He assured me that there will be a bit of tax returns with my name on it, and I can use that for clothes. But that didn’t help me out then….
I hid at my desk as long as possible, and when I did have to run to the restroom, I walked as quickly as possible. And I tried to avoid looking in the over-sized mirrors as I washed my hands. “Okay, it’s really not that bad,” I told myself, finally taking a peek. “It’s not flattering, but at least it’s a nice color. It’s really okay.”
Oh, I this is so humiliating.
I was then joined by an older woman who walked with a cane. It fell as she washed her hands, so I rushed over to pick it up.
She smiled at me and said, “You know, you are a very pretty girl.”
I think I grimaced a bit. “Awww, thanks. I don’t really feel it today. This sweater is a bit old.”
“Oh, I don’t notice your clothes,” she said with a shrug. “You just have the nicest smile. It lights up a room. It’s beautiful.”
I wasn’t sure whether to run up to her and give her a hug or to hang my head in shame. My entire attitude had been based on how I was looking. When the people around me (or at least one of them) wanted nothing more than a friendly face who cared.
I learned my lesson. Sure, I’ll be more than excited to obtain that tax return check so that I can revamp my wardrobe. And I’ll be honest, today I’m sporting my new Gap pants and blouse. (And I feel cute!). But when it’s all said and done, you can be confident with who you are, even if your clothes aren’t top of the line… or if they’re a bit fuzzy. Because in a world that’s often cold and hard, people are more impressed with — and in need of — your smile.
Are you wearing your smile today?