Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. ~ Abraham Lincoln
My mother taught me; if you didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I’ve carried those words of wisdom with me throughout my life. At the suggestion of my friend and fellow writer and blogger, Pam Wright, I’d like to share a recent experience where my mother’s words were put to the test.
It was a couple of days before Thanksgiving. After work, I headed to the grocery store. My mood was exceptionally good as I looked forward to time off from work and a quiet holiday with my family.
As I entered the store and strolled toward the shopping carts. A high pitched, scratchy voice stopped me in my tracks.
“Oh my God! You’re blinding me! I can’t see. Oh—I can’t see a thing!” The whiney voice shouted.
Dressed in my bright yellow, albeit fluorescent blazer, I turned to see a woman in her mid-sixties shielding her eyes.
“I’m blinded!” Her prickly squeals echoed throughout the market.
She continued her rant while I stood dumbfounded.
“I just came from another store where I was blinded by a woman in a bright color. What’s going on today?”
The day was cloudy so I calmly responded with a smile. “I guess we’re trying to brighten things up.”
It was then that this complete stranger, dressed in a drab colored jacket and gray slacks, launched her attack.
“That’s not your color!” she snapped.
I stood speechless.
“I’m a wardrobe consultant and I’d never recommend that color for you.”
Was this her way of getting new customers? My feet remained planted, despite my urge to run my shopping cart over top of this crazed woman, who in a matter of seconds was squashing my good mood.
Perhaps my expression told her I didn’t appreciate the attack on my love for the color yellow. Or maybe she realized how ugly she sounded. She lowered her voice and spoke again. “You’re such a pretty girl; I’d just never pick that color for you.”
At that moment, my mother’s voice echoed through my mind. So many words danced on the tip of my tongue. Instead, I held my peace, refusing to allow her to steal my joy. I walked away with no response.
Has a total stranger ever taken you by surprise?