As a younger girl, I pursued education – which meant I had a meager budget. I usually attended classes in T-shirts and blue jeans but, like most girls, I loved pretty clothes.
I rode the bus from my grandfather’s home to the Square in downtown Cleveland every day for school. When I arrived at the Square, there were department stores like ones in the movies – ones with many floors and counters lined with jewelry and perfumes and gloves and matching scarves that were soft and beautiful. I am convinced I was the best window shopper ever.
I walked around the cases admiring all the new accessories. Then, I rode the escalator to shopper’s heaven- to the floors with rack after rack of shorts and matching tops, skirts, and blouses, and all the pretty clothes one could imagine.
I picked several outfits and spent time in the dressing room trying on these beautiful clothes I knew I would never buy. I modeled them in the mirror and, for a moment, I was wearing something pretty. After a time daydreaming and admiring, I donned my T-shirt and blue jeans and returned the clothes to the rack. The salesladies smiled and nicely asked if I wanted to buy anything. I smiled back and said, “I am going to think about it some more, thanks.” I suspected they knew.
Then I walked 20 blocks, attended class, walked back to the bus, and rode back to my grandfather’s home- remembering my wonderful time window shopping- which I did frequently.
I still love pretty things, but have realized I want the inside of me to be more lovely than the outside and really have no extra money for extravagant things. That’s ok. I have a wonderful country to enjoy that allows me beautiful adventures every day and family and friends that mean everything to me. I have made the choice to make the people in my life my priority and have no regrets. I still see the pretty clothes and think of my days shopping, but more and more the clothes mean less and less and the people mean more and more.
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