“I Can’t Buy That–Where Would I Wear It?”

If I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a million times–I’ll be out shopping and someone will hold up a gorgeous scarf, sweater, boots, necklace or whatever, saying to their companion: “I LOVE this! But where would I wear it?” And they sadly and regretfully walk away from something they obviously adore.

Well hell–in my humble opinion, that’s just WRONG. Heaven knows that there are more things in life that make us sad, scared, worried, angry and so on; what is wrong with buying something that makes you happy?

NOTE: I certainly am not advocating spending the rent money on a black velvet coat studded in diamonds, or breaking into your kid’s college fund to treat yourself to that must-have pair of tall leather boots. Be sensible!

I once helped an artist friend of mine with her table at a local fair. Her handmade jewelry is drop-dead fabulous, and lots of people stopped by to admire and buy. One lady was enamored of a pair of beautiful blue zircon dangle earrings that actually matched her blue eyes. She kept holding them up to her ears and checking herself out in the mirror, saying “Oh, these are so pretty! I just love them!” My friend was working with a customer so I spoke up and said, “They look lovely on you, and did you notice that the stones match your eyes?” The woman took a double-take in the mirror and said, “Why, they do! I really love them, but where in the world would I wear them?”

Having heard similar comments off and on during the day, I’d had enough. This woman obviously loved the earrings, the price was reasonable, and quite frankly, she looked as though she could use a treat for herself. So I opened my mouth and said, “Do you think that you need a special occasion to wear earrings like this?”

The woman smiled sadly and said, “Well, yes, but I don’t go to parties or anything like that.” She started to put the earrings back, and I said, “Do you go grocery shopping?” She said, “Why, yes–of course.” I said, “Then wear them to the grocery store.” The woman started to speak and I said, “Do you go to the library? The gas station? Out to lunch? Over to see your friends?” The woman stammered that yes, she did all those things.

“Well, here’s the thing,” I said. “You leave your house for many reasons, and perhaps you don’t go to parties or clubs or things like that, but you do go out, right?” The poor woman was standing there, the earrings in her hand, staring at me. So I went right to the kill: “It’s ok to buy yourself something that makes you happy. If you do buy them, wear them! Wear them proudly, wear them often, and take the time to admire how you look wearing them. It will make your day better.”

By this time, my artist friend had finished her business and was staring at me. I had the sinking feeling that I had just cost her a sale, and that the woman would be so offended that she wouldn’t buy a thing. And she smiled at me and said, “You know what? That’s just the kind of thing my daughter would say! She’s in her first year of college and even though she has a scholarship, we still have to help her out with finances, so I always feel guilty if I want something for myself.”

“But you’re right–these earrings aren’t going to break the bank and I really love them.”

She got her money out and beamed at both of us. She put the earrings on then and there and walked off with her head held high. The earrings really did look wonderful on her, and I feel now as I felt then that they somehow changed her life in a small way. Sometimes we just need a little something new in our lives to help us through, to lift us up a little, to make us happy even if for a little while. That shining burst of happiness can literally change our lives. If that little something makes us happy, makes us smile, makes us kindly toward a stranger; isn’t that worthwhile?

So my tip for this day is this: if you love it and it’s not going to break the bank, BUY IT. WEAR IT. BE HAPPY WITH IT. You are WORTH it!

 

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