Monday, November 10, 2008

The Kind Advice of the Department Store Ladies

At the beginning of the year, I spent six months working for a designer in a Department Store. Unfortunately it wasn't some top end, most wanted designer. She designed for the older women, with classic money to spend on boring cardies cost $450 each.

I was the youngest person working there, by 40 years. There were 5 ladies, all glamorous and ageing ever so gracefully. And they taught me worldly wonders. I thought I would share a few.

1. The power of classic red lipstick. It brightens any dull day. Apply after meals and blot, with a gloss over the top, it can stay on for hours. Just don't chew it off.

2. A string of pearls goes a long way. Invest in the real deal, or just a cheap $20 fake-a-rooney but no matter what the occasion, they always go down spectacularly. Just look at Carrie in Sex and the City running around town on NYE with her string dangling delicately over her PJ's.

3. Be polite and respectable to people older than you. Use Mrs. or Sir. unless instructed otherwise. I had priceless conversations with older women, and men, and heard incredible stories, from a writers point of view, just through showing a little respect.

4. No matter what the rules, coffee should always be aloud at work. We used to always get in trouble for sneaking coffee's in, and sitting in our little stock room for 11 o'clock coffee and chocolate break. I thought it was funny, that middle aged women still giggled over breaking the rules.

5. It is possible to have a successful, happy marriage, and still be glamorous, even at 60.

3 out of 5 of the women were still happily married to their first husbands, one was married to a Frenchman, which I thought was cute, and the other dated more than I. They all wore gorgeous high heals, and patterned stockings. And as young adults had been actresses. What are the odds. Everyone of them had been an actress. I vowed never to become a shop girl again to avoid being stuck there till retirement.

One more valuable piece of information they imparted in my short time with them was this. You don't have to marry what appears to be Mr. Right. You don't have to wait around for The Knight to gallop along at a blinding speed and whisk you off. You can get out and love life. Date a few men, get a broken heart or two. But live life fabulously and daringly.

And so, whilest surrounded by doting couples, I will hold my head high, and not worry if D is he or not. I will not search the face of every man I see any longer, trying to find the spark that means he's for me.

I also learnt from these ladies, that black is the most fashionable colour, throw a coloured wrap around your neck, and teamed with the pearls and red lippy, you're always ready in glamorous heals.

We worked across from the shoe department.

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