Retail Therapy

When I saw the little yellow dress in the window, I smiled. The burst of colour on a gloomy day and the absolute frivolity of the creation were a visual treat. I thought about entering just to fondle the material but instead passed by for more practical purposes: My dad had resorted to using the tissue box in the car as a head rest (he said it worked perfectly but he is not one to complain) so I needed a travel pillow and more tissues.

On my return to the car, I walked by the lemony confection once more and again resisted the impulse to enter: there are shoes in that store; there was a sale on; I’m working on downsizing my closet. Instead, I hustled into the pizza place next door and ordered us some lunch. There was something about carrying pizza in a brown bag then eating the gooey slices in the car while my dad rested his head on a tissue box that dissuaded me from entering the boutique. Still, the dress and truth be told, the shoes, were calling. I told my dad I’d be right back and gave in to the call of the dress.


The shoes were marked down by fifty percent but none had prices on them so I knew they were beyond my budget. I felt my anti impulse buying power increase as I manoeuvred by the footwear. Next were some more casual, less expensive sweaters, displayed in a bouquet of pastel colours. My willpower waned as I held a few up for inspection but just then I heard someone say, “Come back here when you get a moment, Lisa. Elaine is modelling the yellow dress.” Now, I’m not Lisa and I don’t know Elaine but I just knew that there was no way I would miss the chance to see that dress on a person who might consider buying it and have somewhere to wear it-I pictured a chic twenty-something model contemplating an upcoming trip to Paris.

Elaine, chic, lithe and seventy-something, twirled in front of the mirror and the skirt swirled around and it was so lovely and perfect on her that tears sprang to my eyes. The owner of the shop spied me watching and asked if I needed help finding anything. I told her that I was just happy to see someone model that dress. I guess she saw my misty eyes because she followed me a bit then confided quietly that while Elaine’s health was not great her attitude was so she continued to buy those things that she loved; she recognized the healing power of a perfect little yellow dress.

I left the store having purchased nothing but it was the best retail therapy I’ve had in a long time.

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