Monday, March 3, 2008

coats and the trouble with age

my sister jokes that every time we go out anywhere, i get approached by people. not dudes. just people. i must have a very approachable face or look like a sucker.

i was browsing at coats. i know it is march and it is a bit late to buy a coat, but i thought that perhaps i could find a snazzy coat. let me back track. i bought my sister a coat for her birthday and it had to be shipped to me. yes, she is fancy. so when it arrived, it looked sooo freakin cute. so i tried it on, then i actually wore it to work and people all thought i looked so cute. i almost wore it again, but had to give my sister her birthday present. oh grr. so anyhow, the coat can't be found and my excuse that i was breakin in her coat did not fly with her. what can i say, i was caught off guard. that was the best i could do when i was snitched out. (recall the words of the nation of ulysses: kids, don't rat on your friends).

back to the racks of coats, as i searched through ugly coats then uglier coats. i feel someone tap me on the shoulder. i turned to find a frail little old lady with a big black coat on. she asks me, "can you help me? does this coat look too tight on me?" i take off my ipod earplugs and tell her to turn around and reply," the shoulders fit you, but it does look a bit tight." she looks distraught. "i am trying to find a coat, but all these sizes are wrong." "really? well that is going to make coat shopping even more annoying!" she tries on another coat and comes towards me to help her with the buttons. i help with the large gold buttons. she looks at the full length mirror and then at me. "how does this look?" before i can reply, she continues, "does the back show my hump? i have a curved spine." my heart drops. i feel so sad for her. i look at her back and reply, "it does show your bump, perhaps go a size higher?" i am trying to be delicate. she shrugs and says, "this is proving to be harder than i thought." i continue to browse the rack and i try on a tweed number. the old lady tells me "that looks smart on you! you should buy it." i laugh and reply, "huh...not sure, but thanks for your input." i put the coat back and the old lady asks me "what part of southeast asia are you from?" my slanty eyes widen and become gajin (round eyes) in surprise. "saigon..well it is now ho chi minh city." the old lady claps her hands and says, "i just got back from laos, thailand, vietnam, cambodia this past january. it is lovely!" she continues to tell me about her vacation. i quickly look at my cell phone and realized that i have been talking to this lady for over an hour. i feel guilty for leaving her with no one to help her with coats.

i tell her that i am leaving and decided to buy a plain work coat. she says ok. i wish her luck. as i leave, i think about growing old. i wonder if she found a coat. i wonder if any other customer will help her. or if they will ignore her. it makes me sad. i mean when i am wandering around with a cart full of empty soda cans with dyed blue black hair and huge sunglasses, i would hope someone would help me tell me if a coat i had on made me look fat.

before i leave, i go up to the saleslady and tell her that she should go help the sweet old lady find a stellar winter coat.

the trouble with aging is people forget you. and you can't find coats that fit you. and you find yourself talking to strange asian girls.

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