I was in Wal-Mart a couple years ago looking at casual little canvas slip-ons for summer. Several years before this incident I had picked up three pairs on clearance, and had worn out two. I wore them almost daily.
Anyway, I was in the Wal-Mart shoe department knowing FULL WELL it was the Wal-Mart CHEAP shoes department. I was looking for inexpensive canvas shoes for summer.
I was there in my bright royal blue jacket.
I have owned this jacket for years. I like it. It's comfortable. It's long. It has nice deep pockets. I even like the bright royal blue. But, if I were honest, I have toyed with getting a new, less brightly colored jacket for several years now.
So, you get the setting: I'm looking at inexpensive shoes at Wal-mart wearing a bright royal blue jacket with jeans on and tennis shoes. My short haircut at that time always looked styled. I had on makeup. I didn't really look bad. I did look colorful.
As I'm looking at the wondrous selections, I hear a little kid's voice somewhere behind me say "Mom, that lady should see Stacey and Clinton...."
Naturally, I don't think it's directed at me because the aisle was busy, full of Wal-mart shoe shoppers; not exactly the place you envision when you are looking for natty dressers.
The little voice continues.
"MOM! She should be on What Not to Wear. Stacey and Clinton would tell her not to wear that coat...."
Suddenly at this point I realized the little freak, uh, er, child, was talking about me, LOL!
I was planning to turn and look at this future fashionista while busting a gut laughing. Then I was going to say "Stacey and Clinton wouldn't like anyone to be shopping for shoes at Wal-mart..."
But then I heard the mom reply in a nasty voice. "What are you talking about! Ssshhh! Just be quiet! I don't understand you..."
You could hear sheer terror, anger, and shame in her voice as she tried to get the child to stop letting everyone know that not only did they watch What Not to Wear, but now her child was commenting loudly and publicly on the old lady in the bright blue coat.
Walking further up the aisle while pretending to ignore what must be a very fashion conscious family behind me, I glanced back at them before turning the corner.
The kid was maybe 6 years old tops, but certainly old enough to know better. The mother had long, stringy bleached blond hair with dark roots. She was wearing well worn jeans, and an old t-shirt with an oversized torn and faded flannel shirt over it.
What not to wear indeed....
(I still have the jacket but now I fit in. It almost matches the color of an area university's team. There are lots of old people running around in bright blue coats.)