I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve lost a bit of weight, or that the lighting in the dressing rooms of The Limited are soft and flattering, but I had a bit of a spiritual moment while I was trying on a dress today.
The casual observer, keen on finding fault, might claim that my moment of Zen was the direct result of unabashed commercialism, cultivated and skewed to trick me out of my hard earned money. They might say that I’m shallow, that I need to gain fulfillment by baking a loaf of bread or walking barefoot in the grass. I do like to walk barefoot, but I do not enjoy baking, so the moment was mine and I accept it for what it is.
Maybe I’m narcissistic. So many of us that share even the smallest portions of our personal lives are. We divulge that we are feeling a bit blue, or that our baby has just crawled from one end of the carpeted floor to the other, and instantly we’re greeted with warm responses. We are gratified. We have made our worth solid.
I know there are many who hate to shop, or hate the mall, and think the only thing lying inside of its tall, air-conditioned greenhouse windows are greed and gluttony and all the things that make America terrible. I’m here to tell you that there is much more beneath the glossy surface; there is beauty and real life. There are people inside who inhale and exhale, and have love and compassion coursing through their veins. There are people who are making a modest living; there are young girls discovering who they are. There are mothers trying on dresses in well-lit dressing rooms while their husband and son look at Magic Cards and Pokemon cards in the store next door.
About that moment of Zen. The dress fit. It was on sale for 15.00. It is timeless and lovely. I have lost around 7 pounds. The rain pounded on the mall roof and my skin has been warmed and tanned by the sun. On the dressing room chair I had placed a soy latte, flavored with a touch of caramel, that I had purchased earlier. My husband and son were near me and they were having fun together. My life, even in its smallest moments, felt at that moment, perfect.
As someone who has struggled all my life with depression, and with addiction, even the quietest moments in the mall, spent trying on a dress, feel monumental. It’s more than consumerism. It’s more than the Cinnabon smell (though that helps, of course). God is everywhere. Even in the mall, in a dressing room at The Limited.