As I stood waiting for the elevator, a woman burst through the parking garage door to stand beside me.
She was balancing a duffel bag on her left shoulder, groceries hooked on both wrists, while her right hand gripped a luxury-looking mirror. Her left arm cradled folders and documents. Stilettos on her feet. Purse haphazardly hanging on for dear life.
This was a woman who looked good, and worked hard.
I opened my mouth to offer some help. We made eye contact. Her face was adorned with firm lines and dark brows. It said a lot of things.
But above all it said, “No talking.”
I shut my mouth, resigned.
The elevator arrived. I asked her what floor.
“Twenty. Thank you.” She was tall, but bending; she was curt, but mannered.
“No problem,” I said. And I took a moment to observe the woman dipped in so much polish and too much stress. She sported the following items: Tory Burch shoes. Prada bag. Levi’s jacket over black t-shirt dress. Pantyhose with a light shimmer.
This was a woman who put effort into crating an appearance of high-end quality and low-key style. I thought to myself: I dig it.
Finally, we arrived at floor twenty. As the doors opened, I said:
“You are a woman of great taste.”
Her face broke out in light.
“Oh my goodness!” she said, and laughed a little. “That is the nicest thing you could have said!” And she grabbed her things from the floor. “Have a great night!”
She seemed to step out from a shadow right before my eyes.
Everybody likes a spontaneous, heartfelt compliment.