Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dress for Success

It was time for my suits to go. They had been bogarting space in my closet since I was 5 months pregnant, when I could clearly no longer wrestle into them. Some of them still hung in plastic bags straight from the dry cleaners.

I decided I wanted to give them away to someone or several people who would really need them and appreciate them.

I found a website for Dress For Success. The Philly branch has drop-off hours for donations every Monday.

I loaded my suits and my son into the car. I explained our mission to him in 18 month old language. He smiled and pointed out trucks, trains, and airplanes on our ride into the city.

When we pulled up to the Center City drop-off location, I dialed the Dress For Success office. "Could someone please come out back and help me? I have my baby in the car with me, and I have a big pile of clothes to donate."

Within seconds, the door opened and a woman emerged, looking a bit sour. She surveyed my car, then me, suspiciously.

I wanted so badly to tell her what Deepak Chopra once said: "You can have [a soul] and a Mercedes at the same time . . ."

But I didn't.

Instead, I jumped out of the driver's seat, ran around to the passenger side, carefully gathered up my suits and handed them to her. "Thank you so much for coming out to help," I smiled at her. She didn't smile back.

I watched as she counted the number of suits in her arms and thought I saw her eyes light up.

I had considered putting "good luck" notes into the pockets of each of the suits.

But I didn't.

As she turned abruptly to head back inside with the suits, I stood at my car door, thinking of what to say.

I thought about yelling out to her: "Those suits have been with me through graduations, funerals, and everything in between. They have stood before television executives, federal judges and juries, and even maximum security prisoners. They have concealed life's best feelings, like being in love and carrying a baby."

But I didn't.

As she opened the door, I yelled out: "Please wish the women who end up wearing those suits much success and all the best life has to offer."

She spun around, almost startled. A huge smile overtook her face. She looked me right in the eyes. "Yes, I most certainly will."

1 comment:

  1. I love the Deepak comment. Every time I try to do a mitzvah, I think I am being judged not for my kindness, but for others' perceptions. Glad the woman wasn't a total biatch in the end. Where is this place? I have a boatload of clothing no longer needed in mommydom.