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You Have Spinach In Your Teeth

A good friend will tell you when something is “off.”

Not long ago I had the habit of wearing orthopedic men’s shoes to work. They are comfortable, OK?

For years not one colleague would say anything. (Although they did make a comment one day about my mismatched socks.)

Then I worked on a project with someone different. We had never been friendly. But as we worked together I came to appreciate her sharp observations. They made the project better and she had something to say about me, too.

“You might want to rethink the shoes.”

I had to laugh. What a statement!

So it is thanks to this colleague that I actually went and broke in a pair of shiny flats.

It is this same colleague who would tell me, without fail,

“Dannielle, do this.”

…to indicate that some aspect of lunch was appearing when I smiled.

Do you tell people when a button has popped, they have lipstick on their teeth, or they’ve got toilet paper on their shoe?

Yesterday I saw another colleague on the coffee line. She had the most beautiful scarf on.

Except for one thing: the tag was sticking out.

I wasn’t sure what to do because my hands were full. I couldn’t catch it. But she was leaving the shop.

In my mind I imagined people looking at her and saying to themselves,

“What a beautiful scarf. Should I tell her about the tag?”

Impulsively I called out to her.

“What’s up?” She looked at me strangely as she made her way through the crowd. Her arms were full too.

I said, “You’ve got a tag sticking out.”

The line of mostly women looked on supportively, waiting for what would come next.

My friend: “Go on. Rip it out!”

Right here?

The person in line behind me became our volunteer.

“Excuse me, please hold this,” I said.

Done!

You could almost hear the silent clapping on the line.

People relieved that the tag issue wasn’t theirs.

And that if it were, someone might help before it got embarrassing.

Believe me when I tell you that a stray tag or any wardrobe malfunction can literally ruin someone’s whole day.

I know this because I spent part of yesterday listening to someone worry aloud about the fuzz dripping off her sweater.

It was a gorgeous sweater and truly, nobody noticed. (The men looked at her strangely.) But she was actually apologizing by the end of the day.

In this holiday season bring someone good cheer: Tell them if they’ve got a booger.

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