The Act of Kindness I Never Performed
It’s rare that I go into Victoria Secret these days, or even a mall for that matter, but on the rare occasion that I pass one, I’m reminded the opportunity I never took.
Back in 2016, following my divorce and dipping my feet into the dating pool again, my mom and I were at the mall and popped into Victoria Secret. Yeah, it was a awkward to go in a lingerie store with my mother, but trying to save money I knew she’d foot the bill and I was in desperate need of new undergarments — something sexier than the threadbare ones I had worn for years. No matter how old I get, she takes more pleasure in shopping with me than I do for the clothes she gifts me with. It’s the way she knows how to show love. For years, I resented her for this, but these days, I just accept her for who she is, and drop the judgement…and take advantage of the expensive clothes she buys me that I would never buy for myself.
Waiting in the checkout line, a mother and her teenage daughter stood a few spots ahead of us. I overheard the teenager begging her mom for the Victoria Secret sweatpants she was practically hugging. The trendy ones that read, “PINK” on the butt, and the classic little white dog on the thigh. Her mom refused, not seeing the pants as practical — “they’re too expensive, they hang too long, and they're too causal for this price.”
The girl would later resent her mom for different reasons. Moms can’t win.
The girl was almost in tears, “Everyone has them! Please!” I was transported back to the days of wanting so badly to fit in, and today watching my middle school students and niece go through the same struggle. My heart broke for her as she slowly placed them on the counter, hoping her mom would change her mind.
Maybe her mom couldn't afford the pants, though I got the impression she just didn’t think they were worth the money. My mind went back and forth with the thought of offering to pay for them. They were $38 (a bargain for designer sweats in 2016), and it would have been no big deal to add them to our purchase. I wondered what her mom would think though — was I being too intrusive? Probably. But still, I regret not trying. I wish I had told her how she reminded me of my younger self and nothing would make me happier than to buy them for her.
At age 35, typically the type of person who could care less about brands, there I was, standing in line with (among other items) not only the "PINK” logo pants, but a “PINK” logo hoodie too. The power of the “PINK” got me.