A Message to the Stranger at Stagecoach


I was sitting at Stagecoach Coffee eating a macaroon and wearing purple pants but feeling decidedly less than fabulous, when she walked into the place, looked me up and down and said simply: “You’re fantastic. You’re just fantastic.”

I crinkled my brow in amused wonderment, and asked why.

“The pants. The shoes. The whole outfit.”

I didn’t have the power to muster anything beyond a smile and a heartfelt, ‘Thank you.’ But I’d like to say a little more to her here:

You couldn’t know how such a simple statement would move me so much, but I wanted to express that you were a bright spot in my otherwise-drab day. You couldn’t have known that when I walked into work that morning, I passed two people smoking outside the building, and as I strode by in my purple pants and orange coat I heard one of them whisper, under her breath, “Oh boy.” It wasn’t a good “Oh boy”, it was an “Oh God, what on earth is that?” kind of comment. I almost – almost – stopped to address the two of them, but I didn’t. At this point in my life I’m not unaccustomed to whispering, but some days I’m not up for it. Some days I’m too tired to stage a come-back.

And then you walked in and said what you said. Unprompted, out-of-the-blue, and to a complete stranger. You almost made me cry – it had been that bad of a day – and you turned it around for that moment. It was probably just another flippant compliment that you didn’t even think much about, but it meant the world to me. Not that you were impressed by my clothing, but that you so openly gave that little gift, as I imagine you give to others without a second thought.

Thank you for doing that.

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