The Real Scarlet O’Hara

I think I met the real Scarlet O’Hara today. Gracefully aged, she was taking measured and careful steps along the endless disheveled isles of the bargain department store. Her hair was perfectly coiffed in little ringlets, which were fixed with copious amount of hairspray, followed by ever so slightly combing, for enough woomph and control. Her ashes of rose Chanel suit and the flowered button down taffeta blouse, were in perfect harmony. Just enough pink in the blouse was pulled by the suit’s solid color. Her lipstick and nailpolish matched perfectly. The jewelry was rich gold and pearls. And the buckle flats mirrored the buckle in the closure of the purse. Impeccable make up covered a pair of bright blue eyes, which scanned the people around as if to make sure they didn’t notice how frail she is.
This polished appearance was the result of preparation and thought. She walked with dignity and despite the apparent pain she was in, she walked straight and upright.
I walked a few steps behind her. Almost felt like hiding between the Ralph Lauren and INC sections and wait until she is far enough to notice me. I wanted to preserve her dignity which was her stronghold. I didn’t want to let her see my concern. I wanted to see her triumph over her age-old enemy – time! I wanted to see her in all her appropriateness and Southern finess, take a gold-ringed middle finger and show it to the Clock: “Eff you! You can’t break me down! I may fall but I will never crawl! I have seen the wrath of much worse monsters than you! I have fought and I have won! You are just a vindictive little invisible menace and because you are invisible you deserve to go unnoticed! If you had any guts and dignity yourself, you would show yourself! But your miserable existence is scared of its own image and that’s why you keep showing us ours. Therefore I am braver, stronger and more beautiful than you! Therefore I will not whittle in your presence you cowardly bitch!”
Just as I was rooting and cheering for her, seeing that she perked up and her stride became more steady and a bit faster…she slipped and leaned on the ballustrade of the bridge..  So I succumbed to the urge to help her and by doing that “random act of kindness” I destroyed her one chance to beat time for today..
She said it was “awful nice of me to help an old lady,” she called me a “sweetie” and “honey” and in the spirit of the great southern tradition of politeness, she even “blessed my heart.” Then she respectfully declined and told me doctors told her she needed hip replacement surgery but she told them they don’t know anything! 
And she kept walking. A bit slower, but head high.. She can worry about all this tomorrow…

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