My clothes were looking ratty. I was grateful to have a neighbor that knew a thing or two about how to mix & match clothes to bring out the stud in all of us. I hadn’t really been too much into clothes before, but a comment my little girl had made got me thinking I better take a little bit better care of myself. She hadn’t really known what saying something she heard from a friend’s mom would do, but after realizing that others may be thinking that I couldn’t afford to dress nicer I set to put their minds at ease.

The neighbor I mentioned was a fashion designer in Hollywood, but in her spare time she liked to help others look a little better kept. My wife had heard what little Kittie had said to me and was glad to go with me over to “Madam Magnificent’s” with me. She was an old lady, word down by years of patching up clothes, sewing costumes for local productions both of which led her to the film industry after long.

In the dim light of her front hallway we waited patiently until she cleared out some space in her “dressing room”. It truly was magnificent! She had the walls lined with color coordinated clothing from one end to the next on both sides. The far end of the room stood a platform and three large mirrors to give the dressed and dresser a better view of what the outfit may look like from the several angles. It was a well lit room and I felt a bit shy with all the attention that I was about to get. My wife just smiled a smile that told me she was going to enjoy this more than me.

After a brief, but very warm introduction of herself to my wife, Marianne, as she was called by friends, had me stand on the small platform.

She eyed me up and down and grabbed about five different colored shirts and came to stand close to me. She ascended the stand and draped the first shirt over my chest, hopped down and looked at me in the mirror. Her look didn’t show firm approval. She reached towards me and I handed her the shirt. She swapped it with another and held that one up as I had the first. This time her eyebrows rose and a false frown of consideration crossed her lips.

It was the third shirt however that did it for her. I knew she had hit a goldmine when she and my wife both looked at each other with the “I’ve just seen Tom Cruise play volleyball without his shirt on” face. I wasn’t that adept at reading the hidden language of women, but I knew that face when I saw it.

“Yessss. Yellow is your color. Everyone can’t do that, but it’s definitely your color!” So after a the dressing we went with Marianne to her kitchen for a little getting to know you and cookies before we left. After a little banter back and forth about the look they had given me Marianne settled into a serious demeanor. She looked at my wife like she was her own daughter and then up to me and asked me if I was taking care of her. I said I was doing my best to which she asked pointedly, “have you gotten yourself some affordable life insurance? Because I don’t want anything to befall this little angel of yours.”

Wow, I guess I had never really considered it, but there was something in the look and attention she gave us that made start to. I guess we can get so tuned into life that we forget to take a step back and prepare for a future day. Thanks Madam Magnificent. Thanks Kittie for conveying the thoughts of a neighbor and thanks neighbor for saying what you felt, even if it wasn’t to my face. I will be getting some affordable life insurance very soon.

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