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Picking Lint and Other Awkward Moments

Updated: 5 days ago

Just recently, I was walking down a hotel corridor and noticed that the lady ahead of me was dressed for an evening event. She looked fabulous - her hair and makeup were done really nicely, she wore a well-fitted, stylish asymmetrical dress, and had selected some great accessories to polish off her look.

What she didn't choose was a piece of white lint on the back of her formal black dress. I called to her and said I didn't mean to be odd but wanted to let her know it was there and obviously not part of the look she was going for. She stopped, giggled, and turned to see the back of her dress but it was just in that spot you can't see. So - with her permission - I picked it off her bum. Because of course!

(No, I did not take a picture of her bum)

We then had a funny chat about those moments when you have to do something that seems awkward but is actually a kindness. "Awkward" would be letting her spend an entire event with a very obvious piece of fluff on her and no one saying a word.

So why are we reluctant to step up and do the kind thing? Are we afraid of embarrassing the person? Of offending them? But how would they feel knowing that all the people saw that and either didn't help them or worse, had a laugh at their expense?

My rule of thumb is to say something if the thing can be fixed in less than a minute: they've mis-buttoned their shirt, they've got stuff in their teeth or something on their face, a tag is showing, etc. If it can't be fixed in that time, there's no need to notice it, let alone tell them about it.

And that is also a kindness.


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