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"Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future." Proverbs 31:25

The UPS man pulled into my driveway at about 6:30 p.m. last night. I was leaving anyway, so I met him at the end of the driveway in my car. Hoping to save him a few steps on our icey driveway, I rolled down the window to accept the package for my husband. As he approached my car, two thoughts passed through my mind: 1) The UPS man doesn’t look like he used to look and 2) What is he doing here at 6:30 in the evening?

When we first moved in our house 12 years ago, the UPS man was a strapping guy with a head of thick auburn hair and bright blue eyes. His brown uniform was the perfect backdrop for his coloring. And, like all the UPS people I have met, he was bursting with vitality and enthusiasm. As I looked at him yesterday, I realized he wasn’t as cute as he used to be. He was all scruffy around the edges. His hair needed cut, it was a much paler shade of red than it used to be, and although he moved with pep, there is a slight cynicism about him now. “What happened to him?” I thought. Twelve years happened. That’s what.

This has been happening a lot lately—noticing that people aren’t what they used to be. That’s a sign I’ve been in one place long enough to see the same people change over time. But who am I to cast stones? I’m not what I used to be either! And that’s not all bad. Here’s why: when you live long enough to see people pass through these stages, you’ll also see that your effort to be a person of substance (not just style) is the most important accessory of all. Like a good vintage garment (I apologize for bringing this analogy back to vintage clothes, but that’s what we do here) character never goes out of style. I don’t claim to own this accessory yet, but I’m working on it. As my mother used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.” Finally, I get what she meant by that. It’s quite possible that the UPS guy is twice as beautiful as he used to be, despite his somewhat diminished outer appearance. Wouldn’t that be great?

If you’re a person who is fully invested in the things of the physical world—your looks, your clothes, your possessions, your achievements–I can almost guarantee you one thing: as time passes, you will wish you hadn’t confused your true self with these outer accoutrements so much. If you don’t believe me, consult a higher source. Many spiritual texts support this universal truth but the one I like best is from the book of Proverbs: “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she smiles at the future.” From the wisdom of man, read Mary Lore’s book, Managing Thought: How Do Your Thoughts Rule Your World?

Now, why was the UPS man arriving at our house at 6:30 p.m.? According to Red, (that’s what we call the UPS man) his company delivered more packages this week than they did during all the weeks around the holidays. During last week’s brutal ice storm, Americans returned to a favorite forgotten hobby—internet shopping! Like every other store on earth, during the next few weeks, we’ll be placing winter items on sale and bringing you new spring/summer vintage items. Keep your eye out!