an encounter

Have you ever been faced with a choice of to cry through laughter or to laugh through tears? I’ve been there today! In the late afternoon when the light gets all magical, two of my most admired Belgian designers stepped into the store – An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, with all the charm they’ve got they are always oozing confidence. I’ve seen them so many times during my studies in the Antwerp Academy, but never exchanged some words with them – today was the day, and even my Flemish sounded flawless at their presence…until…
Until with a corner of my eye I spotted a lady who was observing a pair of A.F.Vandevorst boots with a rather strange expression. I had an uncanny feeling. She , at the top of her voice, asked us which brand are those shoes, and the entire world turned upside-down! She, on top of her voice, commented on An’s shoes, on the fact that she never knew A.F. make clothes, on how her son doesn’t like those boots, and so on and so forth! Oh horror! I tried my best to disguise her in the background by speaking louder, showing them around the store (which they know perfectly), and playing a scene of ‘oh I did not introduce myself, hello, my name is Lena’, all while I just felt ashamed.
Ashamed for all those people who are ignorant, who lack manners. Ashamed for having allowed any of those comments – but what could I do? Close the door behind a potential customer? No way! So it’s almost as if I allowed it to happen. I went to Antwerp because of its fashion… An and Filip were one of the first long unpronounceable Belgian names I learned at the age of 16, then only vaguely interested in fashion. Now being both fashion insider and consumer I pronounce those Belgian names with utter respect.
How can this woman be so rowdy and vulgar? Forgive me if I’ll never understand.


Post a Comment