Maria lived with her mother in a small apartment in NYC.
She wasn’t too young or too old, not too short or too tall, not particularly beautiful nor ugly, not meriting a second glance. An average woman, working as a secretary at a large company, her life pretty ordinary with no up’s and down’s, no turns and twists. In a word, unremarkable.
One morning, on her way to work, Maria saw a new hat shop that opened down the street. In a spur of curiosity she walked in. In the shop was a little girl and her mother, who came to pick the girl a hat, and another customer who was trying on hats…Maria also tried on a few hats, until she found one she liked. She put it on and it looked nice!
First to notice was the little girl: “Mommy, look how pretty that woman looks with the hat on!” The mother said: “Ma’am, I must say, this hat just looks wonderful on you. The second buyer also came to look: “Ma’am, you look lovely with that hat on!”
Maria went to the mirror. She looked at herself. And for the first time in her adult life. She liked what she saw. Smiling, she went to the counter and bought the hat.
As she walked outside a new world revealed itself to her.
She never before noticed the colors of the flowers. Or the scent of the fresh air. The sound of the cars and the people…sounded like an harmonious melody.
She walked as if drifting on a cloud. With a song in her heart.
When she passed by the coffee shop she walked by every morning, one of the young handsome men called out to her: “Hey darling. Looking good! Are you new here? Can I buy you a cup of coffee? ”
She smiled shyly and kept walking. Floating on her cloud…
When she got to the office building, the doorman opened the door and wished her good morning. Never before had he even noticed her! The people in the elevator asked her the floor she needed and pressed the button for her.
The people at the office, as if seen her for the first time Flattered her on how lovely she looked today. The manager asked her out to lunch to talk about how she felt at work!
When this magical workday was over she decided to take a cab home instead of the bus. As soon as she put her hand up 2 taxis stopped! She took the first one and sat in the back seat. Thinking about the miraculous day she had and how her life changed thanks to the new hat!
When she got home, her mom opened the door. The sight of Maria took her breath away! “Maria” she said surprised “How beautiful you look! Your eyes are all lit up like when you were a little girl! ”
“Yes, mother” Said Maria “It’s all thanks to my new hat, I had the most marvelous day!”
“Maria” said her mother “What hat??”
Maria panicked. Where did she leave it? There was no hat on her head. Yes, now she remembered – she had set the hat on the counter while paying for it and rushed out forgetting her purchase.
Source: Minimally edited from Arun Subrahmanyan, a prolific contributor of interesting anecdotes.