So the other day, I was shopping at Marshall Field’s Macy’s, and two older women (I’d say, in their 60s) wearing brightly colored puffer coats got into the elevator.

Woman 1: What floor is the dining room?
Woman 2 (trying desperately to read the little signs located over the elevator doors): I don’t know.
Friendly Bystander: It’s on seven.
Woman 1: Thank you.
Woman 2: Oh, there it is!  I see it says “dining.”
Woman 1 (to all of us): We’re just a couple of country bumpkins!
Everyone laughs.

Ok, so there may not be anything too remarkable within this verbal exchange, but what I absolutely LOVED about it was the combination of her country bumpkin comment and the way the women looked.  Now, it was clear that by “country,” they probably meant the suburbs.  If I had to guess, I’d say somewhere like Plainfield or Joliet.  It’s not like they were wearing suspenders and straw hats while chewing on a blade of hay (how’s that for a country stereotype!).  But they were wearing quite a bit of makeup.  And one of them was wearing a wig. 

Blazingly bright puffer coats, heavy-handed makeup, a wig, and the fact that neither of them were over five feet tall made the 30-second exchange in the elevator absolutely awesome.

Here’s the conversation that I imagine happened that morning as they got ready for their big day of shopping in the Big City.

Woman 1: You know that I want to look good, Mable.  So which wig do you think I should wear?
Mable: You have to wear this one, Gladys!  It’s your best one!
Gladys: It is, isn’t it?  I just love this one. (Puts it on.)  How do I look?
Mable:  *Gasp* Oh, Gladys, you look just like one of those fancy North Michigan Avenue ladies.
Gladys:  So do you, Mable, but you need more makeup.  Let me help you!

Ok, so maybe the conversation didn’t exactly happen this way, but in 30 seconds in a elevator, thanks to two wonderfully colorful women, I invented Mable and Gladys, who live in Joliet and come to downtown Chicago a few times a year to do some shopping and pretend that they aren’t “country bumpkins.”


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