Dollar Store Girl

Considered one of the greatest photos ever taken, Afghan Girl (made the cover of National Geographic!) captures the haunting beauty of a young girl trapped in a desperately poor, wartorn land.  Her eyes are unlike any I have ever seen…..

Move ahead decades and a world away.  I frequent (against my nutritionist’s wishes) the Dollar General store.  A young woman who works there, a manager,  always wears what I believe to be Muslim garb.  Her face is always uncovered, her head is covered.  I always chat her up.

She is all of a young American woman…(Hey yous guys, unpack the canned peas!)

Her garb is usually non descript, faded small flower print.  Her face somewhat attractive in a non traditional American way.

Then Saturday happened.

Me, the guy who could yak up a can of beans….was speechless.

Dollar General girl was wrapped in black, except for her face.  Started at her head and flowed tightly thru her torso.


In my 65 years, I have NEVER seen a choice of outfit impact a woman’s beauty like that.  Her huge black eyes set off against the garb took my breath away.

She was working the register, and engaged me in the usual small talk (no more snow…impossible customers) Opened my mouth, and could only let out a dry croak.

Tossed dollar bills at her, bagged up, moved to my car.

Sat at the wheel. My God, what had I just seen?  And all I could think of was Afghan girl.

After a bit, I also thought of Meryl Streep staring out at the ocean in French Lietenant’s woman.

You know, today, probably in Paris, skinnily starved, sour expressioned millionaire fashion models will strut down a runway wearing the latest crap.  Cameras will flash…oohs and aahs.

And dollar girl stole my breath wearing an outfit that dated a thousand years.

Fashion models will NEVER have a Saturday like her. 

And I will never see her the same way.



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