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Comin’ Through: Finding Calm Amid the Chaos

In 1980, my friend invited me to shop for her wedding dress at Running-of-the-Brides-One-Day-Sale at Filene’s Basement in Manhattan. Once a year, hundreds of brides-to-be would rummage through drastically reduced designer wedding gowns in search of the perfect dress. It was pure pandemonium. Continuously, a merchandise stockman wheeled in jam-packed garment racks through the crowds of anxious shoppers. He confidently called out, “Comin’ through!” Each time, the sea of women parted as he advanced at a steady pace to drop off additional gowns. I should have been absorbed in the beauty of the fabrics and rock-bottom bargains. Instead, I marveled at the stockman’s ability to maintain composure amid complete chaos. To this day, whenever I maintain calm amid a storm, I think of that stockman. I want to find him and say, “Excuse me, Sir, you don’t remember me, but 41 years ago in Filene’s Basement …” When I initially …

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