I admit I started yesterday in a bad mood. Yesterday was the designated School Clothes Shopping Day and I hate those days. When I go to shop for clothes, I know what I need. If I am looking for a pair of jeans, I will go to jeans, find them in my size, and try them on to see if they make my butt look bigger. If they don’t and they are comfortable, I buy them. End of story.
Our teenage daughters? Not at all. They needed jeans, shorts, and capris for school. They grew out of most of their old clothes. Normally when they need an outfit or two, they are sent into the mall on their own, but in this case we needed specifics and we’re on a limited budget. If they were sent in by themselves, there was a good chance that they would come out $500 lighter, with one pair of jeans, one bikini, and a pair of furry thigh high boots. Neither of us was willing to take that risk.
I knew it would be a fight the entire way. Compound that with the crowd due to tax free weekend, and I was in a bad mood before we even got out the door.
First stop was Old Navy. I admit, it was picked over. But even so, the children basically refused to look at anything and after thirty minutes of border-line inappropriate threats and promises of sending them to school in uniform pants – which Old Navy strangely carried – we came out with four or five tops. No jeans.
Next stop – JC Penney. The Lakeside Mall is a maze of little roads, and stop signs, and cars, which are going in all directions. It’s hot. The traffic is awful. We get to the main mall building and park. We walk to JC Penney. Children are told their sizes yet again and sent to a very large Juniors jeans section. Fifteen minutes later Kid 2 comes out. “I don’t see any jeans.”
Me: So help me God, you will get some jeans, or I will explode.
Kid 2: Okay.
Kid 1 appears with five jeans on her arms. I’m thrilled. We go to the fitting room. Ten minutes later she comes out. “None of them fit.”
I look through the stack she discarded. Size 11, Size 16, Size 8….
Me: What is wrong with you? What size are you?”
Kid 1: blank stare.
Me: Three! You are size three! Why are you grabbing size 16?
Kid 1: I just grabbed a bunch of stuff at random so you wouldn’t be mad at me.
Me, boiling inside: “Go and get size three jeans. Do it now.”
Kid 1: O_O
Me: Come on. I will help you.
Kid 1: O_O
Que twenty minutes of looking through jeans. None of the jeans are okay. They are not the right color. They are not “denim”. They are not the right style. A large family is blocking the entire dressing room doorway and we can’t get them to move, because all of them must stand right there in the doorway while a young girl is trying on her outfits.
Meanwhile Kid 2 has narrowed it down the three or four pairs. Gordon is holding these pairs. We have now been in JC Penney’s for an hour.
Kid 1: holding up a pair of shorts in large size.
Gordon: Your mother and I can get into those together. What are you doing?
Kid 1: I can’t see anything in my size.
Me: Look. Look there is a stack of jeans right here. Look, it has sizes on the sticker. Size 3.
Kid 1: Teenage meh face.
Gordon: I’m done.
Gordon drops clothes on the floor and walks out.
Kid 1: O_O Dad had a moment!
Me: Find your sister, we are leaving.
Kid 1 finds Kid 2. I can see them talking. It looks something like this:
Kid 1: ~_~
Kid 2: O_O? O_O!
Kid 1: He-he-he.
Kid 2: :facepalm:
We proceed into the mall. Clearly the only way something will be bought is if it’s bought from a trendy store. As we walk, I see Rue 21. They are having a sale. It’s full of teenagers. Bingo!
We herd the kids into the store. Suddenly everything is great. Everything fits. Even when it is realized that most jeans are bell bottoms, the crisis is quickly solved by Kid 2′s decision to cut the bell bottoms into capris. Tops are bought. Cute dresses are bought. New jeans are bought. Gordon and I are loaded with clothes until we feel that we’re waking clothes racks. Then we stand in line for about twenty minutes. Finally everything is bought, surprisingly for a grand total of less than $350.
We go to Foot Locker. Gordon and I land on the fitting bench. Kid 2 immediately finds a pair of tennis shoes, tries them on, boom she is done. Kid 1 is looking. And looking. And looking. Finally I get up and go to help her.
Me: What’s the problem?
Kid 1: Everything is like $100.
Me: Good shoes will be about $100. Shoes are important, because you will be on your feet all day. Don’t worry about the price, just find something comfortable.
Gordon: Those are odd.
Me: Death Glare.
Gordon: Also the soles are black and a lot of school gym teacher won’t let you wear them because you will scuff the floor.
Kid 1: O_O I’ll get something else. :goes back to shoes:
Gordon, looking at me: Seriously? What were you thinking?
Me: You know what, you go and help her pick shoes. I am done. :making hand washing motions: This is me washing my hands.
They return to the fitting bench with a pair of cute white tennis shoes. Kid 1 feebly attempts to put the shoes on.
Me: Loosen the shoe laces.
Kid 1: Eh…. Blank stare.
Me: Pull the shoe laces out.
Kid 1 has obviously shut down from the shopping. Finally the shoes are on, they fit, we buy them and we go home.
Later, at the pool into which Gordon and I had crawled immediately upon arriving home:
Kid 1: Look at my cute dress.
Me: It’s very cute.
Kid 1: I know. ::evil teenage face:: Dad had a moment at JC Penney’s. Hehehe! That was so funny.
I do not want to do this again for a little bit. Seriously.
And now I have to go and finish the science fiction story which will now be titled : Psychic Secretary and Millionaire Boss Pay for School Clothes.