I have surfaced for air this afternoon- long enough to write this- having been spit out of the vortex of shopping for school clothes for grandson # 1, at the mall, on a Saturday in mid August.
I really think there must have been an eject button hidden somewhere in JC Penney’s because before I knew it, I was driving home with a sack full of varying sized clothing that my daughter will have to return. I was completely dazed and confused, wondering how I got to my car.
My naivete, as I set out this morning full of intention and shopping energy, amazes even me.
First a preface. Many years ago going school shopping with 3 daughters was a wonderful rite of passage that combined all of my favorite elements: my girls, shopping, and a trip. In the years before our area grew by retail leaps and bounds, we drove to San Antonio each August to shop.
We got to combine the high and the low by going to Joske’s and Solo Serve. Everyone came home with new things to wear, especially for the first day of school, and as a teacher, I did too.
Second preface. When my girls were babies and then toddlers, my mother on occasion would buy them a ‘big sack of clothes’ with brand names like Carter’s and Health-Tex. It seemed easy, fun, and was certainly appreciated.
My goal this morning was to combine both memories. What I failed to take into account however was my lack of cool, and my grandson is very cool. I know that the window of opportunity for me to buy him clothes is really, really small. It may have just slammed shut.
At one point in desperation, I simply asked a stranger who had a son about grandson #1’s size, “which one’s (jeans) are cool?” She held up two pair: light wash and dark wash.
I didn’t want to seem like stalker-grandmother by saying ‘can you be a LITTLE more specific’, so instead I asked the little boy his age.
He said 5. Bingo. My grandson is 5. I bought both in 5 slims. Does he wear 5 slims? He can either wear a 4 if they are long enough or a 5 if the waist is small enough… Yesterday I bought 4’s. Are you getting a picture here?
Then there is little brother, grandson #2. I can’t send a package for one and not the other. He wears a 3T or 4T. Since his things were pretend school clothes (he is only 2), I got bogged down in t-shirts with GI Joe, Transformers, and Batman scenes on the front. I think I ended up buying him pajamas. Go figure.
Also on my list was a wallet for grandson #1. I knew that buying a little boy ,who will be in kindergarten , a wallet was kicking the parental ant bed.
Picturing him pulling out his wallet with money in it that I gave him, made the risk worth his parent’s displeasure. Unfortunately there were no children’s wallets.
At least it wasn’t tax free weekend. I am now off to TJ Maxx to look some more. This time I may buy size 6.
PS. I blame my lack of confidence in knowing what is cool or not on my adult daughters. You can just hear “No ,Mother” or “Keep walking Mother” so many times while out shopping , before you are completely demoralized. It is all their fault. Now that I have a rationale for all of this, I am off to buy more clothes that need to be returned.