Friday, February 02, 2007
Shopping Is ... Fun ??
It is common knowledge that I hate to shop, especially for clothing for myself. But after waiting 10-11 years, it was time to shop a few pairs of jeans and some sneakers. So I went shopping all by myself on Tuesday evening ... after soccer sign-ups. No children, no husband waiting .... just a nice relaxing quick shopping trip. Hummmm .... NOT !!
First, I was thinking "it's just jeans and sneakers". That was my first mistake.
The sneakers were no problem - I found a really cute pair of Keds and they were even ON SALE. HOORAY !! The last pair of sneakers I bought were Nikes, and I bought them when I was pregnant with Cherub 2 ... and she just turned 11yo in January. They are now in the trashcan as they have not a bit of "life" left in them. Of course, since I wear sneakers a handful of times per year, it makes sense that I have not "needed" new ones in quite some time. But anyway .....
The jeans were a whole different story. First, I had no idea what size I needed so I started with a 12 and worked my way down. Second, with all the "styles" and "cuts" and "fabrics" available now, I had no idea what I really needed, wanted, or could-actually-wear without hiding my face in shame. So I began trying them on ... and OH MY !!
Let me start by saying that, in my opinion, clothing is made in 2 "distinct" categories - TEEN and OLD LADY. There is little out there for the 30-something crowd that is neither "too young" or "too old". This is just not right, and seems to be a market quite overlooked. And it was a most frutrating situation to navigate. To look fashionable, but not too "teen" or too "grammy" - THAT is the challenge.
Well, I bought the sneakers and headed home after over an hour in the fitting room, and after trying on 10+ pairs of jeans AFTER getting the size situation settled ... and I was frustrated. I need "just jeans" .... it should not be this difficult. And so I requested assistance from some young friends on another shopping trip. I presented my dilema, and they offered to help. They are so sweet ... but probably did not realize the depth of the challenge I thought. HA !!
So on Thursday evening, we set out together in search of jeans - my friend Lisa and 3 of her daughters, ages 19y, 18y, and 16y. Kezzi, Priscilla, and Candace each promised to be honest and to offer any suggestions possible. And they promised not to let me look "silly". In particular, Candace and Kezzi were CERTAIN we could find some jeans .... I was not so confident. We planned our trip to include 4 separate stores (GASP !!), and I offered to buy icecream afterwards.
When we first arrived at Belk, I found some jeans ... to which Priscilla, Candace, and Kezzi quickly took turns saying (with near horror in their voices - HA !) NO NO - THOSE ARE GRAMMY JEANS. Hummmm .... I realized at this moment that I am definately getting older. HA !! So they proceeded "into the racks" like a storm, picking out several styles / cuts in 2 sizes ... and then they sent me to the fitting room. All the while they were explaining "jeans" styles and cuts as if it were "just that simple." As I tried them on, the conversations were so funny. Too tight, pulled up too high, wearing too low, too much "stretch" in the fabric , not fitting right .... all the while, I am totally lost. Well, they promised to be honest, right !! But I am holding up fairly well as I try on pair after pair, finding some that are ok ... and that I did not have to re-hang them or put them back on the racks was a big plus !! But as I tried on pair after pair, I wondered to myself ... whatever happened to the simplicity of jeans ... good 'ole American style ... dark or light demin, or occassionally colored denim was "in". Priscilla and Kezzi eventually went to shop in other areas, but Candace held true to her "first born" personality and persevered to the very end. A first-born with another first-born, but on a mission .... we both pushed forward with determination. (HA !)
So, after what seemed forever in the fitting room ... we found 2 pairs of jeans that Candace says fit well and look great, and are modern instead of "Grammy". Priscilla and Kezzi agreed. And Lisa deferred to their "judgement", as they have apparently been "updating" her wardrobe lately as well. The jeans we chose do look nice, but I am still "overwhelmed" by the TOO MANY choices in "just jeans". But the mission was a success ... we found 2 pairs ... and I learned a lot about shopping, and about shopping with teen girls, and about these particular young ladies - they are so funny !! And it was also a peek into what is coming as our girls get older. Fun times are coming, even if it DOES involve shopping.
While I was busy finding jeans (with much appreciated help), the girls were also advising Lisa (although at times it seemed more like they were ganging-up on her - HA !) .... this kind, oh no NOT that color, oh that looks nice, ooooo those are "filthy", I will NOT let you wear that, and so on. What a hoot they were !! The roles were reversed ... the young ladies were in charge, giving instruction to their "elders". They seem to be able to navigate the place between "too teen" and "too grammy" pretty well though. HA HA HA !!
And so with my jeans in hand, and Lisa's purchases "approved", the real shopping began. I have to admit that it was a lot of fun. Oh look at this ! What is THIS ? How cute ? Do they have it in blue ? Don't be caught dead in that ? We fanned out all over the store, eventually ending up in the shoe department. We giggled and laughed, and poked fun at each other and at the "items" for sale. I never thought shopping could be this much ... fun ?!?!?
So, with purchases in hand we left. And then came the best part .... ICE-CREAM !! And a lot more giggling and laughter.
And after not buying jeans for 11-12 years .... it has become very clear that perhaps I should not wait so long next time. And that shopping will be a lot more fun "with company". So hopefully my "helpers" will join me again. And I am "almost" looking forward to my own daughters becoming teens, so we can SHOP together too after seeing how much fun it CAN be. (gasp !!)