Shopping for my daughter Josie is easy. I envy her this. She knows what she wants, sticks to her list, and makes her choices with little indecision. In contrast, she has been forced to wait for me as I linger over distractions along our shopping path and labor over decisions, usually still wondering out loud on our way home about the choice I left behind. Her frustration with me has, no doubt, been her gain.
When selecting a dress for her second prom, what could be simpler than buying the dress that was second choice last year? Yes, low and behold, same store, same dress, right size. Why complicate things, Mom, by bringing armloads of other dresses to the fitting room? Why waste our time trying them on, when she was content? Her dad was in his glory; it had always been his favorite.
Although I often criticize my husband for being a bit gauche, I laud his ever-frugal
He commented loudly as he and little sister sat waiting within our salesclerk’s earshot, “That’s last year’s dress and it’s not even reduced. Too bad that’s the one she wants, we’ll have to keep looking.”
Affecting the response he was after, the clerk quickly said that our dress was, indeed, part of the half-off sale, though the tag showed it clearly hadn’t been. Nice work, Dad. I wasn’t sold on the dress, but I quickly went along, due to his successful effort. I could compensate by helping pick out accessories.
Nothing doing with Jo. Why hunt for shiny, red shoes to match the glittery red flowers on her white dress? She found moderately heeled, white shoes that would also go with her graduation cap and gown; she could wear them all summer.
How about sessions on a tanning bed to set off the white dress? “What are you thinking, Mom? That’s not good for you!”
A pedicure? “What a waste of money, sitting while someone messes with my feet! I’ll polish my own toenails.”
OK, I’ll help pick out a necklace or bracelet (banish thoughts of earrings; she has no use for them – pierced or otherwise. “I don’t want any jewelry, Mom!”
If you’re not exposed to teenage jargon, you may not be familiar with the word bling, which I’ll describe as glitzy accessories used to enhance one’s apparel with eye-catching shine; in other words, jewelry (please say that: joo-wel-ree; not jool-er-ee; mispronounced even by media figures, it’s one of my pet peeves).
“Josie, where’s your sense of bling?” I queried. “You know, that zeal that you have as a little kid when you sift your fingers through a box of shiny, trinket treasures?”
“That sounds gross and dirty,” she scoffed, “It makes me think of the cigar box Grandpa had with pennies and screws in it. That’s disgusting!”
“I’m talking about a simple little necklace,” I said.
“I don’t need it, Mom … OK, line up a bunch of guys from school and ask them if they care how much jewelry the girls have on.” Point taken; they’re not looking at jewelry.
“I give up; just go, be comfortable, and have a good time.” I wish I were practical and easy-going like her. I wouldn’t want her to be anything but herself, and I’m proud of my no-glitz girl.
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