BY SARAH NIGBOR
Clothes shopping torture
My children love clothes shopping, which is something I just cannot fathom. I dreaded clothes shopping as a child. I despised it. I was not what you would call a fashionable child. I was a tomboy, and clothes were something I had to wear, not something I delighted in. I remember vividly writing “NO CLOTHES” on top of all of my Christmas and birthday lists. Eventually, my family started to listen and clothes weren’t found in gift-wrapped boxes. Santa even got the point.
In fact, I remember shopping with my mother and her best friend at Sears Outlet in St. Paul when I was little. Rather than try on clothes, which I abhorred, I found it much more fun to hide in the clothes racks and pop out and scare the daylights out of them. Looking back, that was naughty and not safe, but I found it to be great fun. I would tuck myself among the clothes and wait for them to walk by me and “BOO!” jump out. Let’s just say they weren’t impressed.
I’m not sure why I hated clothes shopping so much. Maybe it’s because I felt like nothing ever fit right. I know I didn’t like how I looked in practically anything. Part of that was insecurity, I’m sure. I was shy and had no idea what the trends were. I also am not the epitome of patience, and trying on clothes seemed to take hours. Turn this way, turn that way, how does that feel, it’s too short, it’s too long, it’s too tight, maybe try this size, have you really grown that much? Ugh! Not for me.
My great-aunt Lorraine was an amazing, kind and generous lady. I loved her dearly. But sometimes her clothing gifts left me scratching my head. There is a picture in the family album of me modeling a pair of rainbow overalls with a surly look on my face. They were gigantic and far too big. I knew if I wore them to school, I’d be laughed out of class. But everyone said how nice I looked and no amount of pleading would get me out of trying them on for everyone. I hate to say it, but the overalls went into hiding in the back of my closet for eternity, never to return. However, they live on in that gem of a photo.
My daughter absolutely adores shopping for clothes. Last week she had a doctor appointment in St. Paul. Since she needed a new winter coat and snowpants, we thought it prudent to peruse the stores up there, since we don’t get there much. We traipsed through EIGHT STORES and she found nothing to her liking. The colors were all ugly, or the coats were too long, too short, not in her size. She is tall for her age, so that does make it challenging. I’m sure supply chain issues have affected inventories as well. She wanted a sky blue or teal coat and anything we found remotely close to that was a 3X or for a 2-year-old. My patience was waning, but I kept telling myself to zip it and let her find something. I do not want her to hate clothes shopping like I did/do. This was pure torture for me, but fun for her.
Wouldn’t you know, we found what she wanted at good old Walmart? She was ecstatic and I was relieved. Until she brought up the fact that she had outgrown her winter boots. I couldn’t bring myself to be in a store for one more minute, so hopefully the snow holds off because we did not go looking for snow boots that day. If it’s as fun as finding her school shoes, I will need to replenish my patience well.