First, I feel I must set the record straight. I HATE TO SHOP FOR CLOTHES. There, I said it. Now I simply wait for the Fashion Police to come and take away my girl card.
I know it's unfeminine not to enjoy browsing through racks and trying on clothes. The only browsing I enjoy is at the book store. There, you can find me leisurely stroking the spines of books, and peeking inside to get a look at all those words. Ahh, a l'il slice o' heaven.
Anyway, back to the task at hand. Granddaughter Desiree turned the big 13 almost a week ago. Here she is, sporting a jaunty pickle mustache on a recent visit:
Desiree, like most girls her age, wants to dress in all the hip, trendy clothing available in stores. She loves herself some brand name duds. Unfortunately for her, we are in the middle of a recession here at the Cleaver Compound (oh, you mean it isn't just US?)...so I wasn't able to buy her all the cute (and by cute, I mean expensive) stuff at the mall.
When my daughters were her age, and I was a single parent, we were not averse to shopping at consignment shops and/or thrift stores to pick up bargains.
Desiree was a bit leery when I suggested the idea, until I mentioned Plato's Closet - now, that was a store some of her friends shopped at - and if it was good enough for her friends, it was good enough for her.
Desiree tried her best tricks on Wednesday afternoon to get an IMMEDIATE trip scheduled for an hour later, but it was not to be. She was even convinced that the employees at Plato's Closet would be thrilled to keep the store open just for us, instead of losing our business. Her argument, persuasive, yet flawed, failed to get the desired result.
In true adolescent drama queen fashion, she was sure that she'd NEVER be able to find the time to go if Wednesday didn't work. Until Thursday morning, when she posted on FB that Granny (come on, Granny? I ain't no Beverly Hillbilly!), Aunt Tammy and Seth were taking her shopping (not thinking to first confirm with us)!
Now about the challenges that awaited our trip:
Desiree's style of dress is usually not much to my liking. She likes clothes that are tight, and shorts that are SHORT. "Less is better" seems to apply more often than not.
Think of seven pounds of sugar in a five pound bag - you're gonna have spillage, people!
Exhibit One: Des (holding Seth) on Easter. She wore THIS, her BEST outfit, to CHURCH:
Desiree's heard my little mini-rants about her clothes before, and she hasn't disowned me yet. But I knew my credibility was flawed - I'm her Grandma, after all, and I'm OLD.
Here's where the gorgeous Tammy comes in (she insists that I call her that). In Desiree's book, Tammy is the epitome of cool. I knew that Des would listen to Tammy's assessment of any clothes she tried on. See how cool, yet contemplative Tammy is?
And thus, a plan was hatched. Thursday, we made our excursion to Plato's Closet. Tammy was still en route, so I watched as Des started picking out shorts that Daisy Duke herself would say were skimpy. I told her she could try them on, and that we'd add them to the pile of possible purchases (I crossed my fingers on that part).
Lucky for me, she couldn't get the microscopic shorts up over her thighs - score one for Grandma! She took some other possibilities (also too small) into the dressing room, and I asked the youngish storeclerks for help.
I explained Des' current style, and asked them (in hushed tones) if they could recommend any clothing that may fit a bit better, but still let Des look stylish and age-appropriate. They did not let me down! Within minutes, they had a stack of about 30 pairs of shorts for her to try on.
Soon, Tammy and Seth arrived, and my job was done, for the most part. My only task involved re-hanging discarded apparel, and giving my opinion about the fit and style of Des' selections. I also confused Seth when he came in - he didn't recognize me in my new hairstyle. It took him a minute or two to decide that I WAS Grandma!
And ya know what? Des actually listened to our critiques of the clothing she tried on.
I did let her get one pair of rather short shorts (still longer than the ones she normally wears) - I'm no dummy, I know that after the war is won, it is good to make concessions to the opponents.
Can I ask you all a question? Does the average 13-year old girl know what "camel toe" is? Does that tell you how tight some of her clothing is?
Thanks to the mad fashion skills of the gals at Plato's Closet, and Aunt Tammy, Des' nether regions will not suffer from a lack of blood flow anymore!