It seems like it was just two months ago when I bought my 10-year-old daughter new shoes. Three new pairs in fact.
Say…it WAS just two months ago. And now she has outgrown them. “Can’t you just wear your basketball shoes to school?”
My “lady girl” as I call her–is sized as a lady in clothes and shoes but is still the age of a girl–she’s tricky to shop for. She’s not ready for low-plunging necklines and low-waisted jeans. And oh the boots in her size. Thigh-high. High-heeled.
Off to the lady boot store we went. Let me tell you, when you outgrow your boots and it’s the end of January, it’s slim pickings…for an age-appropriate boot. She found the perfect pair. For a hooker.
We finally found a pair we both agreed on. No-heel, black suede with fringe…in her size!
She’s only 10 but her feet happen to be ginormous. Big feet on a woman = big brains. This I know. After all, my girl takes after her Mama.
You know the store clerks and cashiers that circle the URL on your receipt where the survey is located? And write their names with a giant smiley face? And they ask you to please give them high marks on the survey for being so helpful during your check-out process?
Well, smiley-face-on-the-receipt-Heather at JC Penney is not going to get high marks from me. I’ll probably not even fill out the survey, because who gives someone low marks during the holiday shopping season?
Yet, this smiley-face-on the-receipt-Heather, who checked us out at JC Penney was pretty annoying. And dumb.
First of all, we are returning an ugly sweater I bought on a whim. But that’s a whole other story about me lacking fashion sense.
Second of all, smiley-face-on-the-receipt-Heather asks my twelve-year-old son (who is with me as a witness that I am returning said ugly sweater) how old he is and wow, does he look older than his age. She guesses fifteen. (He is twelve.) Was she flirting with him in front of me?? Then she asked for him to guess how old she is. He guesses twenty. Turns out she is twenty-one-years-old. (Why did we carry on with this stupid banter? Probably because we are nice people. And it’s the Christmas season.)
Finally, she says, “Put your John Hancock right here. I don’t even know what that means. I just say it because it sounds cute.”
You don’t know what that means??? Hellooooo! John Hancock was the President of the Second Continental Congress and the first delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence. His signature was bold and big. His fanciful signature and his open demonstration of patriotism became second only to George Washington as a symbol of America’s struggle for independence.
My twelve-year-old knows this. And he also knows that smiley-face-on-the-receipt-Heather was flirting with him. Double ewwww.
Well, it sure made for interesting conversation on our drive home.
When mothers go shopping with nine-year-old daughters, sometimes ya just need to buy some tween stuff for yourselves. Why not?
After sifting through the Justin Bieber, Domo and Hello Kitty, here are a few of my new favorite things that we selected for ME during our shopping adventure at Claire’s.
My daughter is a great supporter, as in “Mom, you should totally buy that.”
strawberry hair clips with diamonds
Jack Skellington glow-in-the-dark ring (bought a matching one for my daughter. “Mom, we can totally match!”)
sparkly panda wallet (turns out plastic, sparkly wallets don’t stretch with all of my “grown up” stuff stuffed inside and the snap doesn’t quite snap. Kinda like my pants after Thanksgiving. That is, if my jeans had snaps. They don’t, Silly. They have stretch in them. Duh.)
Oh well. The fun was in seeking out the goods and treasures…with my daughter.
And don’t you want to be “in” with your daughter? Even just a TWEENSY bit?
There are five full weekends between now and Christmas. Ask yourself these three questions:
Do I want to spend those precious weekends stuffed in a stuffy, crowded store shopping (and sometimes shopping for people I don’t much care for)?
Is my “SHOULD do” list bigger than my “WANT to do” list?
Do I want to “survive” the Holidays? Or do I want to enjoy the season? (The season of sharing, joy, wonder, love, and cheer. Too gaggy? Sorry, but it’s one of my favorite times of the year. So SU (shut up).
I say Bah Humbug to those who say, “I’m just trying to survive Christmas.” Whoa. Drama Queen. Seriously? Get a grip. Seriously, there are people out there literally trying to survive. Open your eyes, don’t be so selfish, and tone down the drama.
Don’t be a victim! And don’t try to be an overachiever. This is from one overachiever to another. This is not the time for you to master a “SHOULD do” list.
Here are my six tips for how to simplify the Holiday season:
Ditch the Holiday cards this year. Facebook or email a picture of you in your Santa hat; you and your Dog wearing reindeer antlers; you and your family with matching sweaters. Whatever. What are people supposed to do with paper cards anyway? Use them for bookmarks? Hello? Kindle. (Seriously, I gave up sending cards a few years ago. The hassle of gathering your list together, addressing, writing personalized notes, buying the fancy, snowy stamps, locating everyone’s physical address…yikes…too time consuming.) Oh, and please don’t bother writing a family letter detailing your annual highlights and happenings. Again, Facebook.
Buy everyone the same thing and call it good. This year, it’s fart whistles for those on my list. If that is too inappropriate, there’s always warm, stripey socks. Or gift cards.
Make memories by doing the little things. It’s the little things that make memories (I wrote about that here.) Baking cookies, cutting paper snowflakes, decorating a gingerbread house, watching Christmas movies, going for a brisk walk and admiring all the lights and wacky-but-totally-awesome-kitschy lawn decor. (I heart the inflatables with Santas riding Harleys and giant snow globes.) But don’t force these homespun tasks or feel like you SHOULD do every one. Pick and choose. Who cares?
If you do do a cookie exchange, think bar cookie. When you swap five dozens of cookies with other lovely people, don’t make Martha Stewart-like sugar cookies or you’ll labor over those beauties for hours. Here are some recipes: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/desserts/cookies/bar-cookies/ Except, I took a peek and gag me on some of them. But, remember, you are giving these away and getting better ones, so don’t stress on making them perfect.
Don’t waste precious weekend time in stuffy, crowded stores. Shop online. Most of the time, it’s free shipping. Even on fart whistles. But, if you must shop, pack the baby in her jammies, pop her into the stroller, and go the mall after 9:00 pm. No crowds.
Take a step back and evaluate. Maybe you’ll realize that you’ve got a lot of good going on. And maybe you want to be just a teensy bit more thankful? And maybe you’ll want to add “sharing joy, wonder, love, and cheer to those less fortunate” to your “to do” list this year.
Remember that old commercial? You don’t? Well, I do. It’s from Pantene shampoo, you Silly Goose. Here it is on YouTube to jog your memory:
Well, the other day, I was a bitch. Straight out. Of all places, at Nordstrom. At the Clinique make-up counter, where all things are supposed to be beautiful. My bad attitude was, uh, not beautiful.
Mean to a salesperson on purpose. Sorry. I just felt like it.
So, it was pretty stupid, really. I was there to return some cream. OK, it was anti-wrinkle cream. It was expensive. And they sold me the wrong kind for the wrong skin type. It’s hard for me to find the time to drive to the mall where they sell Clinique, so when I had gotten home and realized they sold me the wrong product and that I would have to go back to make a return, I was perturbed. And THEN, when I went back, they were out of the product I needed and said they could mail it to me. In about 10 days. Meanwhile, I could feel the lines on my face emerging. Like red cracking clay in Australia. You get the picture.
So I threw a little hissy fit right on the spot. Saying how this was unacceptable. That they should not be out of stock. And that it was their mistake in the first place. And that they should mail me the right anti-wrinkle cream pronto. And that they need to give me enough samples to last me until the package arrived.
Well, they listened. And I felt great for my throwing my tantrum. For a little while.
Then on my drive home, I felt guilty. Is it worth being a bitch in the first place if you’re gonna just feel guilty about it? I have enough Mother Guilt going on, thank you very much.
A friend once said to me, “You’re always soooo nice.” And I’m like, “I’m not as nice as you think.” But the reality is, yeah I am usually pretty nice. But that’s exactly the reason why we nice people need to blurt out things once in awhile and be not-so-nice once in awhile. Because things piss me off. And I don’t want to hold them in. Every time. For example: When I’m driving. When someone puts me or my family down. When my kids bicker and won’t shut up. When people create hassles for me and I have to go out of my way to fix things. When people are righteous and condescending and they think they are better than me. (Righteous people suck, by the way.) Or, maybe when people look down at me (ala the movie Pretty Woman) when I am shopping for clothes or make-up. And maybe I’m-simply-stopping-in-real-quick-after-soccer-or-football-whatever-you-want-to-call-it-and-maybe-I’m-looking-like-a-sweaty-hag-but-does-that-give-others-a-right-to-look-down-on-me-and-treat-me-like-I-am-not-worthy?
I sometimes don’t want to be nice all the time. And I am worthy (sweat and soccer/football shin guards on and all). And so are you. Except if you are condescending to others. I don’t think those people are as worthy because people who put down others just to pump themselves up? No like.
Oh, and about being beautiful, don’t bother looking for me when you type “most beautiful women” into Google. I may not be the first page when you search. But if you keep scrolling and hit “next page,” I think we all are there somewhere.
I energetically mother three children: 14, 10, and 8, am married to my college sweetheart, and have two dogs. My life is full of laughs. eye rolls, love, and laundry. I'm friendly and genuine and blog about my bumbling life.