Dress Shopping…with my mother

Racks of cotton dresses: violet, sky blue, pale green, bubblegum pink, vibrant red, I slowly ran my Naughty Monkeyfingertips across the different fabrics and sighed with happiness then heard, “What about this one?” My mother abruptly killed my spirits as she thrust a too bright, too stripped, and definitely too not-me dress in my direction.

“No! Mom, no! Just no.”


I paused. At twenty-two, I’ve gone through this process too many times. Shopping with my mother is always a great hunt in the jungle. Sometimes we hound the inventory and come out triumphant with a new item to mount on our closet shelf. While other times, the shirts, the jeans, the dresses, the accessories, they take away all our energy, turn us against each other, and make a retreat the only option.

I like to block the later from my shopping experience repertoire; like to completely ignore my father when we walk out of the stores with no bags, a giddy smirk across his face that reveals he’s so happy his money’s still in the bank. And I especially like to blame the anger my mother and I have unleashed on each other throughout those days on the stores for not having anything wearable. Remember it’s a jungle, all the good stuff was probably camouflaged in the horrible patterns and materials we saw.

But blaming my anger on uncontrollable causes only gets me so far. When the next shopping trip comes around, I have to coach myself and say, “This will be a good day. We won’t fight over too low, too tight, too ugly again. This will be a good day.”

I was thinking this when my mother picked me up Saturday morning to find a dress for an upcoming date party. And I was still thinking it when she asked me the, “What about this one?” at our third stop at Blush on Campus Corner."It's really cute on," sales clerk.  "Ha ha ha," my mom and me.

I was suspicious. Our morning was going extremely well. First we went to Shoetopia off Boyd and then to Estella Ray’s, also on Campus Corner. Laughing took up more of our time than actual shopping as we found some interesting items….let’s just say I found a dress that could have been in 27 Dresses the movie.

“Yeah, but keep looking so I can reject more of your choices,” I finally answered.

Once again we were both laughing. About thirty minutes later, we’d found Love This!the dress, and we were still argument-less. Maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because my mom has as good of taste as she can have bad, or maybe it’s just because, but we did have a really good day.

Shopping with my mother, you know, girls, shopping with your mother can really be hit or miss. It’s just a mother daughter thing that can’t exactly be pinpointed as to why it works or not. But you know, that’s okay with me. I’ll take the occasional spat over ‘push-up bra or no bra at all’ every shopping trip if it means I’m with my mom, and I’m not just saying that because it’s her checkbook.

I mean who else could you make try sushi at In the Raw when you were famished from lifting hangers (yes, I ate there again for lunch) and just not understand when they don’t like it? Who else could laugh with you when you decide to get your dad an impromptu gift and can’t find anything (guys are such divas, just think: too big, too bright, short sleeves too short)? And who else could you have so much fun with that you decide, ‘Why not? Let’s go see ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ at the end of the day?Naughty Monkey

Well, yes, you could do all those things with your friends. But I’m lucky. My mom is my friend. I hope you’re lucky too. That despite the way your mom drives you, ‘oh, so so crazy!’, she’s also someone you can spend the whole day talking to and come out of the store more often than not with lots and lots of bags in both of your hands despite the horrible disappointment it brings to your dad.

Okay, already, stop reading this. Go shopping!! Try on silks and satins and soft perfect shirts that bring out your eyes. And oh! Don’t forget shoes. Try on wedges and gladiators and towering heels. Just get going and don’t forget, if I can survive shopping with my mother, so can you!

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No Comments on "Dress Shopping…with my mother"

  1. Mel
    12/03/2009 at 1:28 pm Permalink

    What a great story!

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