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home : opinion : columns April 29, 2016

12/21/2012 6:00:00 AM
Column: I'm still shopping with Mom

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

I had one of those parent/child moments the other day. You know, the kind where you're in the middle of something and the voice of one of your relatives pops up in your head and says, "You're just like your mother."

It was while I was shopping for Christmas presents with my husband for a 5-year-old girl. My husband's office had adopted a family for Christmas and he had chosen to get presents for one of the children. The list of suggested gifts included several articles of clothing, boots, a coat and two toys.

As I pawed through a pile of sparkly jeans trying to find the girl's size, my husband held up a pair.

"Yeah, I saw those but they're too skinny. She needs real jeans, not tights," I said.

It was at that moment that I heard the voice in my head.

I looked over at the cart full of clothing - the cute red coat, the frilly dress and the sparkly purple sweater with its matching scarf and the exasperated look on my husband's face - and I remembered all those trips to Macy's for school clothes with my mom.

Oh, how I hated those trips. We'd get to the store about mid-morning and my mom would immediately start looking through the racks. Within five minutes she would have six items picked out (the maximum number of items you were allowed to bring into the dressing room.)

She would send me into the dressing room with the instructions to put on the jean skirt with the pink shirt and then come and find her. By the time I was finished and had located her somewhere in the maze of clothing racks, she had six more items in her hand.

She would send me back to the dressing room with the order to leave the shirt on but try it with the khaki pants. Then it was put the skirt back on and try it with the purple shirt. Then it was "Ooo. This is cute. Here try these pants with the pink shirt with this sweater."

This process would take all day, leave both of us cranky and net us several shirts, a couple skirts, two pairs of pants and a pair of jeans that could be combined in a bazillion different combinations that I could never remember when I was getting dressed for school in the morning.

Over the years I tried various escape methods.

There was the "Yes, that's cute. Lets get it." Which failed because I still had to try it on.

"You have to make sure it fits you," she would say.

I tried faking an interest in fashion.

"Mmm, I think that's too young for you. That's too old. Those two things don't go together."

Every trip ended with me cranky, hungry and in tears and my mom begging, cajoling and pleading with me to try on just one more outfit before we went for lunch at the food court.

I still hate trying on clothes, not because of the way the media has demanded that women look like skinny sticks, but because it always seems like such a hassle - this item is the wrong size, another doesn't fit right, this looked better on the hanger.

As I looked at that cart full of clothes and the sparkly jeans my husband was holding up, I realized if my mom had been there she would have picked out the same outfits.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012
Article comment by: Desert Angel

Having similar experiences at Sears or J.C. Pennys' with my mom, I can relate. But having all boys myself, I made it simple. I went to the thrift stores and KMart where I picked out 3 shirts, 2 pair of pants and needed sox etc. Each boy had to make do with what he got and if lucky, hand me downs.
Now I don't have these problems and my boys are men who have to deal with these things. Kids have too much these days and appreciate it less. Enjoy your shopping days and fond memories. Still wish I could shop with Mom.

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012
Article comment by: The Elf

Dearest Suzanne -

I spent three days this week accompanying Santa to three Kingman public schools. While I appreciate your consternation about the choice of clothes for your "adopted child", I provide my lighthearted and elfish observations:

1) Kingman is not the fashion mecca of AZ...don't fret so.
2) Hair brushes and combs are obviously in short supply in the Kingman area.
3) Kids should wear slip-on shoes, not laced ones.

And finally, on a more serious note praise the Lord your "adopted child" is alive and well. I pray she's loved and cherished by two parents.

Your caring and act of kindness speaks volumes.

Bless you -

The Elf...

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012
Article comment by: G Ma

What a great story . Thanks for Sharing . It brought back memories for me too . :)

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