Adventures In Shopping

17 01 2009

 On Thursday I took Punkin shopping for clothes. She asked me to get her clothes for Christmas so I bought her one outfit and told her I would give her $50 so she could pick some things out for herself. There were rules though. I am sure she knew there would be rules. And a lesson. I saw this as a learning opportunity for my beloved niece. 50 bucks may seem like a lot to a nearly 12 year old but it’s not. 

 Rule #1. If you put your hands up and I can see your belly, you will not be allowed to buy it.

 Rule #2. If you bend over and I see your crack, you will not be allowed to buy it.  This is a tough one because it is difficult to find pants that are not low rise. I recognize that this is the style however, I wish the manufactures would consider their market a bit better. There is no reason any girl under the age of 25 should be wearing low rise jeans. 

 You don’t have to say it. I already know. 

 Rule #3. You get $50. Not one cent more.

 I prompted Punkin to think about what she needed. She informed me that what she needed most was pants. At that, I encouraged her to think about how much money she was willing to spend on any given item.  I reminded her that the sale stuff is at the back of the store and we should check there first.

 So off we go. We went to the Gap first. She found a pair of pants that were $9.99 with an extra 25% off. That’s my girl! She also found a dress that she loved. It was super cute but I was concerned that it was not practical.

 “When do you think you will wear that dress?”

 “Well, me and my friend like to play dress up.”

 “Do you really want to spend your money on dress up clothes?”

 “Probably not. I could wear it for Easter.”

 “I think it would make a fine Easter dress.”

 “It’s not Easter colors though.”

 “Who says you have to wear pastels on Easter?” 

 “Mom does.”

 “Ok then. Good job thinking it through!”

 After that, I told her we could head to the next store to see what they had and come back to the Gap on the way out if that is what she wanted to do. 

 Off we went to Limited Too.

 People, this is a children’s store. Specifically, young girls. Some of the shit I saw in there made me wonder how these people sleep at night.

  She picked up a shirt that had sequins across the boob area for me to inspect. Instead of asking her why she thought it would be appropriate or not, I blurted out “Absolutely not! There is no reason you need to be drawing attention to your chest!” 

 The poor kid. She may have the most conservative aunt in the world.

 Next was a very mini skirt. I handled this a bit better;

 “Do you think it’s appropriate?”

 She knew exactly where I was going. She’s a smart kid.

 “Auntie it’s a SKORT! Plus I would wear it with leggings!!”

 She ended up deciding that she didn’t like it all that much and put it back. Good thing. It looked like something Molly Ringwald wore in Pretty In Pink. Ugh.

 To make a long story short, she walked out with a Cami and a half a hoodie kind of shirt to wear over it. 

 I do not understand fashion at all.

 Back at the Gap she tried on the $9.99 pants and a pair of full price yoga pants. The $9.99 ones were fine. No crack. The yoga pants?

 “They’re  kind of tight at the top.”

 “Auntie! They are yoga pants! There supposed to be! I need them for gym plus they are nice enough to wear for band. I need new band pants! My band shirt is long!”

 See how fucking slick she is? She used the word “need” twice.

 “Ok Punkin. If that’s what you want.”

 “Auntie? Why do you look so sad?”

 SAD? I’m not SAD! You’re 11! I don’t want people looking at your ass! Why don’t we go get you a nice pair of overalls and a turtle neck!

 “I’m not sad, Punkin, I’m conservative.”

 “I won’t get them if you don’t want me to.”

 “No, they’re fine. You can get them.”

 There was a time when she was really young that she wanted to dress like me. I got her carpenter pants like mine. Hiking boots just like mine. She even wanted the same underwear. She got little Jockey’s with the same print as the ones I wore.

 I knew she would grow out of it. I knew it wouldn’t take long to realize that she was dressing like a little dyke. In my defence, I only bought her things she asked for. Once she moved out of the baby dyke phase, it was all the girlie stuff she wanted.

 We go to purchase her pants when she tells me she would really like the (super cute, super practical, super warm) down coat that was on sale.

 “You won’t have enough money left.”

 “I really like it though. I’ll put the yoga pants back.”

 “Punkin, what do you need most?”

 “I need the pants.”

 Good girl!!! I was so proud of her. So proud that I wanted to buy her the coat anyway. I couldn’t of course. If I did, the lesson would be lost. I really wanted her to understand that sometimes you need to make tough money choices.

 When the woman at the register rang in her pants and gave me the total, I was surprised.

 “Are those yoga pants on sale?”

 “Yes they are!”

 “Punkin, you are going to be close with that jacket. You might just make it.”

 She ran over and grabbed it and handed it to the lady.

 She waited with anxious anticipation while the lady rang it in to find the sale price. 

 She looked at the lady.

 She looked at me.

 I thought she was going to start drooling.

 “Punkin, you are 68 cents over your $50.”

 Her face begged me to let her have it. I stood strong.

 “What did I tell you?”

 “You said not one cent over $50.”

 The lady looked at me like I was an asshole. I kinda felt like one but I needed to stay strong.

 “What if I give you the 68 cents? Can I get it then?!”

 She was so proud of herself for thinking of that. I was too.

 “You got the cash?”


 “Fork it over!”

 So, for 50 bucks she got a Cami, a half of a damn shirt, two pairs of pants, and a winter coat. Not. To. Shabby!




4 responses

17 01 2009
Laurie B

You are a very good Auntie!

17 01 2009

Auntie Blanche did that with us every year for back to school. I don’t remember what our money limit was but it was quite the shopping experience.

17 01 2009

A very good lesson and I’m impressed you were able to stand your ground – especially with the salesperson standing right there.

They should open a store called Baby Dyke.

18 01 2009

I’ll stick by my previously expressed philosophy about style.

I miss those girls.

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