Ah, school shopping. It’s expensive and exhausting…but I’ve never really thought of it as humorous, until last week. Ali and I spent several hours at the mall together one evening. Because she attends private school, she’s not allowed to wear any clothes that have brand names appearing on them (except shoes) and her clothes must be in neutral, earth-tone colors. Also, her collars must be at her collarbone and any skirts must be no shorter than her knees. You can see that finding clothes that meet all these criteria can take quite awhile. Frankly, I wish they’d just assign uniforms!
Anyway, since shoes are exempt from the rules, she asked for Nike. My purse was already feeling quite a bit lighter, but I agreed. After I gave her a dollar limit, she picked out the perfect pair. She asked for a size 10 (yes, Ali is like our little puppy dog with huge feet). She tried them the cute red ones and…they were too small. When she asked the clerk for a 10 1/2, the clerk pointed to his right and said, “Um, I recommend you look at the selection on the men’s side over there.” Ali’s eyes rolled that way and I heard an audible gulp. While she’s always been proud of her big feet, I guess she never thought she’d have to buy men’s shoes to accomodate them. However, instead of shrinking in horror, she squared her shoulders and bravely stomped over there, planting her feet between the rows of men and boys perusing the selection.
We had a good laugh about it over frozen coffees and I was proud of Ali for finding humor in what could have been an awkward position for any 12-year-old gir. And, Ali happily gave me permission to write about the incident here.
The next day, it was Frank’s turn. Thank goodness! Frank doesn’t care what he wears or what label appears on his shoes. The only thing he cares about is how fast he can get in and out of that store and back to his friends. One 30-minute trip to Walmart is all it took. Frank is set!
Zach (almost 17), Ali (12) and Frank (11) started school yesterday. Sure is quiet around here (sniff).