Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Secret Life as a Personal Shopper

This post is devoted to the things they don't tell you in parenting books...

The things that just kind of sneak up and grab you by surprise-and not in a good way.

The things that take on a life of their own and take over your life in the process...

Like the fact that moms practically become personal shoppers every time the seasons change. (Minus the shopping commission. There isn't one. Bummer.)

Outfitting the offspring takes a ton of time. 

The clothes that were tossed in the drawers after that unbeknownst to me final washing last spring/summer/winter, (surprise-surprise) no longer fit and are in general disrepair. There are big holes and little holes. Stains abound. Elastic is shot. There is a vaguely see-through quality that isn't very quality.

The shirts are baring belly buttons. The jeans are hitting somewhere between ankles and knees. The miraculously non-holey sock heels are now arch supports. The sleeves are a non-fashionable 3/4 length. The shorts' lengths are ungodly. Like cut-offs from the 80s.


Something must be done. Stat.

A list is assembled. It's checked twice.

What is needed? In what size?

And then the fun begins. Snort...

Sneezing and wheezing through the bags and boxes of already owned hand me downs. It's just miserable. For all involved. Particularly the mom. I mean, it saves money, but not sanity.

But, of course, there are still wardrobe holes (not literal) to be filled.

Underwear. Socks. Leggings and tights. White shirts. The things that never survive from child to child.

And pants and shirts for the oldest child for whom there are no hand me downs. Because, duh, oldest and biggest...

In the interest of saving money but not time, you target every thrift store in a 30 mile radius. Wading through racks and racks of jeans and shirts and shoes, while looking for the elusive item in the needed size and condition. No holes. No stains. Not more than $4. Whoever said "needle in a haystack" had obviously never shopped the Salvation Army, Value Village, or Goodwill. 'Cause they would have coined "bargain in a behemoth" instead.

Sometimes you're lucky, and sometimes you're not. And, it really is pure luck. Well, and maybe a good dose of prayer.

But, sometimes, no matter how many racks you riffle, you still are short of items, and you must hit the higher end "consignment shops" or regular department stores.

Here the trade is convenience for price. Shirts are with shirts and pants are with pants. They are even sorted by color, type and size. It allows the personal shopper to get in and get out with the needed articles of clothing. And you kick yourself for being such a penny pincher and not hitting these stores in the first place. Because you would have saved in time what you spent in money.

Unless, of course, you find yourself on an impossible mission. Stated objective: solid white (or cream-I'm not picky) leggings, in size 8. And, though leggings are more trendy than ever in our current fashion world, you won't find neither hide nor hair of white leggings. Anywhere. Not the thrift stores. Not the consignment shops. Not the department stores. Because, who in their right mind would wear tasteful white leggings?

Oh no. Not I, says the fly!

Black leggings with silver polka dots? Check!

Neon pink leggings? Check!

Tribal prints? Check!

Jeggings? Leopard? Stripes? Camo? Woodlands scenes? Check, check, check, check and check!

This personal shopper called it a day, and settled for uber stretchy footless white tights that won't likely last their first trip out of their packaging...