It’s all fun and games. School is out and summer is here! The time has come to sleep in …maybe? And stay up late. It’s the season for frolicking at the beach, attending a bazillion backyard bbq’s and eating smores till you puke. Instead of backpacks, the kids are all accessorizing with sunburns and popsicles stains… and then it hits you like a pimp in a whore house. After weeks of carefree play, the kids have to go “back to school” shopping.
When the kids are young (pre-K — 3rd grade), you can get away with buying clothes that you think are cute and appropriate. A couple of five dollar t-shirts and pants from Target and a random back pack on sale does the job. Just throw it in the cart and you’re done. But that joy is short lived because like that benign cyst on your back, your child’s dreaded opinions begin to form. It’s now about what they want. Their style and preferences must be taken into account. So shovel in a healthy breakfast and a substantial dose of liquid patience and optimism aka: coffee. You’re gonna need it.
Justice – Suddenly encompassed in bright, stark white fluorescent bulbs, surrounded by glitter and fringe, listening to Sean Mendez and Nick Jonas, wondering how your kids can even entertain the idea of spending $28.60 for a miniature paper thin t-shirt. You can’t remember the last time you spent that on yourself! Shelves, end caps and bins oh my! Neon colored accessories and a sea of polyester room decor keep you imprisoned while trying to make your way up to the counter. Forget the tried and true #2 pencil. It’s about the “smencil.” A scented pencil in 20 different flavors for your sniffer. Because who doesn’t want to have their nostrils filled with the sickeningly sweet scent of jelly doughnuts while tackling Common Core?
Tilly’s – It’s a surf shop. No wait, it’s a skate shop. But wait, it’s Forever 21 with skateboards and surf videos where they’re blasting Eminem, Dre and Snoop over the speakers editing out every other word because…children. Adorable tank tops that require the purchase of another tank top or cardigan to be worn underneath because nothing is dress code appropriate for school.
Hollister – Unless you arm yourself with night vision goggles and ear plugs, shopping will be impossible. In my opinion, shopping should not consist of stumbling around in the dark participating in the retail version of Marco Polo, yelling to one another for communication over the ear splitting music being blasted inside. Maybe that’s just me.
H&M – Where else can you find cute wholesome henleys and skirts for your child and then walk three feet to the women’s section to find what I refer to as “yeast infection shorts.” The bottoms, if that’s what you call them, that succeed in allowing your ass cheeks and labia to be flashed simultaneously to perfect strangers. The fashion statement where every ten feet the trendsetter must stop, straighten the leg and pull the fabric out of the vagina because there’s a possible science experiment brewing. Do they sell a travel sized Monistat tube to go with them? You’re gonna need it. While you’re grabbing a pair of those sweet “ass” shorts next to my extremely influential daughter’s wardrobe selection, you can pick up a see-through, braless tank top to go with it. Brilliant.
Macy’s – The perfume counters are the back drop for the children’s section. What does that mean? A spritz happy spraying session of perfume leads you to a migraine and to your daughter’s discovery of her new favorite scent. The one hundred dollar scent that she begs you for when you’ve been out of your own for months. Then upon exiting the store, you are engulfed in the never-ending display of MAC cosmetics where your daughter is mesmerized by loud vibrant colors. She is instantly smitten with the thirty dollar sparkly teal eyeshadow. A simple “hell no” escapes your lips. What ever happened to the affordable brands like Bonnie Belle and Wet N Wild?? Spraying her with another fragrance is you’re only distraction for escape.
Is this how our parents felt? When we would drag them into Contempo Casuals, Millers Outpost and May Company? That thought of “Geezus, kids these days!” Wondering how in the hell the fashion of our youth can get any worse than this? How the music could possibly suck more than it does while blasting into my ears at this very moment? Does this simply go with the territory of being a parent? Are we just getting old? I tell myself to keep an open mind, that times change and I should be embracing this experience with my girls. So, let’s do this! Grab that 12 pack of smencils and those neon, sequined, dreamcatcher jeggings, and then let’s all be thankful that this shit only happens once a year.