For a dress.
As if that isn't already a catastrophe waiting to happen, I had all my kids in tow as well. Now Sarah's old enough that the worst I have to deal with is a continual litany of "This is cute." "Can I get this?" "This isn't too expensive; only $78.99 after they discount it." *twitch*
While that grates on my nerves after awhile, I am starting to concede... grudgingly!... that the girl is considerably more aware of what is almost fashionable than I am. I have always been someone who is quite happy to wear jeans, boots, a baggy t-shirt, and a pony tail. The only thing about this that has changed is I've stopped wearing baggy t-shirts and now wear shirts that are actually my size. Sleeves seem to go on vacation starting around Easter and occasionally make it back into my wardrobe around Halloween. Awesome for avoiding farmer's tans. Not so awesome for anyone who stumbles into view of me. Although I am proud to say that I have never qualified to have my photo taken for the People of Walmart website.
So... Sarah does provide me with a preview of the typical preteen reaction to anything I might pull off the rack. For instance, if she looks at it and has to choke back a giggle then I put it back without saying a word. If she looks at it and gets that thoughtful "I could wear that!" look then I put it back. If she looks at it and gets the deer in headlights look then I've got a winner. After all, if the teen hates it then the outfit HAS to be suitable for someone with a bit maturity. Right?
Just nod and go about your business and no one gets hurt.
Yeah. I hate shopping under the best of conditions. But Heather and Hunter in a clothing store when I'm supposed to be concentrating on picking out clothing that isn't going to brand me a female Urkel can NEVER be described as the "best of conditions". One of me. Two of them. Hundreds of hiding places. Thousands of things that sparkle, shine, shimmer, and otherwise scream "come touch ME!!!"
I grabbed three dresses, a shirt, and three kids and crammed the whole shooting match into a fitting room. Lucky me. This particular fitting room has accoustics that would rival the Peterborough Cathedral.
First it was Sarah who wanted to try on the one dress she thought was cute. As she's shimmying the fabric over her head, I casually asked what size she'd picked.
Sarah: "Umm...I'm not sure. Oh, it's a 14."
Me: "In girls, right?"
Sarah: "No, women's."
After it was determined that we could fit three of her into the dress, it was my turn to try on the articles I'd picked out. What ensued was fifteen minutes of "You two better stop hitting each other." "Do NOT jump on that bench!" "Hunter get out of the dress." "Heather stop kissing your reflection." "No you can NOT open the door yet!" and my personal favorite "Everyone this side of the Atlantic is now well aware that it echoes in here. Stop shouting 'Hello Echo!'"
I picked out a dress. I paid for the dress. I argued with the salesperson about whether or not I really had to take my kids with me when I left the store. I drove the zoo home. I waited for Steve to come home. We dropped Sarah off at her church event and went back out so I could get shoes.
I perused sandals and found a simple pair that I liked.
I got in line and patiently waited to pay for them.
Steve chased Hunter down a random aisle.
Hunter giggled in glee.
Steve pulled Heather out of a stack of shoeboxes she'd been turning into a fort.
Heather whined and complained.
Steve threatened to "whoop Hunter's butt".
Steve glared at Heather alot.
Heather glared back.
I never have to take the kids with me when I shop for myself again.
My work here is done.