She Got Up Off the Couch

(Have y'all read that book? I liked it a lot. Haven Kimmel is the author.)

So, hey there, Land of the Living! I'm back. More or less on my feet and ready to bemoan the fact that I spent a week so sick that I didn't even enjoy the time off from housecleaning and grocery shopping, etc. Dudes, I was so sick that I couldn't even KNIT. Now THAT'S a bad cold.

However, the great thing about being me is that I can feel like complete and utter DEATH one day and the next? I can feel like utter death AND get to take my ten-year-old daughter shopping for shoes.

I so LOVE that about being me.

We had something of a disagreement about what constituted appropriate footwear for the average ten-year-old. As in, she wanted THESE

and I was thinking more along the lines of these:

We left with no footwear for her, although *I* bought two new pairs of shoes: a pair of Asics running shoes (I can't run now but my podiatrist still recommends them as a daily reminder of the thin, fit me I left behind) (Yes, I am wearing them with my nightgown. Shut UP.)

and a pair of brown Clark's clogs. (They only resemble about 70% of the shoes I already have in my closet. Is that a problem?)

Only, um, guess what I discovered about myself on this little shopping expedition? I discovered that I had no idea what the current fashion is and I was about as qualified to take my tween shopping as a NUN would be after having been cloistered for the past ten years.

In all seriousness, sometimes I feel that I am just the exact wrong mother for my girls. And I'm old now so I don't really CARE what fashion trends are hot and new --I mean, once you've worn both leg-warmers AND parachute pants, what more can fashion do for you? I sort of do that Gilda Radner thing where I base most of my fashion choices on what doesn't itch. Plus, I live too much in my head so sometimes I don't even know what I am wearing and if I DO notice it, it's usually because I've spilled something on myself or I've accidentally caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror and was taken completely off guard. In my head, I'm still about thirty, you know, with a flat, flat stomach, legs that go forever, and no laugh lines. (Confession: remember when my family and I went to the Open and I was all ogling Rafael Nadal? Later that week, it suddenly occurred to me that I could be his MOTHER. He's twenty-freaking-two years old! He was born when I was in my last year of COLLEGE! Ewww! Ick! What's next? Ana's ten-year-old crush will start looking hot to me? ACK!)

Anyway, I couldn't argue with Ana about her fashion choices because I had no idea what the actual fashion IS. This rather weakens one's motherly omniscience, ya know? I had to come home from our shopping expedition and do an Internet search of "Tween Fashion Trends" which returned 140,000 results in 0.44 seconds, thank you very much, because EVERYONE, including the nerds who work for Google, knows more about fashion than I do.


DK said…
But Mooooooooooo-ooooom! I LIIIIIKE the stripper shoes!

Now, I concede it's been a while since I was a teenager, but I see them often, and the trendy ones tend to look ridiculous, no matter what the decade. Just tell her you can't go wrong with classic style.

And, let's face it. Rafael Nadal IS hot.
Ei said…
I was just going to say that I'm pretty sure that stripper shoes are not all the rage for MOST pre-teens. But I COULD be wrong.
Marion Gropen said…
I read this with a cup of coffee at hand. It's just luck that I still have a functioning keyboard!

My 8-year-old was my 40th birthday present, so you're not alone in feeling disconnected from the age group.

But I have observed one thing-- many of the trends are micro-micro-trends. You can't even get a magazine or website to do some research on THOSE. Some don't even extend past one grade in one school, but that doesn't mean that the little ones are any more willing to go against the herd.

And you'd have to be a much better sales person than I'll EVER be to convince most of them that individual style is a good idea! If you find any solutions, do please share?
All you have to do to know what is fashionable is to look on the racks at the store. But if it is decent you are looking for, you may have to search a little further.

Although, I must say, things have gotten much better over the past few months. Shirts cover bellies, necklines do not plunge below the cleavage, and the waistline of the pants actually approaches somewhat closer to the teen's actual waistline. That's progress!

Sigh. I used to have great legs, too. Now they're a bluish shade, and lumpy.
Lynn said…
In our tribe the standard response was more or less, "In our family we dress modestly; if you want to dress like a hoochie-mama, you will just have to wait until you are a grownup with a job and a place of your own". Which is probably why most of my girls now have tattoos and or body piercings. But not on my nickel, and not in my house.
Lynn said…
PS. *Love* your copyright statement.
LaDonna said…
Oh, I know just what you're going through! I've discovered that if it's from Hollister, Aeropostle, Abercrombie, or Limited Too, I'm OK. Unfortunately, I would need to get a second job just to fund a clothing budget to shop at those stores. (And Limited Too will lose it's appeal when she's in about the 6th grade.)

I've taught my girls that when we shop at the "trendy stores", they don't even stop at the front of the store. We go straight to the back and find the CLEARANCE rack! They've become pretty good clearance shoppers, too! We get jeans at Walmart or Target, and then they can get a few clearance rack tops from the "cool" places.

Oh, and I still have my hot pink parachute pants :)

Good luck!
Grumpy Momma said…
I just read through several of your past posts - you are hilarious!

I look forward to reading more.....and I am glad to hear you are off the couch.

And that the black plaque is cured.

All good things.
Always, Laura said…
I didn't think it was that long ago that I was a teenager but apparently it has been. *does she like the pink or purple for the cast?

I have the exact same pair of clogs and my husband calls them my mommy shoes. I figure as long as he doesn't call them my gramma shoes he can live. Maybe...
Miri said…
Oh my, this post just RESONATED ... it pinged across the nation, actually. I do my tween fashion research with a Target ad. That's how backwards and old I am.
Miri said…
P.S. I love the Clarks.
Unknown said…
My daughter and I have disagreed on fashion for years. If I like it, it's not her style, if she likes it, it's not mine.
Anonymous said…
OK, so I went shoe shopping a couple of weeks ago to find shoes that I don't have to bend over to put on (seeing as how it's almost impossible already, and will be completely so in a few more weeks)... and I wanted those Clarks SO BADLY but DSW didn't have them in my size. :-(

So. Enjoy them for both of us, will ya? I may go back soon to try again, but, for now, I had to spend my shoe budget on other shoes. :-)
Anonymous said…
P.S. This tween fashion thing is on of the things that scares me now that I know we're having a girl... :-P
Katie said…
Thank goodness I live in the country. Things are different out here.

Being in fashion is a)wranglers b)boots c)button down shirts
Pretty simple and it works for both boys and girls.

Mokihana said…
The boys out here in the wild west are STILL wearing pants that have no obvious way of being held up. Though one time at Hawaiian Beanz Coffee shop, I saw one kid whose belt, which was holding up his pants, was buckled UNDER his butt. Yes, on his LEGS, ferpetessake! I had to turn away so he wouldn't see me laughing with my friend.

I tried to let my girls stay reasonably in fashion while at the same time talking to them about such things as how to not let fashion dictate what they wear if it looks bad on them. They got it! They wore what they wanted to wear. It made shopping a lot more difficult, but they rarely wore things just because the other kids were.
Lynn said…
Oh I SO TOTALLY GOT this post!!! Don't forget culotts! And Jordache jeans! Actually I liked my Jordaches. As long as it had a design on the back pocket (and it had to be a DIFFERENT design every day), I was happy.

My dd is a clothes horse so we do a lot of second hand shopping. She doesn't seem to mind. We buy clearance from either Target or Dillards (she knows not to even LOOK at the new stuff), but we do have different tastes. I figure as long as she's covered (no butt crack or cleavage showing) and no heel higher than an inch, I'm willing to get it. I refuse to have her dress like a hoochy mama, but its a sad statement of the fashion industry when its hard to find clothing for my SIX YEAR OLD that doesn't make her look like a $5 hooker.
Ann in NJ said…
I'm feeling very lucky. My 10-yr old DD has yet to figure out that she's supposed to be in fashion. She likes comfy. We went shoe shopping yesterday for new sneakers for her, and ended up with sneakers and a pair of Ugg knock-off boots from Marshalls. I was happy to say yes to the boots, AND they were cheap!
Again, enjoyed the post so much! I, too, am unable to give my kid style tips, though I have a seamstress' eye for basic fit. Sometimes. While we were shopping in the Hamptons, I taught my kid the trick I learned in London: find a side-street with a row of shabby-but-eager looking storefronts. Go into the shop where the English is shakiest. That's where the deals are.
MadMad said…
You're not SUPPOSED to know/like what they're wearing, so you're on the right track. P.S. I think we have all the same shoes!