Sometime in the years 2016-2017, my granddaughter became a full-blown teenager. I got the first glimmer of this change when I went clothes shopping with her last August. This year there was no doubt the transformation had occurred. Accordingly, and with some trepidation, I set out for the mall with both my granddaughters: 9 and 15.
The car conversation went something like this:
“Mom said we should shop for Hattie (9) at Old Navy. Since she doesn’t like jeans, they have a good selection of the leggings she likes. They also have shirts for her as well,” says Emma (15).
“Great. We can just shop there for you too,” I respond.
“Granddad, you have to be kidding, I hope?”
“Sometimes, Granddad, you can be cruel.”
The selections at Old Navy were very good as far as Hattie was concerned. Of course, Emma took charge and began pulling things from the racks hoping that her sister would make fast decisions. But Hattie has her own notions when it comes to fashion. She has graduated from wearing a pink tutu with everything, but she knows what she likes. It took a while, but finally, we had some choices for the leggings and three tops or shirts or whatever.
Off to the dressing room, they went. I noticed how careful Emma was with Hattie and how protective. It was good to see the love these two girls have for each other. The fitting lasted 20 minutes. There were a lot of men and boys milling around waiting for mom, girlfriends or daughters to emerge. One guy picked out two shirts from a sale rack for himself and another picked some Birkenstock knockoffs. Old Navy has some good merchandising techniques. Total time including checkout, 51 minutes. And the receipt was only one GASP.
Somehow, I knew Hollister would be different. This store positions itself as a cool SoCal beach shack as you can tell from the picture. You expect to see surfer dudes and gals talking about waves and boards. What you see is a bunch of teens looking for something awesome to wear for the new school year. By the way, Hollister is a division of Abercrombie and Fitch and was established in Ohio in 2000.
One Mom was holding a pair of jean cut-offs. Back in the day, you would simply take an old pair of jeans and cut the legs off. Today you pay $45 for the same thing. I assumed the Mom was holding them for a daughter. She held the cutoffs up to her waist. I wanted to say something, but sanity prevailed since I didn’t want to be arrested for harassment. Luckily, her daughter came to the rescue.
“You have got to be kidding Mom. Put those back! They are not for you!”
Emma was in action. First the jeans. Last year I was opposed to ripped jeans, but I have seen the light. I am not in control. A pair of white ripped jeans and a pair of skinny jeans came out of the pile. Then on to the shirts. This took some time, so I found a nice chair.
There was a dad with a worried look on his face as his daughter had at least 6 pairs of jeans and as many shirts over her arm. She headed for the dressing room. He stood beside my chair and looked to be in pain.
“She can’t possibly wear all those clothes,” he said.
“She doesn’t know that!” I responded.
Since this was my second year of back to school shopping I was a veteran and I sounded like I knew something. He sighed and looked resigned to facing a very large bill. That could easily be 5 gasps.
All of Emma’s stuff fit, but she told me to stay seated while she shopped for a few more things. The girl with all the clothes came out with a big smile and announced that all but one pair of jeans fit There was a big sigh of resignation from her dad. We are hopeless!
Well, we were next in line at the checkout. The girl at the counter took all the stuff and began to sort it out. She held up a purplish, lacy something or other and said, “I just love this color in a bra.” I froze, turned scarlet and made some sort of gurgling sound. Emma looked at me and turned scarlet. The sales girl looked at me, “Granddaughter?” and smiled. I shook my head yes. The item disappeared into the bag. I was still recovering my breathing when the receipt came. I failed to look or gasp.
I was in need of sustenance–I was a little dizzy and in need of a real lift. The chicken store was just down the hall. I made a dash for it as the girls lugged their bags down the corridor after me. A diet DP was just the thing along with a spicy chicken sandwich all the way with waffle fries with plenty of ketchup. No need to gasp at this place. I will deal with the calories and fat later!
RETRO sneakers! Are you kidding me? History does, in fact, repeat itself. Last year, it was high-top gumboots from LL BEAN and this year it is white sneakers with no strings and elastic on the side. This was a three gasp item–how much can a little canvas and some rubber be. Of course, it’s the label–I get it!
Next stop Claire’s–the junk store of all junk stores. Hattie needed some new fake nails. This time they were purple with blue stripes. Her mother does not let her out of the house with them on.
I love my girls and am already looking forward to next year. I hope Emma will still go with me.