Guest post by Kim from Let Me Start By Saying on shopping with kids :)
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I am so super excited about today’s guest post!! Kim from Let Me Start By Saying wrote a post for us about shopping with kids. I LOVE her sense of humor and I was so excited when I found out she had agreed to do a guest post for us!! Check it out and then be sure to comment and show her some love, we love our guest posts right?! 🙂
Back before I had a wrinkled forehead and muffin top, I used to enjoy shopping.
It was tricky, due to the fact I am tall and a little picky.
But I worked, so I had money, and I was in sales, which meant that I could have “a meeting” I needed to head out of the office for at 2pm on the kind of beautiful day when the sun sighs in your hair and the breeze keeps the stink of the garbage on NYC sidewalks at bay.
I’d click down the glittering sidewalks in my fancy heels and trim suit, scoping out fashion finds in the artfully arranged window displays. I’d pop inside any random store on a whim, a beatific smile pinking my lips and a keen eye dancing across beautiful clothes, accessories and shoes that I could try on for as long as I wanted and buy even if I didn’t need them, since I had no other place to be or overhead expenses to hold me back.
Oh, how I under-appreciated those days.
About a month ago, I needed sunglasses for a trip I was taking. I was determined to buy something from 2011 and look real hip, even if that meant paying full price*.
*something I never, ever do…but gosh darn it, I was a woman desperate for some semblance of fashion sense.
The problem being that not only do I have kids, but also I had to bring them with me.
This meant I needed to spend a week preparing**. Searching for a well-stocked store online. Packing my bag with snacks and distractions. Getting rest when I could in the hopes of building up some extra patience.
**There is no ‘popping out’ for a spur-of-the-moment shopping trip once you have children. This phrase disappears from our vocabulary the moment your first-born is handed over all swaddled up in a hospital blanket.
Bag stocked, game plan thoroughly memorized, kids properly threatened and bribed, off we went to an elegant department store.
Within minutes of arrival, my Preschooler and Kindergartener were sitting on the floor of the sunglass section watching movies on iPods wearing kid-safe headphones while I tried on about 100 pair of overpriced sunglasses.
Precariously balancing my best fashion intentions with my need to keep the kids under control in a public place, shopping for sunglasses that day was the polar opposite of shopping for anything before I had children.
I’d scan the racks for something that may have a chance of looking decent on someone who is not a Heidi Klum clone, put them back, try another, etc, all while saying one of the following phrases every 12-14 seconds:
“Don’t push him”“Don’t touch that”“Move out of that lady’s way”“Don’t lay down”“Stop talking so loud”“Don’t you DARE drop that iPod!”
Sweating from all the back-and-forth with the kids and the pressure I put on myself to find The Perfect Pair, I slapped my AMEX and one pair of Fancy Shmancy Brand shades on the counter, then coughed over a painful amount of green in the name of Being A Fashionable Mom.
Optimistic yet mentally drained; I threw the shades into my bag for the trip and hoped I made the right decision.
A week later, I was back home and saw the photos of me in the Fancy Shmancy Brand Shades.
I looked like an idiot.
Not just any old idiot, but the kind who paid way too much to look like an idiot.
Those sunglasses were meant for someone born at least a decade after I was.
They were meant for someone for whom In Style is a reality, not just the name of a magazine you can’t read without constant interruption and smears of yogurt splashing on it when you leave it unguarded in your kitchen for more than one minute because you have unruly children.
They were meant for someone who had the time to really look at all the trendy sunglasses and find a funky shape or tint that worked for them. That framed their face in the perfect way, hinting at hipness without screaming, “I am trying so hard to look like I’m not a saggy farty SAHM who lives in yoga pants and stained Old Navy tees.”
Needless to say, I cannot go back to that store with my kids and ask for my money back.
I will clean up those sunglasses and list them on eBay for a fraction of what I spent.
I will ship them off to someone with youthful, coltish legs and breasts that remember to be neighbors with the collarbone, not the navel. Someone who gets to sleep past 6am, and doesn’t have to yell-whisper at short people who encumber her with a constant stream of demands, whining and cries for snacks while in public.
And that girl is gonna love them. Good for her****.
****Not jealous at all of her youth and beauty. Shut up. No I’m not. Fine, maybe a little. But did she get a macaroni necklace for Mother’s Day? No? Oh, well then. Too bad for her.
Always an optimist, I do see that this Bad Decision Shopping Experience has one serious perk:
Even if I only get half the money back that I spent on the ill-chosen Fancy Shmancy Brand Shades, I can likely buy 4-5 new pairs of at least somewhat-flattering sunglasses at TJMaxx or Marshalls.
Which is good, because you know my kids are bound to break them, anyway.