Saturday 01 Oct 2016

Clothing Showdown
Jennifer Flaten

After an exhaustive study, actually three hours, this past Saturday, I’ve determined that shopping for new clothes with a boy is a lot different than shopping for new clothes with a girl.

The girl will make several revolutions around the department before making her first selection. After the first selection she will grab what looks like 100 outfits, and most likely is, and head for the changing room.

She will try them all on, some of them twice. The girl will test the outfit sitting, standing and dancing the hula. Also, the girl will solicit fifteen different opinions, including the dressing room attendant and maybe you if she doesn’t think you are clueless fashion wise, as to how she looks.

Still uncertain which outfit is the “chosen one,” she may resort to an American Idol type vote to find the winner. Okay, America bring out your devices, will it be the red outfit or the silver.

On the other hand, the boy will blindly grab something off the rack and take it into the changing room. While in the changing room, he may or may not, but most likely not, try it on. After an extremely short amount of time, which is why you are suspicious that he didn’t try the pants on, he will come out and announce that he will take them.

You will question whether he really wants those pants since they are leprechaun sized and covered with multi-color dinosaurs. He will insist that they are fine and attempt to ditch you in the clothing department so he can go poke at the gizmos in the electronics department.

You will resort to using “the voice” to tell the boy to find a pair of pants that fit. Caution “the voice” is usable only in extreme shopping emergencies.

My favorite part of shopping with a boy, oh let’s face it a man too, is when you tell them they need a new *insert clothing item here* and they look incredulous. But why they ask, would I need a new one I already have one.

Yes, one shirt, pair of pants or shoes that you’ve worn to death at this moment that pair of 1990s cargo pants is a mere a shadow of its former self. One wrong move and you risk starting a new fashion trend, one that Miley Cyrus would approve of, so it’s time to get new pants.

Even faced with irrefutable evidence, say, a giant rip in the crotch of said pants, the male of the species insists the item is still good. Good for what, I ask? Helping wax the car to a high shine? Maybe a tourniquet, if we have a disastrous run in with a zombie?

I guess you can tell I had a rather, shall we say frustrating experience shopping with the boy of the family. Everything I pulled off the rack for him merited a non-committal shrug. After the 80th pair of pants, I felt like a used car sales person, “What would it take to get you in this pair of Khaki pants today?” I can include a free belt to go with those pants. Perhaps, you’d like a matching T-shirt.

Look I know it is un-cool for a teen-ish boy to have an interest in fashion, but if I wanted to wrestle clothes on to an inanimate object, I would be playing with a Barbie doll right now. 

I finally figured out the secret, just pick something and throw it in the basket. If it fits, it fits, if it doesn’t oh well. My son looks adorable in tiny dinosaur print culottes.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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