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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Put on some lipstick. Or brush your hair. Or something.

I took the kids to the mall Monday for our annual visit - the one where I convince myself that the mall would be a welcome distraction from the tedium of winter break. I also needed to return a pair of pants to Gymboree. I never buy clothes for my kids. I depend on my mom's embarrassment threshold, which is much, much lower than mine. My own bad behavior doesn't even embarrass me so having a child dressed like a street urchin doesn't faze me in the least. My mother tries to dress my children appropriately. I've learned not to waste the money; no matter what I buy, they'll wear the same soccer kits, grimy sweatshirts and well-loved t-shirts over and over. A month or so ago she brought the kids some cute duds from Gymboree. The Tank, after some wrestling, conceded his were pretty cool. O, the big kid, was polite yet firm. The khakis were not for him. Are there any actual fifth graders out there still willing to wear clothing with a Gymboree label? I guess it would be mean of me to call them dorks so, um, I won't*.

I tried to return the pants and found that such a thing wasn't really possible. I had the receipt and asked them to credit the $12.99 plus tax back to my mom's credit card. I, of course, did not have my mom's card. I wish I did. It probably has way more room on it than mine. But I digress. I didn't want to deal with a store credit given the high chance of my losing the credit before my return a year from now. Store policy wouldn't allow them to get the number over the phone from my mom. The full number wasn't on the receipt, just a portion of it. I get the policy, I do, but who would get mad if someone credited their card? But I digress again. I decided to let my mom deal with it and we left.

We had lunch, we rode the carousel and I almost vomited. Fun times. With full stomachs and brighter dispositions, the children and I agreed we might be able to choose some underpants in exchange for the hated baby khakis. Gymboree underpants rock. They are soft and have cool pictures and y'all know how desperate I am to talk the Tank into underpants**. I quickly found three pair, just his size, that more or less covered the credit. I waited in line.

And I waited some more. The woman in front of me had a few questions and she saw no reason the sole employee shouldn't answer all of them. Right that minute. She had a large stack of clothes, a credit card and what I believe was an unhealthy obsession with matching children's clothing.

"Do you have this in 18 to 24 months and size 6?"

"Well can you check in the back?"

"We already have everything from the Cupcake line. Do you have any more of these?"

"How about these?"

"Do you have anything else in the Craptastic line? How about the Silly Twit line?"

"Can you check in the back?"

"Can you check in the back again?"

I was this close to checking her in the back. What kind of mother knows the name of each individual line of clothing at Gymboree? I didn't even know they had names. What kind of person holds the sole employee hostage in a desperate attempt to secure matching outfits for her oblivious children? I'll tell you what kind of person. The kind who spends so much time thinking about how her babies look she's left with no time to put on lipstick, brush her hair or even pick out a decent looking track suit. The kind of person who is either oblivious or doesn't care that the next person in line has a five minute transaction and three antsy children. The kind of person who has "let herself go."

Don't jump down my throat. I'm not asking you to starve yourself, spend a fortune on clothes or spend hours at the gym each day***. I do think we should try to look decent for our spouses, our friends and ourselves. Don't go hating on Heidi Klum either - she speaks the truth.
You may not be a super model, but you can come pretty close to your pre-baby body and you should try, as much for your health as your looks. And if you do keep an extra pound or seven, stop hating and buy yourself some decent clothes. And put on some lipstick. And brush your hair. Children are effortlessly cute, so spend as much money as you like on their clothes, but recognize the frivolity. I have no objection to frivolity - it's the cornerstone of my existance - I just want you to stand up straight and smile.

According to my childless-as-of-yet-but-brilliant-nonetheless friend Kristy, you should set a good example for your children by having high expectations. Demand a birthday cake for yourself, with candles. Insist on presents. Buy that cocktail dress before you even consider any cr*p from the Cupcake line at Gymboree (whatever the h*ll that is). Kristy explained that by not taking care of yourself, you teach your children to feel affection for people with low expectations. Next thing you know, they're bringing home dirty hippies with zero ambition and little to no energy to seek out birth control. Soon enough, you'll be housing your adult child, the aforementioned dirty hippy and their child, who will be adorable, really, but a bit of a burden if you're honest. Don't you want the house to yourself eventually? You paid for it. Shouldn't it be yours? The dirty hippy will not contribute to the rent. Or the housecleaning. So put on some lipstick already. How about this one? I found it at Pout recently and I think it rocks.

Crazy Lady Red - Chantecaille Poppy

Namasté and Happy New Year, y'all!

* I lied. DORKS! Those are baby clothes!

** Didn't work. "I said 'Nooooo, thanks!' Dey not for me. I wanna' diaper." That's a direct quote. Hmph.

*** If you do, however, I salute you. And bet you are hot. Nothing wrong with that, sister!


Suz said...

AMEN, sister! (I'm childless, too, as you know--but plenty of childless women fall prey to this mindset as well.)

Kirsetin Morello said...

Very amusing! And, no, I haven't seen a single fifth grader wearing Gymboree. Perhaps that line is for really tall 2nd graders?

columbiacitygirl said...

It gets scarier as your children get older. Many mothers still haven't lost the baby weight by their child's college orientation. Most of the rest were styled as if they were still in high school themselves - in 1982. I almost had whiplash looking from one to another. I know it is more difficult to keep in shape as you get older -40 really changes things - but have some self-respect!

Dey not for it.