I have been following the middle school girls around the mall for an hour, pretending to admire the endless racks of branded t-shirts and hoodies that pass for fashion in the seventh grade, when they finally wander into a store where everything doesn't look like part of a Little League uniform designed by The Gap.
"This is cute," I say, drawing something from the racks at Forever 21. "Look at this."
I make a few other suggestions, which they do not even pretend to consider. They head across the store to search out novelty t-shirts and hooded jackets. What is the point? They talk fashion, but they dress like clones.
I browse the $5 treasures strewn across a lace and candelabra covered table and come up with a forearm's worth of cheap bracelets and a dangly piece of third-world craftsmanship to hang around my neck.
I am at the register when I feel their accusing glances. Over my shoulder I can see them murmuring. Each holds a small yellow bag containing a t-shirt.
What? I say.
"Mom," says the 12-year-old. "We can't shop here anymore if you're going to shop here. It's uncool."
"You call that shopping?" I say. "You bought a t-shirt."
I pull the tags off and proceed to accessorize right outside the store. They pretend to be mortified. I pretend that $10 worth of costume jewelry makes me a fashionista.
Then I buy them each a snowcone and everything is cool.
When you're finished with that "necklace" can I use it for my curtain tiebacks?
Posted by: Paulita | July 01, 2010 at 04:59 AM
You look exceedingly hip in that photo. If I didn't know that from the neck up, you are a mom with a brain, I would certainly assume based on this shoulders-down photo that you are some kind of clubbing fashionista.
Posted by: MommyTime | July 01, 2010 at 06:49 AM
That is the magic of the $5 accessory/curtain tieback table... combined with the little buzz of having been a source of embarrassment to a couple of middle school divas.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | July 01, 2010 at 08:44 AM
Tell me you weren't shopping at Forever 21!
Posted by: Cindy Goodman | July 01, 2010 at 11:55 AM
It felt like Nordstrom's after an hour in Aeropostale and Hollister.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | July 01, 2010 at 12:04 PM
The only time I've ever been to a Forever21 was (of course) with my daughter. They buyers must have been going through a black phase and the clothes were actually pretty sharp. I didn't buy anything because sometimes you know you just don't belong.
Posted by: Sue | July 02, 2010 at 08:53 AM
All I can say is curtains in SoBe must be flapping because those "tie-backs" are all the rage here. You are lucky you have girls. Very literate response in comparison to the responses of certain boys. When I recently queried my 14 year old about shopping with him in Aeropostale for a family photo shoot he said, "why're you all up in my grilz on this?" It worked. I went straight back to Liz Claiborne where I belong.
Posted by: nthnglsts | July 04, 2010 at 08:52 AM
We had jewelry-inspired tiebacks on the curtains a few years ago. Huge mistake in a house full of children. Now we just use bread ties.
Posted by: Suburban Kamikaze | July 04, 2010 at 10:38 AM
Lucky you. Bread ties in my house are never seen again after the first slice. Perhaps if I used jewelry to secure the bread?
Posted by: nthnglsts | July 04, 2010 at 12:55 PM
This adheres to Bossy's strict fashion guidelines, which equals cheap as shit.
Posted by: BOSSY | July 16, 2010 at 04:35 PM