Back-to-School Shopping Blues
Well, it's that time of year
again...time for back-to-school shopping. For a parent of teens,
this can be a very time consuming, as well as expensive, task. I've
got three teenagers and sometimes the thought of this annual event
can make me cringe!
Actually, my boys are relatively easy to shop for. My oldest will
even trust me to pick out certain items for him, if they are from
the right store! My youngest, who is now 15, is a clothes-horse, but
he's still pretty easy to please. When I head to Wal-Mart or the
mall with these guys, I know that I can hit a few stores and be home
in a few hours.
My daughter is another story. Shopping
with her is, well, umm, let's say it is an adventure. From the time
she was a child she was very particular about her clothes. Things
had to fit "just right" and many items (especially socks and
stockings) were often faulted as being "itchy". And as for shopping
for blue jeans, well, lets say that I'd rather visit the dentist for
a root canal. We could spend a whole day looking for the allusive
jeans with just the right "feel". By the end of the day I'm likely
to be wearing a very frazzled look with a temper to match. "That
100th pair of jeans look PERFECT on you.. buy them or else!"
Now, let's talk stores. Since she was a pre-teen clothes had to be
bought at certain stores or they wouldn't be worn. My daughter soon
learned that if she wouldn't get clothes from Wal-Mart, she had
better save her own money - and look for bargains in the Mall stores
if she were to have any new school clothes for the year.
At first it used to bug me that she
would spend $20 on a plain shirt with some designers name sprawled
across it. She'd even spend $25 - $30 on a pair of jeans - geesh -
that's my whole winter wardrobe! But I came to realize that if she
wanted to save her money to buy these more expensive items, it was
really her choice. Every year I give her a certain amount of money
for school clothes that fits our family budget and anything above
that she has to come up with.
At first she would moan and groan about how unfair it was that she
had such a small amount of money to work with when OTHER parents
bought their kids whatever they wanted. *tear*. Soon she learned
that she had to suck it up and deal with it. Either she saved her
own money to add to the school clothes budget, settled for shopping
at the local department stores, or she started school with a pair of
designer jeans, two shirts, and a pair of sneakers.
Over the years, I must admit that my daughter has become and expert
bargain shopper. She still shops at the Mall, but now she shops the
sales and clearance rack. I've even seen her pass by a "must-have"
item because she couldn't justify spending that much of HER money on
one piece of clothing!
Well, time is running out and I've planned our annual event. I have
been practicing my breathing exercises meant for keeping my blood
pressure from rising as I wait patiently for my kids to get the
"right look". My daughter has been working this summer and saved her
money to add to her allotted funds and I've even budgeted money for
lunch! I plan on making this day and "event". And you know what the
icing on the cake is? My daughter ALREADY found her blue jeans!
Ahhhhh..life is good isn't it?
Patti Chadwick is the creator of
Family Tymes the online magazine that provides encouragement
for today's busy family. She is also the creator of
Women, an online magazine highlighting the extraordinary
achievements of women throughout history.
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