Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can you dress your teen?

I'm updating this website to include my most recent articles. Thankfully, I'm doing well in all the cities that are carrying my drivel. Here's my latest, which I originally titled, "Can you Dress your Teen?" It ran, however, as, "Has your teen revoked your cool card?" You decide!

This is the photo that ran with the story in 7 cities. It's of Boy.

If you are the proud owner of a teen type, then I’m not telling you anything new. Your “cool card” has been irrefutably revoked. In fact, your teens don’t think that there was ever a time in your life when you were cool. I tried telling them that their mom used to sing in a rock band; they all laughed really hard.

Boy asked if it was back when the Rolling Stones were just Drifting Pebbles.

Nowhere is your nonexistent grasp on the pulse of all things cool more glaring than when it comes to clothes. Suddenly, I’ve turned into Grandma Moses and my outfits belong to someone from Little House on the Prairie.

Apparently, I shouldn’t even be allowed to dress a mannequin for long storage in the attic.

I remember, fondly, when they were little and I would buy their little wardrobes. For the girls, if it was pink or yellow, had sequins and/or tulle, or was adorned by a smiling Disney Princess, it was worthy to be worn. Heck, sometimes they’d squeal with delight.

For Boy, if it was cowboy boots, had a cape, some type of belt that was capable of holding a light saber, a sword, a Power Rangers blaster or any combination thereof, he’d wear it. And, if it had Spiderman’s signature web slinging design emblazoned anywhere on it, he was thrilled. I actually have a picture of him wearing his cowboy hat and boots; and nothing else. I often taunt him with empty threats (and he knows it) that I plan to show the photo to his future girlfriends. That might explain why he won’t even watch a western anymore.

Moms are easily amused.

Fast forward to their adolescence, and I was able to purchase a limited amount of clothing with some hope that they might wear it. I refer to that period as the Land Before Teen Time.

Now that they’re almost fully cooked humans, or as they prefer to be called, teens, buying them anything without them standing next to you is an exercise in futility. It doesn’t matter that they picked out an almost identical thing; according to them, there were glaring differences between the one I’d picked and the one they had. You know, something huge, like a stripe being 1/36th of an inch wider on the one I was holding.

Knowing all of this, I’m calling what happened last week, “Miracle at Kohl’s in the Land After Teen Time”.

I had an appointment and afterwards, I toddled over to Kohl’s; one of my favorite places to experience Nirvana. When they have a big sale, I don’t even have to pick up the paper to alert me. My Kohl’s spidey senses begin to tingle and won’t stop until I’m basking in the glow of clearance merchandise.

I walked in the store, and the first thing that caught my eye was the men’s clearance rack; a hoodie that I knew my son had been looking for was before my eyes. I shook my head as I went over to the rack to touch it, fearing it was some type of “mom”tical illusion. Nothing has ever been that easy in my life. Rack after glorious rack held clothes that I was almost sure Boy would love.

And at 80% off the original price; then an extra 20% off that price. I was absolutely giddy.

After several hours, I took my treasure and headed for the register. As the sales lady was checking me out, she remarked that I had good taste. When I confided that Boy was very picky and modeled his look after GQ magazine, she shared that her son would wear anything she brought home.

I was torn between being extremely jealous or telling her that she was like a Goddess to me. The jealous side was winning that argument, so not wanting to hiss and meow, I kept my mouth shut

On the way home, and out of the glorious spell that is Kohl’s, I began to get nervous. Visions of my GQ son examining what I’d spent so much time to pick out began to go through my head. He’s a good kid, and he would never say anything to me other than thank you. But after he’d modeled the clothes, they would disappear to the back of his closet, never to be seen again.

I got home, called for the boy and held my breath. As he picked up each piece, he seemed genuinely happy. In fact, he immediately put the hoodie that had started the quest on his very own person. I was wary as he continued, but to my surprise, the words, “good job, mom” continued to flow from his mouth. I was in mommy heaven.

I know that this was a fluke, and that the odds are I’ll never pick out another piece of clothing that Boy will consider wearable. But for that one day, I was the Queen of the Garment Quest; or, Queen of GQ. That will stay with me forever. Another part of me is hopeful that I’ve entered into a new era with my kids; one where my cool card has been stamped and returned to me.

Did I mention that Moms are also eternally optimistic?

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The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
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