I love to shop. I am a world-class shopper. If there were an Olympic event for shopping, I would be like the Michael Phelps of the mall. I can sprint shop, endurance shop, and marathon shop. In the shopping decathlon, I reign supreme.
I actually come from a long line of great shoppers on both sides of my family, going back nearly to the first strip mall at Plymouth Rock. It’s a tradition that has been passed down in my family from generation to generation. Some families share recipes. We share coupons.
When my daughter was born, I dreamed that one day the two of us would shop together. I assumed since she was a child of mine, she would also have my passion for fashion. It never occurred to me that she might get her father’s genes for shopping. He hates to shop. Loathes to shop. Will not set foot in a shop unless it’s an electronics store or a car dealership. I think it’s a guy thing. Apparently that “Y” on the male XY chromosome stands for “Y the heck do I have to go shopping?”
Over the years, I faced this unfortunate truth with a heavy heart and the distant hope that as she got older, my daughter might discover the rush of one-day sales and a maxed-out credit card. But right now, it’s not in the cards… credit or otherwise. She hates to shop. Loathes to shop. Would rather be forced to eat lima beans with beets than shop. So when the time came to go shopping for new summer clothes for her, I looked forward to it with all the enthusiasm of cleaning my bathroom.
“Hate it, hate it, detest it, hate it, hate it, like it, hate it.” My daughter assessed the seven cute outfits I held up for her approval in the girls’ clothing store. Then she went back to playing a game on her cell phone.
“Wait a minute,” I said hopefully, “You LIKE one of these?” She pointed to the one outfit I didn’t like, which of course didn’t go with anything else in her closet. But I was desperate. Feigning enthusiasm, I tossed the rejects aside and held up the winning outfit. “Great! Let’s try it on.”
She grabbed the hanger from me, held it up in front of herself, and said, “OK, it fits. Let’s go.”
I shook my head. “Sorry, that only works if you’re a paper doll. Go to the dressing room!”
She stuck out her lower lip and gave me the full-on, hands-on-hips, I’m-not-going-anywhere stance of defiance.
“I’m…done…SHOPPING!” She announced.
She was exhausted. Wrung out. Spent. I could understand it. We had been shopping for a full ten minutes.
I realized some high level bribery was going to need to take place in order for us to accomplish this mission.
“Hey,” I said brightly. “Let’s get you what we need here and then I’ll take you out for ice cream, OK?”
I saw the wheels turning as she did the cost-benefit analysis of this deal in her head. “Three scoops, hot fudge sundae with sprinkles,” she demanded.
“One scoop, plain in a cup,” I countered
“Two scoops, sprinkles in a cone,” she shot back.
“Two scoops, no sprinkles in a cup,” I offered.
“Two scoops, plain in a cone,” she said. “Throw in some Gummies on the side and I’ll try on everything you’re holding.”
I handed her the clothes and sent her back to the dressing room. Then I called my husband.
“Honey, I know who you should take with you to negotiate when you go car shopping.”