For years, my friend Dana and I have met every shopping challenge known to womankind. Blessed with two daughters apiece, we survived the daunting task of finding clothes for bloomers, early and late. Dana and I practiced motherly glares and “Because I said so!” drills for prom season. When the girls all married, we scoured stores for mother-of-the-bride dresses that wouldn’t age us on contact or ready us to dance on the reception tables. Together we played, grayed and prayed through decades of shopping.
Little did we know our retail history would prepare us for the ultimate shopping experience: buying for grandchildren. Serious business, right? We prepare for action by regularly polishing our credit cards.
We go in Dana’s car because she has fewer accidents. Also, her car features dual heating controls so we don’t hot flash each other to death.
At the mall, we try to take interest in clothing purported to fit us. But what grandma wants to face her body in fitting-room triplicate?
Much more fun to buy clothes for grandchildren. Like well-trained hounds, Dana and I follow the sales scent to 80-percent-off signs. We scout baby departments, hungry for the softness of little sleepers and onesies.
We’re such a seasoned team that we don’t need phones. If we chase our prey into separate departments, we rendezvous for critiques and/or celebrations at exactly the right moment. Like Vikings, Dana and I methodically plunder each store until salespeople tremble. The whole retail world is at our mercy until—
Until we encounter racks of lacy velvet dresses at 80-percent off.
Our daughters prefer practical clothes for their children.
Don’t they understand grandmothers do not live by denim alone? We want pictures of little princesses clad in scratchy Cinderella gowns. We want grandsons to wear ties they will soak in ketchup. We covet fairy-tale photos we can show off to friends, relatives and strangers at convenience stores.
But our children frown. Sigh.
We drag our bags outside. After sociable trips through the parking lot, greeting others who cannot find their cars, we remember we entered through Appliances, not Intimates. Dana hits her remote again. Her car grumbles when we load it till it barely clears the ground.
Grandma sales mission accomplished.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Can you recall a favorite shopping trip?