Archive for the ‘shopping’ Category

When E was in 2nd grade, I read her some books.  3 books.  Outloud.  Every night, after her sister went to bed, we curled up in my bed, and read a story.

I was a single mom at the time.  For some of the year, we lived just the 3 of us, and for some of the year, my sister and her son were in the house.  I think my sister listened in on some, when she was around.

First we read the Golden Compass.

Then the Subtle Knife.

Then the Amber Spyglass.

Yes, she was 7.  Or 8.  I’m not sure which.

And I read her stories about souls being wrenched out of humans, and of religion as evil, and of young, young love.  Stories of hell, of death, of courage and strength.  Stories that wrestled with the fabric of the universe, with the afterlife, with the “what ifs” of other worlds.

Beloved has chastised me for this ever since.

I may protest a bit too much when I say, “yeah, and it was FINE!  She loved the books!  I read them outloud – we talked all through – she asked questions, it was FINE!!!”

But now she’s 11, and the first book (or as E will complain loudly about – 3/4ths of the first book) is now a movie.

We went to see it today.

Just the 2 of us, because I don’t allow my children to see movies before they read a book.  At least a good book.  I refuse to have anything to do with their mental pictures being created by Hollywood instead of by their beautiful brains.  (Oh, and E re-read it on her own during 5th grade).

Sometimes their father flips me the bird and takes them anyway.

But that’s because he can be a fucker, when he wants to.


There was a scene that struck home my old love of the books:

The 12 year old girl was having an altercation with her benefactor; unaware that the icy, nasty, manipulative woman is her mother.  Until that point, their relationship was cordial, and the girl felt lucky to be taken in by a wealthy woman, after having lived in the care of a college – scholars and servants.

But there was a test of wills.

Between the woman and the child, there was a cold stare, a defiant glare, and at the most, the grabbing of the child’s arm.

Their little daemons, though – these animal-formed physical manifestations of the humans’ SOULS.  Souls!!  The woman’s daemon attackd the child’s, pinning it to the ground.  The kids’ daemon (in cat form) took a fully submissive pose, despite it’s hair on ends, and regretfully gave in to the attack.  A full-on attack.

And I thought – wow.  You see a mom bitch at her kid in public, in thier house.  You may see a kid slightly shrink back.  Perhaps a little bit of numbness in the eyes.  You may think, “wow, that tone seemed kind of harsh.”  But you don’t see the absolute wrestling match of the wills.

But it goes on all the time.

It would be really helpful, I think, if we had that window into each other.

I want a daemon.

But I also want everyone else to have one, too.


I do not recommend the movie.  Not until you read all THREE books.  They are incredible.   Then I will tell you that the movie was pretty well done.  The characters were nicely drawn, the plot quickened, but far from stripped.  It was stripped of some subtlety, but I think that was a pass to the Catholic Church.  Who obviously never read the damned books.


Afterward, E and I went and bought her a MacBook.  That was fun, too.

Finally, around 4:30 p.m., we were home again.  We had big plans to decorate the tree (J and Beloved put it up today), but instead, J had a weird, random crying fit that she had forgotten to type a report (due Weds.)  That took some time.  First to get the old Dell computer to respond to any key strokes or mouse clicks (seriously, it took an HOUR), then to get her to stop the crying, and then for her to do the actual work.

Hopefully we’ll decorate our solstice shrub tomorrow (our celebration of the season, and not of anyone’s birth-so-he-can-die-for-me).  I have been watching my co-workers one-by-one leave “new associate transition period” and enter “regular associate slammed-with-work period” and fear that my turn is around the bend.  Will I have to post-pone tree trimming?  Will I have to cancel my Christmas weekend with my parents next weekend?  Will I have to give up a vacation day the week after?  I sort of feel like all of those are possibilities, from what I’ve seen.

We shall see.

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A few updates

Likely that the house won’t take us b/c of cats.  They may, but since they want someone NOW, and we aren’t ready NOW, and we have cats … I guess they’ll take us if they don’t find someone without cats.  Even though my cats are good and clean and do not smell bad.  They are magic cats.

I was not too tired during the day.  Now I’m so tired I can barely type.  I was relatively proud of my product, and felt like feedback was positive.  And I left at 4:45 p.m. today.  (Considering I got in at 7:15 a.m., this does NOT make me a slacker!)

All in all … it was a good day.

But I broke a shoe.  I went to DSW to buy new, and found NOTHING.  nada.  zilch.  zero.

Then I went to Macy’s.

Not only did I find nothing, nada, zilch, but I was disgusted with the service and the system.  I asked someone for a shoe, and she went into the back room where I was able to hear her laughing and joking for up to 10 minutes.  Hello?  My shoe didn’t even exist, and yet, I was stuck there for a very, very long time.  If my shoe was there, I would have had to wait another 20 minutes for this very slow chatting person to make it to her turn at the cash register.

Also, they didn’t have ANY shoes.  I saw several chatty, slow shoe-fetchers come out and tell customers “no, we don’t have it.”  Time after time after time.

I wonder what is the solution?  I kind of like my small town’s ritzy boutiques.  Where there are plenty of people working, and the shoes are twice (or so) the price of the ones at Macy’s.

I don’t like the internet for shoes.  I don’t want to wait for a shoe to find out that it hits my foot in the wrong place or is too narrow where my foot is wide, and then have to return it and wait for a NEW one to come.

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Shopping for kids.

I took E shopping today. She’s going to NYC for a show and a fancy-pants dinner, and she is going to a dance, and we’re going to a friend’s Bat Mitzvah.

We went to Macy’s, but the stupid store didn’t have a kids’ section.

So we went to Bloomingdales, but I was scared. I’d seen dresses for her there in the past when I went with a friend, but they were all pushing $200, and I didn’t find that to be the best use of my dollars. I pay just about that for suits for myself — not for a dress for a kid who will GROW in 1/2 a minute, and whose sister is almost as tall as her (which means I can’t look forward to it functioning as a hand me down).

She ended up finding a dress (tunic?) which was $38, plus 25% off. We got some leggings, and I said, “fine.” For NYC and her school dance, I thought it would be fine. I didn’t think it was dressy enough for the Bat Mitzvah, but we have time for that.

But then we went to another store, and I saw the world’s most gorgeous dress.

She wrinkled her nose at it. She said no.

Then she showed me this black formal dress … it had a ruffled skirt, and diamond (fake) edging. She said, “if you flip this around a little bit, it’s just like [friend she’s going to NYC with]’s dress.”


I told her there was NO WAY she could wear a tunic-like-dress and leggings if her friend was wearing something like THAT.

So I made her try on the dress I liked.

I actually made her try on both dresses I liked.

Fortunately, the $316 one was too big in the 12, and too small in the 8, and they didn’t have a 10. (I wouldn’t have bought it – I swear).

But the one I really loved was right around $100, and she looked so gorgeous in it, even she couldn’t argue with me about it. She ended up loving it, too. (I tried to take pictures, but the flash kept making it too shiny, and doesn’t do it justice – so I found this one on the internet.)


It’s in my closet now. I don’t trust their closet.

Problem is – it may be too dressy for the Bat Mitzvah, although perfect for her NY evening. And definitely too dressy for the school dance. So, while I was hoping to get her only two outfits (one for NYC which could also be used for the Bat Mitzvah services and the school dance, and a second for the Bat Mitzvah party), now I think I’ll be getting, like, 4.

I need to check with my friend (mom to the Bat Mitzvah girl) to be sure that E wouldn’t appear to be “showing up” the party girl.  I’ve seen her dress, and it’s probably on par with E’s.  Not dressier, but not more casual.  E’s perhaps looks a little less dressy, only b/c the party girl’s dress looks older.  E’s empire waist, I think, makes it a little more innocent, and a little less formal.

My other major difficulty with an 11 year old with big, wide feet: shoes.

We went into Stride Rite, where they sell Borns and other fancy-pants (to me) shoes in kiddy sizes, and the woman told me, “you really can’t shop for her here, anymore. She’s too big.”

How do I buy shoes for an 11 year old? I don’t want her to wear high heels. I refuse to allow it, actually. I also don’t want to spend $100. But if I go into the adult realm, I’m struggling to find her something that doesn’t violate both of those rules.

Oh, the hardships.

In the meantime, I got J a sweet little brown dress with white polka dots, and found 15 different choices of shoes – little brown ballet flats, regular flats, Mary Janes, you name it.

But not for E.

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Long Day of Nothing

Soccer games took up my day from 7 until noon.  Then an impromptu shopping trip with a friend that took longer than I anticipated.

I hate shopping.  Today, I wasn’t shopping for me, and other than a pair of silver earrings that I loved in Ann Taylor, I barely looked for me.  My friend is hosting a Bat Mitzvah in a couple of months, and needs multiple outfits.  I went to help her with that gargantuan task.

Is it within the Jewish tradition to pay for a daughter’s wedding?  Because I just can’t imagine having to do this coming of age party (x 3 for my friend) and then still have a wedding to do (x 2 for my friend).  It seems a wee unfair.

Considering the example I’ve set for my kids, and how much they’re already internalizing it (remember J’s story?  about the mom in the story getting married IN Powell’s Bookstore?), I may not even have to do a single wedding.

Lucky me, potentially get away with paying only for college.  [sarcasm.]

I would love to hear experiences of Non-Jewish people attending Bat Mitzvahs.  I have no idea what to expect at this party.  It looks like my family is invited to the services early in the day as well as to the party at night.  I am definitely getting the impression that we must wear different clothing to each of these things.  I believe that I can wear something I already own to the services (and lunch following), and I think I can wear a dress that I own to the party.  I have to buy the girls some clothes, though.  Because they mostly own soccer shorts and jeans.  And what about Beloved?  I just do not know.

My friend said, “you can wear whatever you want.”

When I finally got around to collecting my kids from various friends’ houses, we were all grouchy.  E flared up at me, and J whined and argued with me, and I am generally just tuckered out from the icky gross ewwy shopping and the emotional torture of having unpleasant children.

So now I’m on my couch.

Wanna know something funny?  The mall we were going to is quite upscale.  I had run into my friend at soccer practice, and I was dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, with the unwashed hair pulled back in a bun.  She asked if I wanted to go with her, and I said, “not without a shower first.” and I then went home and showered, and put slacks anda sweater.


I have been to many malls in my life, having grown up in a weird part of the country where there is 100% nothing to do, and malls were considered the place to hang out – and even as that bored and frustrated teenager, I didn’t dress up to go TO THE MALL!!

I snicker at my own self.

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