I have nothing to say, except, 270 minutes at the mall last evening (we decided to go on Friday rather than Saturday in order to avoid the weekend crowds)! For the math whizzes among you, that’s 4.5 hours! Spent at three stores. If you’re inclined to look at the cup half-full, you’d say that Chloe, like her dearly departed grandfather (whom she never had the chance to meet), is tenacious when it comes to shopping. If you’re inclined, like me, to look at the cup half-empty, you’d say that mother and daughter (mostly mother) are both out of their minds. But I was determined to allow her to choose.
We started at the store where my husband and I bought her holiday outfit. She chose four dresses to try on. Eliminated two of them. Couldn’t decide between the other two – one red and one purple. Both were pretty. But I told her she could not get both of them, since buying both would put us way over budget. After ONE HOUR of tortured indecision, Chloe came to a conclusion that blindsided me: if she couldn’t have both dresses, then she didn’t want either of them.
When I tried to reason with her, explaining (very patiently and calmly, mind you, even though I yearned to scream, “this is the reason I do the shopping for you, little one!”) that she was basically cutting off her nose to spite her face, she said she knew that, but that she just wanted both dresses. We finally left the store, after which she managed to find a pair of shoes she liked. I figured, worst-case scenario, she could celebrate the holidays in patent leather shoes and long underwear.
We then had a quick bite to eat and went to one of the department stores. Saw a few beautiful European-made dresses that she didn’t try on because they were way too pricey. Saw a few 7-year old slutty dresses that she eyed with glee. I quickly put the kibosh on those. We left that store and returned to the first one, because I stupidly thought that maybe she’d now be able to choose between the purple and red. Wishful thinking. The saleswomen recognized us immediately and eyed me with either suspicion or sympathy (I couldn’t tell), and Chloe sat there for another 40 minutes, looking longingly at the dresses.
About to keel over from exhaustion, I suggested one final department store, telling her that if we didn’t find anything there, we’d go straight home (something we probably should have done two hours prior) where she could think about her options for a few days.
Faced with the possibility of going home empty-handed, Chloe found seven potential dresses at our final stop. Some were ok, but forgettable. Among the remaining contenders, we had a resounding yes for the channeling Audrey Hepburn black-with gold-trim dress; a split vote for the sparkly disco queen dress (I was not the one to vote “yea”); a disappointed, but unanimous no for the little red number that had a plunging neckline more appropriate for a thirty-year old; and a huge smile for the peacock blue dress with an embroidered skirt. I ended up buying both the Hepburn and peacock dresses, modeled with pride by Chloe below. The best part was that the two together cost less than the one outfit we bought for her the other day.
For those of you who are waiting with bated breath for the answer to the question indirectly posed in my first Fashionista in Training blog entry: Should 7-year old girls be allowed to choose their own clothes? Well, I wouldn’t dare speak for all 7-year olds. But more specifically, is Chloe ready to make her own clothing decisions? Stupid question. Check back in with me when she’s 20.