Notes from Mother’s Journal: Shopping

Shopping I

It was interesting reading your comments on yesterday’s raincoat post. So many of you went the modification route – tailoring, rubbing with tallow (?), rigging it so that I could have the coat I wanted AND the coat that existed. I never think about tailors. I never think about customizations. I think it’s because I have always been standard size; not super tall or super short, not super wide or super thin. My boobs are average. I can buy off the rack.

I am very lucky for this, but it means that I am not a creative shopper, in a lot of ways. If I find what I want, I buy it. If I don’t, I don’t. If I was 5’2″ I imagine I would have a different approach to shopping for pants. It wouldn’t just be about the hips.

In other words, aside from how much money I have to spend – which isn’t very much, but still, I am not *limited* to thrift and consignment, I choose to shop there – I am shopping from a privileged place.

Shopping II

This morning I said to the kids, what do you want to do today? I am not feeling very well and have very little energy – am either fighting off a proper cold or enduring a Mom Cold

– you know, the Mom Cold. Where you don’t have enough time to get really sick so you just operate at 40% for three or six days –

anyway, I felt this morning like I got two hours of sleep on four bottles of wine, which could not be further from the truth.

Trombone said, “Let’s go to Toys R Us!”
I said, “We were just there on Sunday! Nothing will be new.”

Because on Sunday we did our grocery shopping at the Superstore at the mall and afterward, while I bought $10 36B bras, SA took the kids to Toys R Us to look at toys.

Trombone said, “OK, how about Zellers.” (Zellers, soon to be Target, if that gives you Americans any idea what I’m talking about)

Please note. The kids don’t actually GET any toys when we go toy shopping. They just browse. They love to browse. They exclaim over everything and press all the buttons and try out the bikes. They are in a strange shopping stage. Don’t get me wrong. I am happy that they don’t whine and cajole. If they whined and cajoled I wouldn’t take them shopping.

Although, the last time we went to Zellers it was for the express purpose of choosing toys to buy with gift cards they got for Christmas, so I clarified,

“We are not spending any money at Zellers, right?”
“Oh yeah, right right,” they said.

OK. I put some tea in a travel mug and we drove across the killer Patullo bridge to Surrey and went to the Surrey Central City Mall. 45 minutes in Zellers! They looked at the toys and I leaned against the shelves and drank my tea.

“Well, these toys aren’t very fun,” said Fresco.
“Yeah, let’s see if there are any other stores,” said Trombone.

So we went out into the mall – a mall I have been to once or twice I think, and only because there is an AMAAAAAZING liquor store within it. There was a Winners. We looked at the toys at Winners.

“Nah,” said Trombone, “why don’t we go look at some shoes.”

Some shoes.

“I am not buying you any shoes,” I said. I was weary. It was close to lunchtime and I had mall head and I had already changed Fresco’s diaper in the mall bathroom because where do we poop? THE MALL.

“I know, I know,” Trombone said, “I just want to LOOK at shoes.”

I don’t know why I pressed the issue, but I did. I’m just ornery I guess.

“There is no point in looking at shoes when we don’t need shoes,” I said.
“But I like LOOKING at shoes,” he insisted. He was quite adamant. “I like the exciting ones that flash. And I like Spiderman shoes. And I like thinking about what shoes I will get next!”

Clearly he is my son. Yes. We even wear the same size – 11 – his in kid, mine in adult.

So we looked at some shoes at Payless. Then I remembered we needed bread so I looked at the mall directory to see if there was anywhere to buy bread and there wasn’t, but there is a Taco Bell in the food court.

I really love Taco Bell. I know. It’s disgusting. I know.

I ate tacos and the kids ate fries and I watched, uncomfortably, as the woman at the table next to us paused in her cell phone conversation to yell at her daughter (toddler age) for spilling her apple juice and interrupting her while she was on the phone. Then she told her daughter to stand away from the table, against a pillar. I think she was trying to do a time out in the mall food court. It didn’t work.

Depressing, the mall food court. Although I found myself thinking that it would be a great place to work if you were pregnant. Taco Bell, Greek food, Chinese, Japanese, pitas, salads, burgers and! a “Beard Papa’s” which is a franchised CREAM PUFF store. Man. If I had been pregnant working in that mall, maybe my feet would be a size 12 now.

(The food court in my old workplace was really fucking awful.)

I had to buy bread at Zellers. At Zellers, the Wonder Bread is at kid height and comes in shiny foil bags covered in colourful balloon shapes. Fresco is obsessed with Wonder Bread. Those bread marketers really know what they’re doing.

I kind of can’t wait until Spring. I miss the playground.

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