I have a general dislike for clothes shopping. Some of this I have written about before, my issues with analysis paralysis being what they are. Another reason for my dislike is that clothing retail doesn’t make any sense to me. You can never find what you need in a store in the season you need it.
Try finding winter gloves in the middle of February. Good luck! Retailers will have the latest in summer clothing on the display racks, but never a pair of gloves, or snow pants, or a new jacket. Maybe the great thinkers in clothing retail believe that kids don’t wear through their clothing or that the kids keep all winter clothing in absolute pristine condition. That is a statement rooted in fiction not fact though. Clothing retail schedules are opposite what the season is.
There must be some great reason for this, but it makes no sense to this shopper.
Navigating this retail issue is easy for an adult like me. Patience is a virtue here. But that doesn’t work with children. Just as they will not disclose the deadline of their science project until 6 p.m. the night before – children will not tell you that they need new clothing until the day before they need it. Case-in-point, my recent sojourn for shorts for one of my kids.
I began at the local retailer stores, hoping to find what I need. I also dislike online shopping for clothing so that option was out. A trip to the city was on my to do list already, shorts shopping for the child was added to the list.
Having a natural disdain for the giant US-based “mega-low-mart” retailer, I tried other stores first. Alas, just like Casey at Bat, there was no joy in Mudville – I struck out. The first store had shorts, lots of shorts, all the wrong size though.
I think the sales associate at the second store thought I was there to tell jokes, not shop. She laughed and shook her head at my idea that I should be able to buy shorts in September when its still over 20 degrees Celsius outside.
I did find shorts at the third store, but as my child is not training for the Olympics, $110 athletic shorts are a little out of my price range. Even if my kid was training for the Olympics, that is still out of my price range for a pair of shorts.
Desperation started to seep into my hunt for clothing. A fourth store, nothing. Fifth store, zip. I trudged to the indoor shopping mall and could barely find any stores, let alone ones that sold shorts. One fleeting respite to my traumatic shopping experience was hiding in the book store for a few minutes – Zen in the turbulent day.
Grudgingly, I broke down and drove to the large, disliked, blue box retailer. I almost gave up hope walking through the cluttered aisles. Then I spotted it. A pair of shorts. In the correct size. And reasonably affordable.
I won’t say a divine light shone down from the ceiling, and there were no singing angels heard, but I did feel like I had just scored the game-winning-goal of a soccer match.
Having filled the cart with all remaining shorts, I triumphantly made my way to the checkout and got out of Dodge with my sanity somewhat intact.
Of course, the weather turned cold the following day and said child was now wearing pants, but my victory is not for naught. Said shorts are put away for next year. Surely the child will not grow out of them by next spring, right?