Dad and his four girls…..clothes shopping

I hate shopping for clothes. I have no fashion sense and usually have no idea what would look good. Many times I have to ask my wife if what I am wearing matches and usually depend on her to pick out the clothes on the rare occasion I buy them. I am so fashion inept that back in high school three of my female friends basically laid out rules on what to wear for me, what colors go with what and such. I remember checking that list many mornings before dressing for school. I went to a Catholic school mind you so my dress options were limited, but still too diverse for my fashion limitations.

But recently something has come to my attention, mostly due to Facebook. When seeing the “On this Day” posts I noticed no matter how far back it went I basically was wearing the same things I wear now. In fact, I still have the shirt that I wore in my and Cathy’s engagement photo in my rotation; that photo was taken in 2001. Throw in the fact that I was anywhere between 30 to 50 pounds heavier over the last 15 plus years and I needed a wardrobe update.

I decided to take action and buy one new shirt each pay period. That way 10 to 15 years from now I will be able to see these new clothes on Facebook’s “On this Day” posts and repeat the cycle. Last weekend we went to Kohl’s to get Julia and Mia new outfits for their National Honor Society inductions (subtle brag). It was a perfect opportunity to buy my new shirt for the pay period.

In theory the plan was impeccable, or at least so I thought. The flawed part of my plan? I had to go shopping with four other women. In fairness to my wife she did not do any shopping, it was the three little ones. Olivia didn’t have to get a new outfit for an induction but if you are getting the other two new outfits, well you’re getting the third one something.

I looked around and had two shirts found in under 10 minutes. I was able to get two $50 shirts for a total of $30, that is a savings of $70 (not so subtle brag). I was done, happy and after wondering around a bit to look at some other things, I met up the girls. At this point we had been there for twenty minutes. Olivia had found something and Mia was just wrapping up finding something, I figured we were in the home stretch, boy was I wrong.

I should have known going in the teenager would be the problem and boy was she. What she liked, Cathy nixed (as would I, most were things I don’t want my daughter wearing), what Cathy liked, Julia balked at. The whole experience was soul crushing, I had to fight the urge to just lie down in the middle of the store. I found a kindred spirit in Olivia who also found the whole shopping process just as excruciating.

I know things aren’t going to get better, I have many more devastating shopping experiences ahead of me. The hope is, at least for me, that I will be able to get out of most of these affairs. I cringe at the thought of when Mia hits the teenage years. She is already a diva, combine that with teenagerness (copyright pending) and God help us all. The positive? I will have four girls now advising me how to dress, which will be useful to a guy wearing clothes from 15 years ago.


Clothes Shopping or Hell?

Thursday was my daughter Mia’s 8th birthday. We went miniature golfing (I was one under par thank you very much) and eventually shopping. There is a part of me that finds it adorable that my little girl is growing up and starting to enjoy more big girls things (yes I know that comes off as totally sexist) as my oldest Julia has. However, taking her shopping reminded me of a definite disadvantage of being a man among many women, I hate shopping.

I am definitely not a man that could be categorized as a metro-sexual. Heck I have to ask my wife almost every morning if my clothes match. Sure I can tell which shirt goes with which pants when it’s obvious but when there is a borderline calls I need her to make it. This goes back to my days in high school where a couple of female friends of mine actually wrote out a list of clothing options that went together. I will say I did play it up nicely and when I needed clothes I would always bring a girl with me to go shopping with. It was a good way to get some one on one time with a girl without having to risk rejection.

You always see pop culture make reference to the hapless husband holding his wife’s purse while she tries clothes on. Well, take that and times it by four (one wife and three daughters). Now I didn’t have to hold any purses but man was standing around in Justice while my daughters ran around looking at clothes and other silly crap boring as hell. Random thought: Hell may be a lot of things but I’m assuming it’s not boring, hot? Yes…boring probably not. Makes me wonder how that saying got legs. Of course you can pretty much add “as hell” to almost any sentence and it is accepted, but I digress……

I’m sure Justice is a great store and I know my girls love it. I have to give a special shout out to my wife for getting great deals and saving us over $100. However there was really nothing for me to do or keep myself entertained during the shopping jaunt. I tried to be engaged and point out shirts to my daughter (always with the lowest price tags) but even at eight she realizes her Dad’s limitations.

Here’s the thing, “Justice” is a store for young girls, so I’m left with the option of being a 39 year old man walking around a little girls clothing store looking at the clothes. Yea that is creepy. I know it shouldn’t be because I’m a Dad and as a Dad I have to do things such as this, but I still feel really creepy. There is just something very uncomfortable about walking around a young girls clothing store or even a section for young girls in a larger retail store.

As I mentioned earlier I’m sure I am just helping perpetuate a negative stereotype about woman. A girl loving to shop is a learned behavior and just fulfillment of roles assigned to women by society. Listen I’m not trying to change the world here, if my girls didn’t take part in this behavior I would be more than happy not to have to ever walk through “Justice” again. On the other hand as much as I enjoy my girls playing soccer and doing whatever they want to do, I do like “girls being girls.” Whether ultimately that is right or wrong I don’t know but as long as they are happy that is all that matters.

All I know is at one point while shopping I wanted to revert to when I was 2 or 3 years old and could just literally drop to the floor and lie there. There were times I was actually thinking of ways I could tie shirts together, throw them over a support and hang myself. I’m not a proponent of suicide but in that moment I could have been persuaded to see its virtues. On the positive side my youngest is only five so I have another decade plus of clothes shopping with women.