Thursday, July 8, 2010
I'm Not Feeling the Justice
Hello and happy heat wave! It's a doozy, that's for sure. I've seen at least three or four postings on Facebook that show people's car thermometers with temps over 102 with some caption marveling at the oppressive heat. Mother Nature has been working the power play all year (first the crazy winter and now this). Girlfriend needs to go on vacation and take a load off. So what does one do when it is actually too hot to go to the pool? When I posed this very question to my almost five and a half year old daughter "K" she promptly answered, "Can we go to the mall?" I contemplate this. Lately the mall has been dangerous. A while back it used to be our favorite hangout. We would get a little lunch, visit the pet store (free), toy store and Disney store (free, with a large dose of will power), and a visit to the rides. The rides can potentially suck quarters out of your wallet at the speed of light, but luckily K was happy to just jump on and off the rides without a single quarter going in, so they were free too. It used to be the perfect two to three hour outing. Fast forward a couple of years into a crap economy...pet store, closed. Toy store, closed. Rides, getting too old to care. So now I equate the mall with the money pit and/or full deployment of meltdown management skills as I say, "No" to everything K wants to buy. However, on this occasion I have two birthday presents to buy, so I say, "Okay, let's go have some lunch and buy our two gifts, but NO Disney Store!" I recall our last "free" visit which culminated in our buying a pair of shoes for $7.99 (but not before she begged for everything else in the store). I justified this because they were cheap and had every color of the rainbow which means they would go with almost any outfit. K would sleep in these shoes if I would let her, but at the end of the day, I caved and bought her something when it was supposed to be a "no purchase" zone. I feel my authority as a parent go down the drain as my follow through on my "no purchase policy" goes out the window. Back to the present. We head to the mall and enjoy a girls' lunch (I have nine month baby girl "A" with us too) and then head out to buy our gifts. Gift number one is a visa check card, no fuss no muss. Done. I head to Ann Taylor Loft for gift two. There's a good sale and I am pleased with my second gift purchase. Done. Now what? We walk along, I ignore the request to go to the Disney store, and then we see them...peace signs. Lately K is obsessed with peace signs. Anything emblazened with them is instantly cool. The store is Justice which incidentally is where I buy all of my niece's gifts, so it's not like I'm unfamiliar. I'll sum up the store this way - sparkles, and tie dye, and peace signs oh my! Truly, it is the peace sign mother ship. Mylie Cyrus' "Party in the USA" is playing confirming we are in tween universe. I usually don't set foot in the store without a 40% off coupon. Just our luck, today the entire store is 40% off with no coupon (even then...it ain't Target). Up till now, K has been too little to fit into their clothes so I was pretty safe outside of the webkins, junky jewelery, fuzzy covered notebooks and other tween treasures (nightmares) they sell. K resembles a pinball machine bouncing from rack to rack as she spots each peace sign. I agree to the matching back pack, lunch box and water bottle (appropriately blinged out and peace signed) as they are school necessities. Then we start eyeing up the clothes. A feeling of dread hits as I realize I have been sold out by a growth spurt...their smallest size now fits. It's not like we're short on clothes, but K has grown out of some of her things. A peace sign bathing suit and pajamas (the pj's totally make her look like a teenager - tank top and lounge pants - I want to cry) later we find ourselves at the checkout counter. It is here we spot the peace sign head bands and pony tail holders. Why stop now? Throw them in. If I find these in pretty pony hair at any point I am going to kill myself. Tally it all up and we have our new hundred dollar store (that title was previously reserved for Target, but at least then it was groceries and other "necessities"). I am somewhat mullified by what I "saved" with the 40% off, but there is no way in hell I'm ever buying anything in there without it. K walks out carrying her Justice shopping bag looking like a scene from Pretty Woman. She is beside herself with joy. I can't get out of this mall fast enough. An effort that is being hampered as Baby A keeps grabbing everything that is sparkled and in arms reach (which is everything by the way). As we finally make it to the exit, we pass Abercrombie. The manequin is sporting a skirt the size of a postage stamp and a plaid shirt tied above the naval (and it's not looking as innocent as Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island either). Maybe I can live with over priced bling and peace signs after all. Stay cool everyone...even if it means a trip to the mall!