Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Boy Needs His Momma When...

...he's at the mall.

Forgive me, please, for being stereotypical in this post but - as you'll see - the material was there, and I just couldn't let it go.

OK, disclaimer aside, let's get on with the story.
This past weekend, Matthew and I found ourselves at the mall. He needed a new winter coat and some shirts, and I wanted a new necklace. So we ventured out together to get 'er done.
The winter coat was found and purchased without too much difficulty (But definitely with Matthew being impressed with the sale price we'd gotten. I took advantage of the opportunity to tell him about looking for coupons online before going to the store.) and then the challenge ensued. You need to understand: Matthew is very particular about the clothing he wears. Must be the right color, not too bright, the right kind of fabric, not too long, certainly not too short(!), comfortable-to-him cuffs at the end of the sleeves, no annoying graphics - but not too plain, either. I think I've covered it all. (Oh, and when it comes to athletic pants? He doesn't like a stripe going down the pant leg. The next time you're in the store, take a look at the athletic pants. They all have stripes!)
Anyway, we were looking for sweatshirts Saturday.
As we were walking through the first store, Matthew was basically silent. And not stopping at racks to look at shirts. When it seemed to me Matthew was wandering rather than looking, I reminded him he needed to verbalize some opinions about what he wanted. Such as, "I don't see anything here I want," or, "I like this. I am going to try it on." All the while I'm thinking, Do I really need to teach you how to shop? Isn't that something you should just know how to do? Er, wait. You're a boy.

We left the first store without so much as trying on one shirt. Everything I had pointed to was wrong somehow. Too bright. The wrong texture. Not enough design. Too much graphic. Yada, yada, yada. Quite frankly, at that moment, I was already ready to take a break. And I came up with a great idea. Since I was pretty sure Matthew wouldn't want to stand around while I looked at necklaces, I suggested he look through stores for a sweatshirt, or two, while I went to pick out a silver chain. I told him to call me when he found something and I'd be there as soon as I had my necklace.
I figured he would have the freedom to find just the right shirts, I would get my necklace, and we wouldn't frustrate each other in the search. Wins, all around.
As I was narrowing down my search, my phone rang and I thought, Wow. That didn't take long. Guess I was right. All he needed was a little freedom to pick out what he wanted. (The thoughts of a true female shopper...) But when I said, "Hello," Matthew didn't tell me of his shopping victories. Instead, he said, "Um. I can't do this without you." *swoon* So I told him where to find me, and after I'd gotten my necklace (for 20% off the already 50% discounted price, thank you) we went out in search of shirts, again.

We found a sweatshirt that might be OK, but Matthew thought he'd need a white t-shirt to wear underneath it. And in his mind that seemed to be a legitimate obstacle. I said, "So, we'll get a white t-shirt," and found a two-pack on a near-by rack. Problem solved. Then we looked at a different display of shirts and, by some miracle, located another sweatshirt he was willing to try on. He was slightly concerned that the collar might be too wide, but I pointed out he could wear a t-shirt underneath if necessary. Brilliant!
In the end, we bought the two sweatshirts and got the white t-shirts for free because of a "Buy 2, Get 1 Free" deal. Matthew was happy with our successes, and impressed by my deal-finding ability.
And I learned that shopping isn't an inborn skill for boys.


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