We haven’t finished a full week of school yet, and we’ve already had a fight in our house about school clothes. The second day of school started with a 6am battle over holey jeans and a short shirt. That’s too early in the day for an argument. The school has toughened up its dress code, which doesn’t bother me at all. With all the hormones floating around the high school, I’d be happy if they had to wear nun habits and burkas every day. The new dress code seems very reasonable, but to low-rise jean lovers and bare midriff teenagers it smacks of communism. Jeans can have no holes or fraying, and tops must cover the stomach at all times, even when you’re reaching for something or bending over. Nothing wrong with that, except that three-fourths of the clothes made for teenage girls these days don’t meet the dress code. Teen Angel loves her holey jeans, but I’m not about to leave work and pick her up from school because she didn’t dress up to snuff for classes. I decided Friday that a shopping trip was in order to prevent any more morning clothing battles, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy to find the right stuff.
I’ve posted before about my clothes shopping frustrations. Let me just say that shopping with a teenager requires a whole lot of patience and a margarita or two. It just makes my head hurt, and it’s harder than finding clothing for yourself. The hoochie mama styles refuse to go away, and necklines hang lower than my kneecaps. Anything with decent coverage has some kind of goth-like logo, a Marilyn Manson picture or vulgar saying. I cannot let my child wander into Hot Topic unattended anymore. On a recent mall outing she came out of there with a T-shirt that said “I pooted”. “I pooted”? I didn’t realize it was cool to share that with others now. And to think I’ve been denying it all these years.
Part of the problem is that teenagers work in most of these stores, so you have to battle their influence when your kid is trying on clothes. The clerk in a store that sells jeans for prices higher than the national debt raved about a pair Teen Angel tried on Saturday. “They fit great,” said Perky Clerk. Now these pants were as tight as the bark on a tree and were riding five inches up Teen Angel’s crack. When I gave her the “what the heck are you thinking” look she feebly added that they tend to loosen up with wear. Not enough to meet the school’s dress code or MY code. Show us the next size up, please. And do you have any jeans cheaper than a 2003 Toyota Camry? Did you know $98 jeans are pretty common in some of these stores? Unbelievable. We managed to emerge from the mall several hours later with four new pair of jeans, a few shirts and some tank tops to go under anything that might be too low or two thin. I was tired, but I didn’t feel so bad because I obviously wasn’t alone. It was a big day for back to school buying and parents were all over the mall, shopping for their kids. There was a fight in every dressing room. I saw one mother battling it out with her teenaged daughter over a pair of jeans. She was pretty angry, and a few people were giving her dirty looks. Not me. I wanted to walk over, give her a hug and tell her that I understood. She could probably use that web address I found for ordering muzzles. That’s one accessory that the school will probably allow, don’t you think?
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