I heard a friend mention today about taking her preteen daughter clothes shopping. Another friend remarked how glad she was that her same-age daughter has a school uniform (private school) so the gotta-haves are cut down considerably.
It took me back 27 years (it cannot have been that long ago. Simply cannot be.) ....... I was about to start 7th grade, which was high school in my town at the time. Our high school was grades 7-12. And it was right at the height of designer jean craze. And real honest-to-Pete Izod shirts, with the alligator and NOT the faux ones that had other animals.
Now picture it -- a fat kid dying for designer duds. But I had one great advantage: a mom who loved me but didn't spoil me. She didn't mind going to the nearby department stores for the Izods, but the jeans..... well, I had limited options. The department stores didn't carry my size in Jordache, Calvins, Glorias or any other designer label. Or in Chinos (the brand name) ..... so what was I going to do? I would be D.O.O.M.E.D. before I ever started.
Mom to the rescue: we went to a place called World of Clothing about an hour from here. They're still open but I haven't been there in a lifetime. We went there one Saturday -- I want to say that someone from my mom's work went with us, but can't remember which person. We shopped, and shopped, and shopped. I got a pair of Levi's, a couple of pairs of dress slacks (similar to Chinos, but not that brand. Oh well), and ..... a pair of Calvins. My mother made one thing quite clear: when they wore out, I'd best enjoy the memories I had with them, because I was NOT getting another pair.
Izod shirts were another story. I got a few of those, with the real 'gators on them. Of course the trend of it having to be a REAL alligator on it died out by year's end, as had my Calvins. I gladly stuck with Lee's and Levi's the rest of my high school career. I still love polo shirts, with or without an attached symbol. And really, when was the last time you saw a 'gator on one?
I'm sure Mom (and Dad) had some misgivings about giving in to me ..... of course, I was cheap compared to my brother who insisted on having the real-honest-no-fakes original Air Jordans. They were $85 in 1985, and by that point times were a lot tighter for us. Again, Mom indulged but not right away...... and told him the same thing: You tear them up, and you do not get identical replacements. You will get CHEAP shoes.
I had good parents. And I still don't think I've thanked them enough.