Saturday, 14 February 2009

Shopping with teenagers

I don't mean to generalize, but shopping with teenagers is a completely different experience depending on the gender. I'm still trying to work out which version I prefer.

Me with the Queenager:

Q: Hold this, ooh and this. (Dumping large pile of clothing onto me.) What else? Ooh this (picks up long floaty dress, suitable only for very expensive trips to a private Caribbean island. Not somewhere we'll be going any time soon.)
Me: When will you wear this?
Q: What? Oh I won't, but I want to try it on. Why don't you try this on. (Holds up another long floaty dress, with no discernable back to it and no hope of wearing a bra underneath.)
Me: Don't be ridiculous. I would look awful in that, and besides I would never wear it.
Q: Just try it on. It's fun.

Fun? Since when is trying on clothes you don't need FUN? If I could do all my clothes shopping (which happens in Leap Years) via the Internet I would, but I have no waist and really long arms, so trying things on is a necessity.

Contrast that with trip for jeans, trousers, anything, for ever-growing teenage son. Henceforth known as Mr. Minimal (in conversation, effort and everything else)

Me: Right, let's go to Old Navy. You need some new pants/trousers.
Mr M: No I don't. I have two pairs of jeans.
Me: That I have to wash all the time to keep you looking decent. Anyway, don't you get sick of wearing the same things? (Which is a bit rich coming from me, I'll admit.)
Mr M: No.

Drag him off to Old Navy, where he walks along behind me and makes no effort to approach the men's stuff, appears ready to die of boredom at any moment and groans loudly every time I so much as look in the direction of things we didn't come in for.

Me: Oh look, these'll be nice, and they're quite dark too so they won't look shabby.
Mr M: I already have a dark pair of jeans.
Me: But if you had another pair you could wear both. (Even I knew that sounded ridiculous, and the eyeball-rolling that followed served me right.)
Me: What about this shirt? This would look good with them.
Mr M: I have three shirts.

Now I am on record as not being a lover of shopping and owning clothes that are older than my kids, but how many teenagers do you know that turn down anything that's free? On the way home however, his strategy became a little clearer:

Mr M: Mom. How much money would you have spent on me if you'd bought me everything you'd planned to?
Me: No, I'm not giving you the money to download I-Tunes instead. Nice try though.


(Blogging off till the end of the week as I take care of a friend in great need.)



  1. What a relief to hear that my son is not the only one who wears the same pair of jeans day in and day out. What really drives me mad is when we go school shopping he is allowed to pick out anything he likes and he does. He'll choose three pairs of jeans he wants but will end up wearing only one of them. I ask you, what is the point?
    And let's talk about laundry, which is now his responsibility. Instead of collecting all of his clothes at once and washing them, he'll pick out one dirty shirt and one dirty pair of trousers and put them in the wash. When that's gotten too smelly for him, he'll wash another shirt he wants to wear and the same pair of jeans again. Ugh!

  2. Are you telling me that it is not getting any better when they grow up! Bummer.

  3. Isn't it strange how these younger ones want you to try on obviously unsuitable clothes. Then later on they get very embarrassed if you don\t look just the way they think you should look in front of their friends?
    Seems like you cannot win!

  4. my teen is the same. Why do I need another one mum, I have already got one?
    I wish I was there to indulge queenager. We could have a ball, especially now I have lost tons of weight. Sigh

  5. Yes this sounds very familiar. so glad they are not teenagers any more!

  6. There is a lesson in this - never ever go shopping with children!
    I think I'll stick to online shopping. It means no tantrums, I can make a cup of tea any time I like and Lazytown is on the TV for emergencies!

  7. Are you sure you weren't shopping with my kids?

  8. fabulous! Sounds like my two boys are going to be much less work & money than girls. If they take after their dad though I'll have to throw their old clothes out when they aren't looking

  9. I'm reading your book now and I have to say that I'm enjoying it thoroughly! There is so much I never knew about living in the UK...I have been considering a move, and if that dream ever comes to fruition, I'll be sure to take your book as a reference. I am also a big fan of your blog - I just started an anglophile blog and I hope you'll have a chance to stop by!

  10. Very funny! Has to beat shoe shopping with a toddler. I can feel a rant about Clark's coming on ........

  11. Thanks for the good LOL, now I know why I just have godchildren and not children. Love the Mr Minimal moniker!

  12. Love that last line! Good try! LOL.

  13. Yep. Haven't got that far yet although my 5 year old likes to shop! (Anything pink will do.)

    Hope everything goes well with your friend. (Have bought your book...just waiting for it to land on my doorstep!)

  14. Thanks everyone. Back now and ready to start whittering on again!

  15. PLease chackout my Saturday post, needing your expertise as we might be coming your way!~

  16. wheres the line where they say..' oh no mum dont sing!!'

  17. I always turn to you for my future ... can't wait!

  18. That brings back memories of my younger brothers when we were kids. They'd live i the same stuff till it pretty much fell off them. Nice.

    Hope you're friend is ok, and you too. x

  19. It is strange the way our brains are so differently wired. Girls are clearly better. It is not normal not to like shopping and to avoid any excuse to do so. But if boys were into shopping as much as girls I would imagine it would be a nightmare, and extremely expensive!


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