DJ came home from shopping with her Nana last week. She'd mentioned to me several times that she could use a new pair of rain boots. I'd found several pair at Target and had offered to make that purchase. She was unappreciative of my effort. Apparently her feet had more expensive taste than my tight fist was willing to plunk out. She "needed" Hunter boots - a mere $120, plus tax.
"Are you planning to move to a Rainforest?" I questioned. "We don't exactly have monsoon season here in Raleigh."
"Dad - our campus is huge! When it rains I get soaked!"
Had she transferred to The University of Portland and not informed me?
"The campus is 20 acres and you walk on two of them. Besides, I offered to buy you boots."
"Those Target boots would fall apart after I wore them five times!"
It's interesting how concerned my eldest daugther has become with the quality of merchandise over the past couple of years.
"So, assuming it rains 15 times this year, I could buy you three pair of Target boots and still save $75. I'm willing to take my chances on the Bullseye brand."
Luckily for DJ, her Nana has a taste for the finer things in life and a looser grip on her checkbook. Although to hear Jesse tell it, that was not always the case.
Apparently my sister-in-law, Sallie, once wanted a Lilly Pulitzer jumper, very stylish in the 80's. Nana didn't buy one; instead she made it! I'm sure you could hardly tell the difference.
I went on-line to see if I could figure out how to make shoes for the kids. I got to step 27 and decided it was just too complicated:
Step #27: Preparing to sew your upper to your sole.
When I was growing up, my dad was no better than I am now. Perhaps that's where I learned it. The only alligator seen in my house was when Peter Pan was on the Wonderful World of Disney. None were on my clothing.
When all of my friends were sporting Polo shirts in high school, my gift boxes were packed with a cart pulling mule on the front pocket. My dad couldn't tell the difference, although every girl I might ever consider taking on a date could.
I remember working and finally saving up enough money to buy one of those fancy shirts with the pocket pony. My mother and I walked into Nowell's at Cross Creek Mall. There was a stack of Polo's higher than the Princess and the Pea's mattresses. I was nervous, my palms sweaty. I had to make the right decision. This might be the only one I ever owned.
The sales clerk pulled down a huge bundle folded ever so neatly. He looked down his nose through his bifocaled glasses as if he were Ralph Lauren himself. As I unfolded the one I thought I might want, navy with thin forrest green stripes and a red horse, a piece of tissue paper gently floated to the floor.
This is class, I thought to myself. This is how the other half live, and I like it.
I do understand how she feels. My parents sent me to school in JC Penney Huskie blue jeans as a kid. I guess Nowell's didn't sell plus sizes. If you want your child to get beat up, toss him on a school bus to Walker Spivey Elementary wearing chubby clothes from Penney's. It'll work every time.
If I recall, there was a hippopotomus embroidered on the back pocket.
Lisa would have bought her the boots. When she died, she wrote five rules for the girls to follow. One was: "Gang up on dad when needed." When I asked her what she meant by that, she said, "There are times when the girls are going to want to do something, and you're going to be too cheap or too protective to let them. When that happens, I want them all to gang up on you and make you do what I would have done. If there is a great pair of $300 shoes that will make DJ's prom dress the coolest at the dance, buy them for her!"
Easy to say when you're not looking private school tuition and twelve years of college in the face.
I probably made the wrong decision on the boots. Thank goodness for Nana.