Once upon a time in a land far far away there lived a little girl who loved to shop. Shop shop shop all day long, that was her motto. Thousands of dollars on credit, two kids and one mortgage later, she no longer gets to shop shop shop, unless you count the once-a-week cruising of the clearance aisles at Target.
Then one day, Shopping Beauty's buddy said "Screw It!", and they jumped in their econo-size sedans, piled their collective kids and headed to the swankiest joint in town. Used to be, Shopping Beauty owned this particular mall, but ever since Nordstrom's moved in things had gone far too uphill for this mom from the 'burbs.
Nervous does not come close to explaining the feeling in my gut as we walked up to the main entrance. The trip was actually a last-minute one for me, but luckily we had been running errands earlier, so I was already decked out in all my hip-mommy wonder: $10 white clearance pants from NY&Co, my $3.75 tee from Target (holla!), my $3 clearance head wrap from - gasp- Nordstroms, and my cute little $9 Charlotte Russe pointy-toe flats. Thank you, thank you very much.
So, although I felt moderately comfortable entering this real-world fashion show, I was anxious as to how the kiddos would behave. Taking them to our suburb mall which caters to the mommy crowd is one thing, but dragging them through Nordstrom's, Sephora, Coach, et. al.? Whole different subject. I think I've pretty much gotten past the whole "my children mortify me in public" bit, but I had yet to venture out with them amongst people who think so highly of themselves they deign smile lest you accidentally mistake it as a gesture of acceptance. Plus, the shit in these stores costs a fortune -- the kind of shit my kids tend to destroy.
Not to mention that when my friend and I get together, our kids go nuts. It's part of the reason we do it so much. WE think it's funny, plus they entertain each other while we shop. We have never before actually been able to shop with them in tow, so we are happy to deal with the minor skirmishes that arise when our foursome joins at the hip (you don't even want to know what they're like at Whole Foods). The thing is, what we see as skirmishes often tend to be annoying anti-chldren debacles to the rest of the world. But whatever.
So we hit Nordstrom's, doing the potty thing, cruisin' the foot wear aisle, holding up shoes for Ryan to look at as if we actually could afford to purchase them should she want me to do so. Then comes the cosmetics section, and Jax starts screaming, Ryan and Jayden begin chasing each other around, and every single counter girl glares with fear and hatred in their eyes. We manage to get out all in one piece, when I notice that Ryan is still holding the Cookie Monster doll she had picked up in the shoe section. Mortified, (but a little impressed that she so easily shoplifted from such an upscale establishment) I walked her back to the scene of the crime to return the stolen merchandise.
Having sucessfully manuevered through that obstacle, we continued on, and I felt bolder and more confident with each step. I was intent on giving forth the look and feel of a grown up who really did belong here with all the pretty people. Even as we made our way through more shops, settling for a bit at that make-up mecca, Sephora, I was thinking, "Hah! I can pull this off -- I can be Perfect Mommy who goes Shopping!" Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.
Before I know it, Ryan and Hunter are running around sticking their fingers in pots and pans of blush, powder, lipstick, etc... When I finally tore myself away from my search for the perfect pressed powder, I was faced with Hunter the Clown and Ryan, the little girl whose face he turned black and blue. Oh my God, they looked hideous. Luckily, Angie had completed her purchase, taking Jayden and Ry with her to another store, while I managed Hunter and Jax.
Poor Hunter. I fear he will forever be the little one blamed for everything. I think one of the sales ladies must have seen the mess the kids had made earlier (try as we did to cover up the finger-prints, smudges and wads of tissue), and went to town telling me how Hunter had "wreaked havoc" on their tester products.
"Mmmmkay," I mumbled, so far into my Mommy Make-over that I was not about to let some Bitter Betty ruin my good time. "They're testers, right? They're meant to be played with." I retorted, moving along. I must have pissed her off, because she left huffing as I made my way to the checkout counter, applauded for my fashion sense by not one but 2 clerks, who were clearly NOT trying to butter me up to make a sale, seeing as how I was already in the midst of buying, so shut it.
We glide out of the store, find our counter-parts, and head back to the parking lot, when Hunter decides to try and juggle the recorder-flute- thingy he was playing with, sending it smack onto Jayden's head and breaking it into 3 pieces. Jayden's screaming, Hunter's crying, Ryan is whining about wanting to go to Build-a-Bear, and Jax is just yelling.
Finally we make it out all in one piece, and as I head home with the kids, mentally figuring up my purchases and what level of guilt I should/should not be feeling, I decide that overall, the trip was a success, and one we should consider doing again in a few months/years/decades.
Until I get home, change my clothes, and find the giant purple stain on the butt of my white pants.