*Note: Everything I am thinking appears in italics.
Last Friday our eldest son pulled out a pair of jeans for the first time since last winter with the intention of wearing them on a field trip with his AP Environmental class. The jeans were at least two inches too short.
A few days earlier he had pulled out a dress shirt, tie and khakis, the standard uniform for a school Mass. The shirt sleeves were at least two inches too short.
Please, please, not another shopping trip.
Most of the time I am used to the fact that I am surrounded by boys; stinky clothes, footballs in the house, mind boggling appetites, toilet seats, caveman tendencies . . . all these things I take in stride. But it always takes a shopping trip to remind me that, yes, I am surrounded by boys and that, yes, Purgatory does exist.
"Shopping? Today?! But that's going to ruin my entire Saturday!" moans Nicholas, who would rather be drawn and quartered than go shopping.
Listen here buddy, ol' pal . . . it's no picnic for me, either.
We go to Kohl's where I leave him in the men's section to look for a pair of jeans. Fifteen minutes later I find him wandering aimlessly. According to him, there were too many selections and he didn't see anything he liked. A wall of jeans, and he finds nothing.
Isn't shopping an inherent skill? He must be missing a gene (ha! a pun!), or something. I mean, really, who needs to be taught how to shop? Well, obviously my son. Shopping 101 ... let the class begin.
We find a pair of jeans and two dress shirts but, just to be sure, I insist he step into the torture chamber known as the dressing room. He is grumbling the entire time; according to him, it's a lot smarter to try everything on at home and just return anything that doesn't fit.
Smarter for me to get this done right here and now because I'm not coming back with you. Ever.
He actually likes picking out two ties and is even a little adventurous in his selections. Progress?
A cute 17-year old girl is at the register.
"Wow, you must have a lot of nice places to go," she says to Nicholas, while folding his shirts and coordinating ties.
Nicholas laughs and says it's just a wardrobe update. She asks what school he goes to, what grade he's in, they talk about the friends they have in common . . . yadda, yadda, yadda.
When we walk out of the store Nicholas is grinning; in fact, he's happy. An hour and a half of shopping, and he's happy?
Shopping 101 . . . CLASS CANCELLED.
I don't think I'll be needed anymore.