Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Budding Shopaholic

It's a typical Monday evening. Daughter and I drop off Bar Mitzvahzilla at his tutoring and then, since we're stuck in North Scottsdale for an hour, I drive over to a shopping center that has a rare treat: a Nordstrom Rack.

But first I have to convince the twelve-year-old. Somehow I've raised a non-shopper. She doesn't want to go clothes shopping, she declares. She'd rather go to Michael's and buy more craft project items that we'll never use and end up stuffing in a closet somewhere.

I drag her in there and get ready to do some power shopping, or at least power looking. By then we only have about half an hour before we have to get back to pick up Bar Mitzvahzilla so map out my shopping expedition well. I decide I can only handle a foray through the shoe department.

Well, lucky me. Daughter and I are the same shoe size suddenly. Both 7s.

Then something happens. While I'm looking, and eliminating, and eventually buying nothing at all, Daughter has a tweeny/teeny moment. She has a moment in which she suddenly bursts from being a gangly, wild, child thing into being a woman.

Basically, she commandeers the cart, careens through the shoe department and picks out about twenty pairs of shoes.

I nod my head knowingly. I knew the shoe gene - not to mention the shopaholic gene - had to be passed down somewhere. She might have been pretending all these years with her resistance to shopping but look what happened when I got her in that forest of shoe racks! Though, of course, I can't buy her twenty pairs of shoes. Turns out that right at that moment that she's turning into me I turn into my own father. I say, "What do you think - I'm made out of money?" Neither of us has ever heard me say this before. She has to eliminate all but one pair.

The next week, I tell her we should go to Old Navy for our break during tutoring. She gives me a thunderous look. She doesn't want to go. She can't stand to go. Why does she have --

She walks in, sniffs the air, and immediately starts stacking clothes in my hand. The next thing I know she's in the dressing room.

Born of a shopaholic and a cheapskate, she'll never know a moment's peace. And neither will I.

Are you a shopper or frugal? Have you ever noticed that you've passed those traits on to your children? Are you turning into your own parents?

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pressman, Author of Looking Up: A Memoir of Sisters, Survivors and Skokie