Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shopping Tales and Swimsuits

I’m still alive! Woot, woot! Alive, and continuing to try and find enough time to sit down and stomp out a few blog posts for my loyal, persistant (possibly stubborn? You should really get that checked) readers. And what has brought me from seclusion this time?

My mother.

As I sit here listening to Maestro Fresh-Wes smoothly telling me to “Let Your Backbone Slide” (I wish I were joking), I think about my mother.
Mom and I at my wedding shower 6+ years ago. Because we both looked rockin'

My wonderful, caring, helpful and ever-giving mother. Who also happens to love a bargain. In particular, clothing bargains for her grandchildren.

"Well Andra,” you say. “That doesn’t sound so bad. I love a bargain. Have you become so snooty that you’d turn up your nose at a deal?”

No, dear readers, no. I, too, love me some good pricing. I look through flyers, eagerly download coupon apps and lust after particular items at stores that I just *know* will drop in price later, thus contenting myself with watching and waiting until then.

However, I can tell you that very few people hold a candle to my mom when it comes to tracking down deals. Or at a minimum, very few people hold a candle to my mom in the telling and re-telling of how great a bargain was had. 

“Andra,” she’ll gasp through the phone (because the-telling-of-deals can never wait for a face-to-face-meeting. It must occur immediately after said purchase, usually within 2.75 minutes of leaving the store). “Andra, wait until you hear about the bargain I got at {insert store name}”. She will then launch into a 24 minute epic retelling of The Day Of The Great Sale (typical sub-plot: The Store Marked The Price Tag Wrong But I Fought It At The Till) that makes “War & Peace” look like a 4th grade short story. 

This saga will ebb and flow, with highs and lows, edge-of-your-seat moments (The other lady wanted it too! But mom courageously fought her off, the two of them later becoming friends as they bond over a mutal love of lowlowlow prices and grandkids), and the occasional tear. The conclusion is always the same: A financial breakdown of the exact original price and all previous sales prices, followed by the final, momentous, what-did-she-actually-get-it-for cost. 

As she’s often shopping for my children (particularily Ave … that woman is thrilled to bits she’s got a girl to buy for once more) its fortunate that mom usually manages to snag cute outfits.
If I had triplets they'd be so coordinated, y'all!

See? Trendy, age-appropriate, and will surely look wonderful on Her Royal Highness come summer.

The thing is.

The thing is, sometimes the lure of a bargain clouds the normally-sane judgement of my mother.

"Uh … mom?” I ask as I pull out an outfit a modest Hutterite would covet from the pile of garments. “Uh … what was the thought process behind this one?”. She’ll squint at it, trying to remember the pricing breakdown and drama involved in it’s aquisition. “Oh, that one! Don’t you think it’s cute? Can you believe there was an entire rack of those left? And all marked down to $0.99 from $29.99, too! Sometimes I don’t know what the store is thinking. That’s almost a 100% savings!”. 

I’ll tell you what the store was thinking.

“We’ve got to burn our purchaser alive for buying this crap” followed by “… and then we’ve got to do everything short of pay our goddamned customers to take these out of the store so we don’t have to spend more money disposing of them later. Fu-uck. Where’s my drink?”.

Mom’s rare missteps for Avery fall into one of two categories: (a) the So Modest The Taliban Would Tell You To Loosen Up attire, or (b) the Class ‘A’ Whore togs.  There is no in-between.

I was thinking of this earlier today as I went through my bin of summer clothes that mom had bought for Ave last year. One-by-one I took the garments out, pulling off sales tags (many, many, many sales tags. Damnit mom. Get yourself under control) and smoothing out wrinkles. And then I stumbled across this rather-innocuous little number: 
Except that it’s not innocuous. Not when you realize its the baby-version of the Ultimate Whore bathing suit, the Cut Away:


and even
Jesus, Kate Upton. Or ... Kate Upton loves Jesus? I'm confused in my state of anger.
See? I let my 1.5 year old out on the beach in that, and it’s only a short drive and a few years from Dressing Like A Whoreish Nun And Loose Morals Land.

I realize it’s my own judgement as to whether an outfit is slooty or not. But lets keep in mind that the woman who raised me, the woman who helped develop my sense of what’s appropriate and not, the very woman who decries the colour purple as “a whore’s colour” picked out this swimsuit. She won’t buy purple bras, but she’ll sure-as-hell buy a cut out swimsuit for her baby granddaughter if the price is right.

Priorities, mom. Priorities.

And with that in mind, let me get back to my intensive exercise program. Because while a cut away swimsuit is too lady-of-the-night for my daughter, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to have the body to rock one myself. Or the lowered moral standards.  

*note: Before I get called out as a wholly ungrateful person, please know this was written tongue-in-cheek and with a large dose of admiration for my mom and her bargain-hunting-ways. Sure, there might be the occasional slip-up/cut out swimsuit, but that woman’s saved me countless dollars and more importantly, time that can be better spent with my family. Given how busy I am most days now, thats worth more than gold. So, neener neener neener, haters.*

*side note #2: I'm still a posting fanatic on my Instagram account, and would love to get more followers! You can find me under thedomesticproject.*



  1. Too funny! Sometimes a bargain is too good to pass up!

    Hmmm purple is one of my favourite colours to wear. Maybe that explains the occasional whistle when walking down the street!?!???!!

  2. Bahahahaha! This is great! My best friend recently went swimsuit shopping for a her 5 year old daughter. She lamented via imessage about all the "street walker swimwear". Because you know I can do so much from Switzerland. I suggested a wet suit. Apparently I'm not helpful.

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