I am not a stylish person. I realize you came to that conclusion all on your own without my assistance. It's not that I don't like clothes. I do. I like a cute outfit and a kick-ass pair of heels as much as the next girl. It's more a matter of knowing I can't pull off anything that's too "out there." My main goal is not to walk into a room and know that people are thinking, "Oh, sweet Jesus. What was she thinking?"
My daughter, on the other hand, is very stylish. When I was a kid, a running threat (from the 'rents) was, "Knock it off or you're getting clothes for Christmas." And I knocked it off, because I did not want clothes for Christmas. (Sometimes the threat was more specific - SOCKS AND UNDERWEAR!) My kid is happy to get clothes and shoes for any given occasion or no occasion at all. Santa brought her pink cowboy boots for Christmas one year and she loved them.
Since she was five, she has been dying to shop at Justice. Six is the smallest size they carry, so she had to wait. When she finally hit that much-anticipated goal, she started begging me to take her to Justice. I quickly learned a few things about Justice. The first lesson was that the clothes are freakishly expensive. The second is that the quality does not warrant the price. I try to avoid the joint as much as I can. Instead, when my daughter's aunties ask me what she wants for Christmas/birthday/whatever, I tell them, "Well, you could buy her some God-awful thing at Justice if you want." So far two of her aunts have fallen for it.
The other part of the scoop about Justice is that they have this malevolent scheme that involves coupons. If you sign up for their email list, they will send you at least one email daily. Sometimes more. The coupons are for 40% off. Somehow, you periodically convince yourself that 40% off a glittery $44 sweater is a bargain. The emails warn that this deal is Just. About. To. End. You momentarily forget that your child has left every sweater and jacket she has ever owned . . . at school. When you ask her about the lost and found, she will inform you that the teachers expressly forbid students from looking in the lost and found. You start to picture some sneering yellow-eyed jackal of a school administrator standing in front of the lost and found, using his taser to subdue and immobilize kids daring to look for their lost mitten from last winter.
As you may recall, my daughter now receives an allowance. She had saved up $20 and couldn't stand it anymore. She asked me to take her to Justice yesterday. I reluctantly drove her to the mall and took her to the store of her dreams. She buzzed from rack to rack, clutching her change purse in her hand. She actually had $19 because earlier in the day she had tipped a clown at an art festival (long story).
I wanted the kid to understand the concept of having a certain amount of money to spend. She showed me a few things and I told her she didn't have enough money. I sat on a bench by the fitting room while she narrowed down her choices. Now, if you've never been in a Justice, let me just say that there is a lot of glitter in that store. Plus copious sequins and very, very bright colors. As I sat there, I felt like my retinas were being burned right out of my skull. Finally, she settled on a poncho-type sweater and a necklace. The total was $29. I had two choices: spot her the extra or sit there and risk further damage to my eyeballs. We went up to the register.
"Okay, give me the money you brought," I told her. "I will give you the extra $10 you need."
"What?" she asked me. Like me, her language and reading skills are good but her math . . . eh, not so much.
"You are short ten dollars," I said. "I will give you the ten dollars."
She nodded. "Ohhhh. So you owe me five dollars?"
I started to ask her how she arrived at that but instead just shook my head and escorted her out of the store.
In case you wondered, here is the overpriced glittery sweater, which will be left at school shortly: