PLAINVILLE, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Attention Teens: lock-up your parents and hide in the basement. That’s right, it’s …dun, dun, dun… Back-To-School Shopping Time.
For those of you not able to make it to safety, write your will, pick out a coffin, and get in the car. You’re going to the mall.
As if that weren’t enough, your mother is going with you.
But wait. At least you get to wear real clothes.
As a student at St. Paul Catholic High School, I have to wear the required school uniform. I get all the aggravation with none of the fun. I don’t get to choose real clothes, just the sizes I want. That’s it.
I would love to go through the trauma of having jeans that make my ankles look fat or shirts that make my earlobes look too big.
I guess I should be grateful I don’t have to go through the dreaded back-to-school shopping scenario, but I’m not. Having worn school uniforms all my life, I’ve never had the pleasure.
My mother’s fashion blunders are nothing worse than choosing the wrong shade of khaki pants, or too small oxford shirts.
Just for fun, I’ve dreamed up my own back-to-school shopping experience:
I’m at the mall, which looks like a modern torture chamber. It’s time to shop. And shop I will.
There are shoe stores, department stores, and just about any other store I can think of.
Hmmm. Maybe it won’t be that bad. I’ve got a walking credit card (Mom) and an entire mall at my disposal.
Unfortunately, the credit card speaks. And she speaks loudly, voicing her outdated opinions on fashion for the world to hear.
While I’m busy assembling the perfect outfit, I hear the unmistakable shriek of the walking fashion disaster. “Wouldn’t this pink blouse look adorable with red pants and green socks?”
Loud sirens announce the arrival of the fashion police. They’ve come to arrest my mother and free me from her mismatched follies.
But wait. She hasn’t paid for my clothes yet.
So, swallowing my anger, I rescue her from the well-dressed officers and make my way to the fitting rooms.
Five hours and millions of outfits later, I’m ready to stab my mother repeatedly with a hanger, a shoe — anything to make her stop.
Now I remember why I vowed never to go shopping with my mom again. It is also, by the way, the same reason my father hides under the bed when she suggests cleaning. One word. Nag.
So far she’s told me the pants are too big, too long and too frayed. The shirts are too tight, too revealing, too boyish, or too wild.
I’ve had no better luck with any other clothing items.
What happened last year, I wonder. Somehow I ended up with decent clothes that even my mom liked. How? What was that magic word? Ah, yes. Compromise.
With that, my mom and I head back into the store and select some more clothes. Finally, I think, this torture is ending.
Not yet, it’s back to the fitting rooms.
Oh no. The first pair of jeans make my butt look big, the flares make my calves look huge, and the carpenter jeans make me look like Shamu.
On to the shirts. One makes my shoulders look padded, another one makes my stomach look huge, and the next one…well, let’s just say, move over, Babe.
I finally find some clothes that don’t emphasize or add to my weight. After shopping so long, I’m just happy to put on my own clothes and leave.
So what if the jeans make my ankles a little pudgy, and one of the shirts make my arms look heavy?
Exhausted, and somewhat content, Mom and I trudge home, where she will stay until Back-To-School Shopping next year.
You might think this is a nightmare, but it would be a lot better than having no choice at all.
Personally, I don’t know what you guys are complaining about.
Courtney Pendleton is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.