I asked Austin to try on his clothes and make piles of what fit and what didn't. When I entered his room, I was engulfed by an enormous pile of smelly, wrinkly clothes. Seriously, his clothes covered every inch of his floor. I opened his closet door and saw this...
Yeah, a shirt, and his graduation robe. So, his choice was - wear shorts and the same 3 mangy t-shirts all winter long, wear his graduation robe to school, or (gulp) go shopping with me. Needless to say, he chose to wear shorts all winter long.
After folding the clothes he'd outgrown and packing them away for Jackson, I dragged his butt out to Old Navy despite his protests.
"How about this, Austin?" I asked, holding up a button down shirt with a collar.
He made a face like I had just suggested he wear a pink tutu to school, and backed away from me, shaking his head.
"What's wrong with it?" I demanded. "It doesn't have any holes? It isn't completely threadbare? It has (gasp) buttons?"
"I like t-shirts," he said simply, defending his accoutrement of choice.
OK, what do I care if my son wants to look like a hobo. It makes no difference to me. I moved over to a display of t-shirts and held up one for Austin's approval.
"Ummm no!" he said in no uncertain terms.
"For real? It's a t-shirt. It's a plain ole t-shirt. What's wrong with this?"
"It has stripes."
"and...?" I prompted.
"I don't like stripes. It has to be plain."
"Well, of course it does. What was I thinking?" I muttered to myself as I reached for a plain red shirt.
"Not red," instructed Austin before I could even hold it up.
"Tell you what. I'm going to look over in the women's section. You pick out at least 5 shirts before you come find me."
I walked by the display of freakish mannequins and looked at some cute, colorful sweaters. They're cute, but I could never wear something that hot. I passed the sweaters and browsed through some Ts. I held one up to me, but noticed it had long sleeves. Ugh, I'd never buy a shirt with long sleeves. I looked at another table loaded with colorful shirts. I started to look for my size when I realized they had a regular t-shirt neck instead of a lower v-neck and I knew I'd be clawing at my throat within seconds of putting this shirt on because it would rub against my neck and make me insane.
I moved on to another rack when it hit me. I'm worse than Austin is! This was yet another way in which we were alike. I remembered back to when he was a preschooler and he'd scream for hours that his socks felt weird. I looked down at my sockless feet and tried to remember if I even owned a pair of socks. Do I apologize to Austin and tell him that I understand his pickiness? Nah, no sense in letting him know that I'm weird too.
After he picked out his shirts, I grabbed
And yes, I actually do know how men's sizing works. But I was working with a teenage boy who came out of the dressing room and gave helpful feedback like, "I dunno. I think they fit. Umm, I didn't check the length. Oh, I was supposed to fasten them when I tried them on?"
In the end, I managed to buy a couple pairs of jeans and a handful of shirts for him. He really didn't even complain too much. It was probably the best shopping trip I've ever had with him.
Now to get winter coats for Austin and Savannah who seem to have grown freakishly long arms since last winter...