Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Fashion and Fun

posted Tuesday, 31 August 2004
A friend wrote to me about her adventures in back to school shopping which got me thinking - Back to school shopping! Another thing I like about home schooling!

But even before home schooling, we have always done most of our shopping at the Thrift Stores. Underwear and shoes sometimes from Target. I have never in my life been able to afford to follow the styles, nor is it much in my nature.

I wish I could say that I am one of those people with such a great sense of style or personal flare that I can look great no matter where I shop. I am however, more the opposite, I would be a fashion disaster no matter where I shopped. Probably even if I had a personal shopper to help me. Possibly, even if I had a dresser to dress me. One of my gifts. Being less young and considerably less slim doesn't help, but is not the whole problem by far.

My girls are more talented that way, especially one. She has such a lovely, slender, graceful little body and terrific personality, that whatever she puts on looks great, simply because she is wearing it. She has some special indefinable personal flare. The other girls are just as pretty, have good taste, and look very good in lots of things, but she has that extra something. She even looks good in outrageous things which don't seem at all outrageous on her. On anyone else, they may well be ridiculous. One went through a period where she would not wear clothes from the thrift store. I didn’t buy her anything at all. couldn’t anyway. She was earning a little money, so once in awhile she got something for herself. Then she and a friend got a Bishop’s order to go to DI and get clothes for another girl. They had so much fun and found some cute stuff for so cheap, they both became thrift store shoppers. I don't know if she still shops thrifts, but she would look classy no matter where she shopped.

My children are basically humble and lovable. They trust that I do the best I can and know that money is a constant struggle. They don’t ask for much. For a while, one of my kids was duct taping his shoes to wear to church without saying a word about needing shoes. It took me a little while to notice, in fact, I think one of the other kids brought it to my attention. I was mortified. Poor kid. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask, just not too upset if it takes me a while to get it together.

Shopping for school clothes is one of the reasons I opposed school uniforms. “They” said it would make it easier and more equitable for poor families, but I didn’t see it that way. First of all, it would be at least a year or more before uniforms started showing up in the thrifts, so the poor people would have to buy new. Also, rich people can afford more, better fitting, better made clothes and even get them washed more easily, perhaps even pressed professionally, and so even in uniform, the rich kids and the poor kids do not look the same. Sacramento mostly went to school uniforms years ago, but you don’t see much in the thrift stores yet.

I love it when kids are happy and uninhibited. As long as they are not too loud, or rude, or demanding everyone’s attention. I am not easily embarrassed by children. I have walked a child-puppy to school, had my grocery cart propelled by a child under the basket pulling along with her hands (I know, not very safe), and only smiled when my daughters complained that a brother was practicing swing dance steps at the bus stop. I think people in society are a little too uptight. Relax, be happy, have fun. Share. We don’t need to scowl or have a poker face all the time. I don’t think we should be intrusive, but we could stand to be a little less inhibited. I wish I had more nerve. How many times have I been stuck in a long line and thought "Wouldn't it be fun to start a sing-a-long?" But I don't. Coward. Maybe someday I will. Of course, I cannot carry a tune in a bucket, so that's a slight problem. One time a couple of the boys and I were going out to the car at the fairgrounds singing The Song That Never Ends (Lamb Chop and Shari Lewis). We saw people laughing and smiling at us and that was ok. What was great was we heard a couple of groups pick it up and go on their way singing too!

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