5.14.2009

complex&gladys

On Tuesday night at Elliot's baseball game, I noticed he was the only one besides the one girl on his team who didn't have baseball shoes. And I got a complex about it. The truth is, we've been looking in second hand stores and at garage sales for baseball shoes for both the kids, but haven't found the right size yet. As soon as I realized this, I had this overwhelming urge to run to the nearest store and buy them brand spanking new off the shelf. Except we can't afford to. Even if we could though, my logic is that there is no point in paying $30 a pair for shoes they are going to wear literally to 6 games and grow out of in time to play again next year.

I ended up getting them both shoes at a thrift store for $9 total, and I'm really happy about that. The thing that got me thinking is this:

I don't want to raise kids that have to have name brand hottest item all the time or they aren't cool type. (incidentally, the shoes I got were some poor suckers almost new Adidas and Louisville Sluggers that their kid wore 6 games last year) I don't want my kids to be the only one without something...but I don't want them to be the kids that get to the point of being all "you're wearing (insert store brand here)? I've got Nike's. Don't get me wrong, I do try to get the kids decent brands, especially shoes, but I try to be as thrifty as possible about it. My mom always tell me I have expensive taste :) We cannot afford, nor would I spend it if I did have it, to get the kids $90 tennis shoes...$30 jeans, and they don't need it. I buy it if I find a good deal, but I rarely buy things brand new.

So where do you draw the line between giving your kids the latest and greatest of everything and giving them things so that they aren't the only one without it, even though they really don't "need" it? The baseball shoes are not a must have, this is 5-7 years old here...it's just that I don't want to make them a target...but then again I feel like I didn't have everything new and trendy and I am fine, a better person for it even.

This is guilt. This is me feeling like someday, my kids will say they were the only one without baseball shoes and they felt so lame and it made them not even want to show up to practice. Maybe I'm over thinking?


*******************************************************

So when we go into thrift stores I allow the kids to pick out something to carry around and play with while we are in the store...keeps them occupied so I can actually shop. The last time we went to this particular store we went to yesterday, there was a lady working and she saw Elliot playing with some truck on the end of the aisle I was in and told him to go put it away. First off, this stuff is DONATED and USED so I think that kids playing with it should be fine, say nothing about the fact that in all reality, it COULD have been something I meant to purchase. But the thing that miffed me is that he would have had to walk away from me a good ways to put it back on the toy shelf. So, I snapped for him to get over by me...and this broad throws her head back and snorts like she cannot believe I just over-rode her. So I haven't been in that store since. Yesterday, it was the only other option, so I went in hoping she was fired by now. No such luck. If I had to describe her, I'd tell you she is dirty, overweight, obnoxious, and I always want to call her Gladys. (she was even gossiping with the customers ahead of me about another customer that frequents being "mental" and when I left the 2 of them were talking about how odd "Gladys" was.) Anyway, there was no sign of her anywhere until we exited the dressing room. She is apparently the toy nazi or something...maybe she didn't have any toys as a kid or something, but you could see her getting all worked up that the kids had toys. I also had my stroller and the way she looked it over while I was in the checkout line convinced me she thought I was out to steal some crap. Anyway, she walks towards up with a dart for a gun, but not the gun Trae was currently playing with.

Grungy lady: Does this belong to what he's playing with...?

Me: Ahhh, nope. This gun doesn't shoot darts.

Brookelyn: Yep, I think it does go to this one mom, riiight....um riiight....here?

Me: (as grungy lady is trying to stick the freakin' dart on the gun that is now in my hand) Nope. It doesn't go to this one...

Brookelyn: Mom, I think it does...

As this most annoying lady stands there trying to prove me wrong, trying different spots where it COULD go but DIDN'T go, I grabbed the dart out of her hands and walked off, wanting to find tape to tape my know-it-all daughters mouth shut.

I decide I want to leave this store because I get irritated every time I come in to buy their DONATED crap and I've got some lady tailing me the whole time hounding me about toys and making me feel like a crook when I am not one. So up to the checkout we go, and believe me when I say if I wasn't already feeling inadequate as a mom I would have left the shoes there and walked out, and she's up there waiting. Lucky for her because I would have made a comment to the cashier if I could have pointed her out discreetly, about how insulting I find her. She finally gets done gossiping with the ladies ahead of me in line and it becomes my turn. Mind you, she IS NOT checking me out...just standing by looking over my stroller to make sure I don't make out with any free stuff. Then she moves in and man is this woman ugly...tickles Archers cheek. Baby cheeks are tiny, so her gross fingers so close to his mouth. (the one thing I hate about thrift shopping is how dirty I feel when I'm done...hands get washed with baby wipes when we're done) So, I pull the stroller back out of her reach. She ignores my obvious discomfort and lunges again to tickle his cheek. "tick-o tick-o!!!...oh, I got a smi-oh!" Me, clearly annoyed, pull the stroller back again with more force...cashier getting clearly uncomfortable with the situation. Grungy about to get slapped lady comes in again, having to step at least 2 steps closer tickles his cheek for the 3rd time. I bit my tongue somehow because I was really close to going off on her, pushed my stroller past her without a glance and headed for the exit. "Have a nice day now, y'all" Seriously?

Jump off a bridge and get clean, Gladys.

So, I vow to never go in that store again because I had to call 3 people on the drive home to vent, and that my friends, was some serious venting.

14 comments:

Sam said...

Ok, now you are making me feel guilty for spending $26.00 on baseball shoes "brand new off the shelf" but I did in fact look for baseball shoes at the consignment sale and could not find his size to have to opt for brand new shoes considering I feel the same way you do and Cameron DID NOT have baseball shoes last year when more than half the team did and vowed this year he would have shoes for the one and only reason that he runs better on the dirt with them and I will admit they look "cooler" but my main intentions were to help him run and play better, I just wanted to say this because I dont want people to think that I just buy my boys anything and everything, I looked for second/third/fourth hand me down stuff first but had no luck...had to say this and I know how you feel, you dont want to raise spoiled brats that get everything and anything because then no, they will not learn to appreciate anything and I will not have children like that because I did not have much growing up at all, christmas's were speant with the Salvation Army and what not, so I of course want my children to have a better life than I did but do not want them to have everything. We took Cam to the cub scouts meeting tuesday night and Mike was telling me that he quit cub scouts after a few years because the "cool" kids were not in it and he was sick of getting picked on...broke my heart. Sorry a little touchy subject at the moment as Cam is getting older and we now have to deal with things like this, so I hear you, and feel you loud and clear!:)

Sam said...

btw-he did not have baseball pants either last year.

Sam said...

Oh yeah, and I would have went off on that lady, I have absolutely NO patience for people like that, props to you for holding it in until you got to phone atleast:)

Amber said...

No offense Sam, we simply can't afford new...and I'm mainly frustrated with where to draw the line. Our kids are plenty spoiled...don't get me wrong, and I wasn't judging people who buy brand new, I think it's more of a I wanted to go buy him new ones with money we don't have to make him fit in because I don't want him picked on, but I also don't want to turn him into the kid who feels like he has to have the latest and greatest to be "cool" and this is a very personal basis I'm talking pertaining to my insecurities with my kids and nothing to do with what everyone else does. I had forgotten you had bought new, and if I offended you I am sorry.

Lindsay said...

i scour the thrift stores too- kids grow too fast and unless we win the lottery, there's just no way we can afford ALL new clothes either. besides, if clothes have been worn before, they're pre-shrunk and broken in (think: no stiff jeans!!). as for strange people thinking they can just TOUCH someone else's kids, i'm with you there... i tend to turn tail and run when i see someone heading toward me with that look that clearly says that they're about to touch my kids. i've stopped caring if they think i'm rude; sorry, but i don't really want some stranger getting close to my little ones. and for one: kids are taught not to talk to strangers so i'm enforcing that very vital rule VERY early, and two: one word- GERMS!!! so yeah, i'm with you on that one! ;)

Stacy said...

I wanted soccer shoes for Brett too this year & yet it seems silly when he has less than 10 games. I noticed that everyone had soccer shoes except him & this year Brett also noticed so we decided to look for some. ($20 at Target but it's true, we have one child so not so bad) I would not have though unless he had metioned it. I don't see at this age the kids teasing about it but maybe in the next year or two. Part of playing the sport is paying for the gear I guess so something to take into consideration. Nothing wrong with 2nd hand! Someone recently contacted me about soccer shoes Brett could wear next year & I am grateful they are willing to pass them on so I will do the same for someone who could wear Brett's when he's done with them in the fall.

Sam said...

I dont udnerstand how you took me the wrong way again Amber but no worries, I will just keep my comments to myself, I was agreeing with you, but I guess with a long winded comment that was taken the wrong way, I agree with Stacy though its part of the sport thing, having the equipment to go with it and thats all that it is, wish I would have never said anything.
Have fun gossiping about all of this girls.:)

Ben, Heather & kids said...

Why can't parenting be easy?

Shannon said...

i hate it when other people try to discipline my kids too. it always happens in stores. i always ignore them. argh.

isn't "brand name" soooo over yet?!?! i guess i'll find out soon enough...

Heather T said...

I agree with you...I feel the same way with my kids...:0) And I don't like random ppl touching my baby, either...gross.

julesann said...

Hi Amber,
Our kids haven't always had new (or a lot, that's for sure) but usually *nice*. I know that twinge you're talking about--wishing you could provide something different sometimes. One tought about the resale shop & toys thing--I know shops usually disinfect things before they are put out. Maybe they are thinking they'll need to redo some items after your kids play with them. Still, they should know (better than most) that kids are going to pick up & touch things that are out on the sales floor.

julesann said...

Also! I heard about an intoxicated man who came into our store to buy cologne (hmmm...wonder why?) the other day. He gave 1$ bills to several kids in the store to buy candy with. Wonder if he figured out where all his money went when he sobered up?

Amber said...

Stacy: I realize that they will need gear to play sports, but for little league they weren't required to have shoes, and it wasn't the kids that brought it up...it was my ow little insecurity about my kid not having what the rest of them had and also feeling like my attitude about making them fit it will make them demand everything everyone else has to make them cool, whe really I think I'm the one afraid I'll be judged about what my kids do or don't have.

Julie: I think this is more of a authority complex on the part of this woman. I go into Goodwill all the time and see people dropping their kids in the toy aisle while they shop and don't feel like I'm doing a disservice to let them play with one thing as long as they aren't damaging it (they aren't) or dirtying it (they aren't) If they put signs up asking parents not to let the kids play with things I would obey them, I just don't think taking it to the point of following someone around the store or demanding a little boy walk away from his mom to put something back is at all appropriate.

Heather: Wouldn't that be nice...? I would also love for the guilt to go away about not doing things "perfectly" so as not to be judged by other parents. I wish we could all just do things our own way and feel comfortable with that and ignore the biting comments from other parents about the way we do things...especially trivial things that everyone has their own way of doing.

I feel like this post was way misunderstood annd no one really got the point of what I was trying to say...not well written on my part to explain what I meant about the shoes ect...and with that I'm just done with the subject in general.

Stacy said...

Don't feel misunderstood Amber! I think as moms we all understand you. I feel like some of those things (new/specific shoes)we should make a greater effort for when the kids are older & really appreciate (and care about) instead of like you say, inadvertently teaching kids they "need" name brands/new. Right now, I've decided we can't really afford to go buy a bunch of new jeans even though all his have holes in the knees. Guess what? He's going to wear them until school is out & then I'll buy ONE nice pair to wear when we go places & that's it. The rest of his clothes will be sale/Goodwill stuff. I'll be watching for school stuff instead of buying all new summer clothes.

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