I went shopping for school clothes with eldest daughter last week. First time ever. I figured it would be a cakewalk, her school has uniforms, all the choices have already been made, how hard can this be? We'll be in and out in fifteen minutes.
Within minutes I was plunged into a netherworld of hemlines and bras and collars and newly found modesty and unknowably arcane fastening devices. Disorienting and disturbing.
I was arguing with eldest - she on one side of the dressing room curtain, I on the other, poking my head in - about the shirt she wanted to buy being too tight (and it was), when an older woman who worked there stepped up beside me and gently asked, "Can I help?" and I all but hugged her in reply and my daughter was whisked away to the area by the sewing machine to confer about whatever is was that needed to be conferred about.
She agreed with me about the shirt.
She effortlessly picked out a few shirts, a few skirts, a few pairs of pants, chatted amiably with me while my daughter tried them on, about her daughters and granddaughters and the drama involved in the choosing of clothes by preteen girls. Ten minutes later we were at the cash register and ready to pay up. We left the pants with her so they could be hemmed to the correct length.
Crisis averted, eldest and I had ice cream to crown our successful afternoon.
I pick up the pants this weekend. I may bring that woman flowers.
Of course, next weekend I get to go clothes shopping with youngest.