Purses and Pillows and Pumpkins, Oh My!

If there’s one person who hates shopping for clothes more than me, it’s my mom. The woman will spend hours in Home Depot or a greenhouse, but trying to get her to try on a pair of jeans is like pulling infected teeth out of a rabid badger. I’ve only been marginally successful in one of those activities, and I still have the scar to prove it.


Damn badger.

But the fact is both her purse and her favorite sweatshirt jacket looked as if they had been attacked by a badger. She had a gift card for Kohl’s—a gift card she’s had for a year—so with the promise of a beer afterwards if she was good, I was able to convince her to go look around.

Considering I need new winter clothes anyway, I figured I could hunt while she sought out the elusive and exotic items on her list that she claimed were impossible to find—jeans, a black purse and a sweatshirt. 

We split up, and it took me .8 seconds to remember that I still hate shopping. Clothes in the juniors department said “slutty schoolgirl” while those in the women’s department screamed “stodgy schoolmarm.”

Considering I wasn’t really going for either of those looks (at that given time, mind you) I was done looking at clothes five minutes and one stuck-in-this-shirt dressing room experience later.

Don’t pretend you’ve never gotten stuck in an article of clothing in a dressing room.

Anyway, after wandering around the store and reassuring multiple sales associates that the only thing they could help me find was my mom—they declined, by the way—I texted her to ask her location.

It seems no matter what we do, I always lose her in a store, which is why I do slightly sympathize with parents who take their kids shopping. However, my mom would never agree to be pushed around in a cart or hooked up to one of those leashes, so I’m forced to hunt and seek.

When I did finally find her, I realized she didn’t answer my text because she was too busy trying on a sweatshirt jacket over her sweatshirt jacket before claiming it was too small. I tried to convince her to take off her sweatshirt, but I could tell she was also nearing the point where that suggestion was as appealing as badger molar extraction.

You pick your battles.

The good news was that despite not trying on any jeans—they don’t carry the one size and style she bought 10 years ago and hasn’t been able to find since—she did find a purse. Thank god for small miracles and big bags.

As we went to the checkout, we passed the first sweatshirt jacket we looked at upon entering the store, one dismissed due to some flaw that was now rendered invisible as it was thrown into her cart to take home.

I asked no questions.

Once we checked out and headed for the door, she remembered she wanted to look at pillows, so I agreed to go put our purchases in the truck while she sat on the bench and waited for me to come back.

When I came back approximately 2.3 minutes later, she was not on the bench. I was not surprised.

After wandering around the store and reassuring multiple sales associates that the only thing they could help me find was my mom—they declined, again, a bit more suspiciously—I looked down an aisle and found her lying on the ground trying out a pillow.

The next 10 minutes were spent with her lying on the ground, trying out pillows—unsuccessfully.

So we left and went to buy pumpkins, something much more enjoyable for all involved. 


I like small pumpkins.

As I was putting them out on my front steps later that night, I got this text from my mom:

“Just said a quick prayer over my old purse and buried it while wearing my new sweatshirt and cradling a pumpkin. I kind of feel like a rock star.”

And that, my friends, is considered shopping success.

34 responses to “Purses and Pillows and Pumpkins, Oh My!

  1. I always lose my dad in the store.

    I sometimes wish he was a car and I could turn on that automatic unlock and hear the beep…I mean thats what I do when I can’t find my car…..

    And leave it to my dad to search for a bed in the store to test out pillows. But he’ll actually fall asleep and 30 min later after I nearly pass out thinking I lost him, there he is, curled up on the display bed. Dreaming about god knows what. That pillow is a winner though.

  2. Yes, I am around all women but even my dad doesn’t mind shopping for clothes. I hate it. With passion usually reserved for coollege football rivalries and bad rocks bands.

    when i have to go with my women to the mall or whatever, I find a bookstore sportsing goods store and loiter until it’s time to go.

    I need to hang with your you and your mom.

  3. My mom does this inhumanly loud whistle thing that makes birds and dogs for 20 miles stop in there tracks. Great for finding each other in TJ Maxx, awful for me as an angsty child trying to blend into the background.

  4. I despise shopping. I haven’t shopped for clothes without the Internet involved in about 7 years. My mother is pretty sure I’m not her kid, but she can’t figure out how that happened.

  5. I love that she was on the floor testing pillows!

    your mom sounds cute, I want to go shopping with you two!

  6. That is exactly what I conjure up when thinking the term “rock star”.

  7. So I kind of love shopping, but only, mostly, alone, especially for clothes and housewares (aka, anything involving taste as much or more than utility). Other people’s opinions distract me, piss me off, or both.

    My mom, on the other hand, essentially will NOT shop WITHOUT a “consultant” (aka ME) to honestly tell her if/when she picks something that looks stupid, dowdy, or cheap. She then either argues with me, or becomes offended when such characteristics are pointed out, no doubt because by hour three, I’m considerably less delicate in my delivery. Also, lots of “why my body is uniquely and singularly impossible to dress, worse and moreso than anyone else in the whole world” monologues. Then – HARK – we find whatever it is she’s looking for, it fits fabulously, looks great, blah blah blah – and costs too much. Not really, but she thinks it does. We argue about what I call her “Reaganomics” (aka, assuming everything should cost the same thing it did when Reagan was in office), she rants about how she’s failed to make me appreciate the value of a dollar, and we go home. I then tell my dad over dinner, when asked how the day went, that she refused to buy a great-fitting pair of jeans because they were too expensive. He asks how much, I say ON SALE FOR EIGHTEEN DOLLARS! He laughs, she pouts, he kindly lectures her and tells her that she really can spring more than a Jackson for some jeans.

    She then wonders why I am maybe-kind of willing to carpool to the mall, but NO, I do NOT want to go WITH you to help you find clothes.

    PS, I really do love my mom, and she’s much more stylish than she thinks (she just second-guesses herself constantly). But yeah. I shop alone.

    • Exactly, to most of what you said. My mom won’t shop without me–or with me, most of the time–and I never actually shop for clothes when I’m with other people. I’ll look, but if I’m actually going to try stuff on and get serious about pretending to buy stuff, I have to alone. When it comes to housewares, food, flowers–basically anything but clothes for me–I actually like shopping, too 😉

  8. Alright, that settles it. Not only do I have to hang out with you at some point in my life, but I have to hang out with you and your mom. Preferably while wearing Depends, as I have a feeling I would spend the entire excursion laughing uncontrollably.

    • If you don’t mind my grandma tagging along, I can hook you up with some “adult diapers” for the occasion. When you’re in Michigan, look us up 😉

  9. Amazon.com baby.

    That badger is seriously SO cute!!! LOL

  10. I took my mom to TJ Maxx for the first time in her life. She got lost in the baby section (pretty sure that’s an unsubtle hint.) I prefer to shop online, as I look better in imaginary outfits than I do in real life.

    • I have never bought clothes online, as I have no idea what size would work. However, I do clothe myself in my head while looking at clothes online or in a magazine. It’s much cheaper and everything fits great.

  11. I have to be in the mood to shop and on a mission of some sort. Even though I’ll never, ever enjoy shopping for jeans/pants. Anyone who says they do, is a liar.

  12. I need to buy jeans this year. I only have too small and too big. I just hate jeans so much.
    I have ripped clothing in a dressing room trying to get it off. Maybe it’s something about the pressure of being in that tiny room. Shees.

    • I need new jeans, too, which sucks because even though they’re what I basically live in, I can never find a great pair. Like you said, they’re either too big or too small. I’m tall with a little waist, so I can either have the waist fit but have them flood up to my knees or have them be long enough but huge in the waist. I give up.

  13. I never shop in real shops. I can’t bear the people who walk slow and stop in the middle of the aisles, and stand, for hours inspecting the ingredients/laundry instructions/whatever. It makes me want to hit them.

    Amazon is my saviour – I shop from the comfort of my own home at the click of a mouse. Heaven.

    I could be persuaded to step foot in a real shop, however, if I were promised the sight of a grown woman lying on the floor testing pillows, because that shit is just AWESOME!

  14. At least your mom buys something. I’ll wander around a store with my mother for hour upon hour and all she does is pick things up and give a hundred reasons why she can’t afford something. It’s hell.

  15. God how I loathe shopping for clothes! Got anymore badgers that need tending to?

    I about fell out of my chair at the stuck-in-the-shirt dressing room moment. Just the other day I was trying on a shirt (I feel it necessary to note that it was from the Junior’s department) and could not get the damn thing off! Had anyone else been in the dressing area with me, they’d have thought I was trying to join some sort of department store mile high club!

  16. I get stuck in every dressing room… Pants, shirts, shoes, you name it!

    My dad drives me crazy when we go shopping — he just follows me around everywhere sighing in a are-you-done-yet? sort of way. My mom takes off and I have to call her phone to find her (guess which one I prefer…)

    Is trying out pillows on the floor a normal thing? I’ve never seen anyone do it but by the looks of your commenters, there is nothing strange about this

    • I don’t think the pillow thing is normal. It’s just that everyone who reads this blog never comes in with any assumption of “normal.”

  17. Melanie The Spork Lover

    I should’ve been born in to your family. My mom LOVES shopping and can stay in a store for hours. I go with the exact articles I need in mind, quickly find 2 or 3 appropriate and try them on, pick the one I like, and get the hell out.

    I was given a pumpkin this year. In true nerd fashion, I am making it in to a Spock Jack O Lantern.

  18. Just stopping by from the Pay It Forward Blogfest. I know,I know, I’m kinda slow. I like to read a few posts and see if I really want to follow a blog or not. I’m not a hit and run kinda gal.

    Loved this post. Love you Mom. I might be her. Don’t tell my kids. I hate to shop. Any kind of shopping, especially grocery. It makes no sense. You walk up and down the aisles aimlessly, throw stuff into your cart, unload the cart, load back up, put in in your car, take it out, put it in your kitchen, put it away and then somebody has the nerve to eat it all and you have to start all over again.

    Nice to meet you. I’ll be back.

    • Here’s the funny thing–and possibly why you might wish you were my mom a little more. I LOVE grocery shopping. I am at the stores 4-5 times a week for myself for my fresh produce and odds and ends, but my mom hates grocery shopping with a passion equalled only when someone steals her beer or kills a kitten. I hate laundry with the same venom, so she makes a list and I do her grocery shopping once a week and she does my laundry once a week. It might sound lame, but it’s a perfect system for us 😉

  19. Sorry, I’m a blond and a space case. I had to come back and say YES, I have gotten stuck in an article of clothing in a dressing room. So glad to hear it’s not just me.

  20. Trying to figure out if I most resemble you or your mom – it’s a crapshoot, lol. Great post!

  21. I know what you mean. If and when, I shop for clothes I do it by myself and am in and out of the store in about 10 minutes. My wife used to shop all day, but now I’m happy to say that she also doesn’t really like it.

  22. Your mum sounds like a real character. I dislike clothes shopping as well so she has my sympathies. Still imagining her lying on the floor trying out pilows. Brillaint

  23. This made me laugh so hard! First because I have SO totally gotten stuck in an article of clothing in a dressing room. It was total panic for about 10 minutes. And second because your mom is hilarious. I kind of want to see a pic of the fabled sweatshirt jacket now…

  24. Aw, such a cool relationship you guys have! Geez, now I will never again think that a badger is cute.

  25. I think I have a crush on your mom. And you got it exactly right, there is nothing in between slutty-schoolgirl and stodgy school marm. If I were a gazillionaire, I would have someone shop for me.

  26. Yep. I definitely like your mom. 😉

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