Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Where are the Dresses?

Lately, I'm miffed about a lot of things. I'm miffed that it's such an inconvenience to find raw milk, butter, and cheese, and once I do find it, it's outrageously expensive. I'm miffed that the government makes such a mess out of the health of this nation, and rather than come clean, it would rather just keep slapping one ridiculous, trendy band-aid after another on the situation, while meanwhile most other nations just keep peddling along traditionally, enjoying health. I'm miffed that it's hard to get to the truth of things, and miffed that most people never even try to.

And I'm miffed about the mall and girls.
Lyndsay was invited to a birthday party. A dressy party. Actually, "semi-formal" was on the invitation. I told her she should just wear one of her nicer Sunday dresses, but she wanted something new. As reports started to trickle in about what her friends would be wearing, I was confused. Words like "halter top", "jeans with a really nice shirt", and "leggings" were getting back to me. "Those are not semi-formal!" I protested. And I made my case to Lyns that no matter what so-and-so was wearing, what if she had planned a party and really wanted it to be dressy and elegant and everyone came wearing just a bumped-up version of what they wear to Algebra?
Fortunately, it didn't take much to keep her focused. I've raised a girl. A lovely, feminine, proud-to-be a confident girl. Dressing up is something to look forward to. So, on short notice, we hit the mall.
(The mall used to carry such charm--when I was a young mother, living in the sweltering heat of Mesa, AZ, it was to the mall I'd escape, pushing my double stroller through the exorbitant air conditioning, ignoring the high-priced stores, but instead just walking and people watching, only stopping for Chick-fil-A or Cinnabon. Now, the mall is pretty much just a dreaded nightmare, only endured for Chick-fil-A or Cinnabon. And our mall doesn't even have Chick-fil-A. Another thing to be miffed about. But I digress.)
We searched for three hours. Through the crowds, into one store, and into another. Lyndsay tried on dresses, all of which were scavenged and excavated from racks of immodest, cheaply made, too-casual, and boyishly ugly clothing. Everything was too short, too icky, too tight, too old-ladyish, too low-cut, missing sleeves, or otherwise in need of amendment that I simply didn't have time to tend to. I knew she was getting irritated. So was I. So was Aiden. And Conor? Please. I was miffed. Why was it so hard to find a dress? Isn't half the population female? Shouldn't females be wearing dresses? Can't girls look like girls? What has happened to femininity?

Finally, FINALLY! we stumbled into a store and found not only a few cute, modest dresses, but they were 50% off! (Not a big market, I guess, when you can have boy-next-door or slut instead.) We found four that she liked, but decisions, especially decisions under pressure, are not Lyndsay's forte. I pulled out my favorite tactical maneuver.

"I know. Ask the clerk to hold them all. Let's get out of here and go eat a Cinnabon and think about it for a bit." She bit. (She is my daughter after all.) And that's what we did.

Upon returning to the store, one dress just seemed to sing to her more loudly than the others, and she made up her mind quickly. And bought a necklace to go with it. After hunting down shoes (of course) and a gift for the birthday girl, we high-tailed it out of there, a total of four hours later.

At home, Lyndsay curled her hair. She went to that party looking like a lady. When I picked her up and asked her about how everyone was dressed, she said she "stood out" in a sea of halter tops, leggings, and 'really nice jeans'.

She loved it.


Luisa Perkins said...

This is a huge problem (as are all the others you mentioned). Good for the two of you for coming off triumphant!

Believe me: now that Hope is a size 2 (at age 11, she's almost as tall as I am, and her feet are almost as big), the issue of being able to find modest, feminine, affordable apparel is becoming a quest for us as well.

Andrea said...

I would love to wear more dresses too. They are so hard to find!
Sounds like you have a great girl. So cool.

Abby said...

Never forget about Ross and TJ Maxx! They seem to have more dresses and skirts than *anything* and I like that about them because I'm also very girly and wear dresses and skirts more than anyone else I know here. I like being thought of as girly. Who wants to be a boy, anyway? Boys smell. :)

Hannah said...

I'll tell you what! It's such a shame what's happening in our society these days. Everyone wants to be uni-sex. Boys and girls are wearing the same clothes! It's crazy! We were made different from eachother for a reason. I love embracing my femininity and am trying to instill that in Bella. So far she is girly-girl through and through.

Lyndsay looks stunning as usual

Megan said...

I love the stuff at Mikarose.com and my cousin's daughter just pointed me to eShakti.com whose tagline is "Complete range of sizes from size 0 to size 26W on every style. And custom sizes too. And custom styling as well: you like a style,
but want the sleeve, neckline or length to be different? Easy as 1-2-3."

Of course, pricing is another story, right?

Anonymous said...

I can remember when my daughter didn't fit in to the "normal size clothing" and finding "plus" size clothing for a 5th- whatever grader was hard. I remember having to literally pick her up in tears and carry her out of there because the clothes touched her funny or didn't cover her they way that they should. Then she started running now clothes are easier to find her size now the modesty issues come in to play. What I call undershirts have saved the day more than once and boys basketball shorts save her from exposing her whatever. Thanks for writing this post. It made me feel like a regular normal mother in this irregular, irrational, normal world.

Don said...

As a dad who gets to go dress shopping - especially at Christmas - it's suddenly a little bit tricky now that my oldest is no longer in girl's sizes. The last few years we've gone with separates, because we just couldn't find a good dress for her.

Aside from the struggle to find modest dresses (which I remember my sisters complaining about 25 years ago, so it's not a new phenomenon) I think girls have it easier when it comes to buying clothes. It's socially acceptable for girls to wear boy's clothes, but absolutely not the other way around.

My sisters used to regularly raid my closet, and I had no recourse.

(I'm still very happy to be a boy, though.)

isshou ni said...

try googleing "mormon clothing websites" it is a fun ride at the very least!

Misty said...

ok, from one disgruntled chick fil a lacker to another- AMEN... It's a tough time to have and be a girl. Genny may only be 10 but she is so fashion sensitive right now and it's truly disheartening...

Kara said...

With our daughter now being 12 and wearing a misses size 6 dress and size 8 shoes, yes, it is a challenge. However, one blessing, indeed, is her being able to shop in the misses section instead of the junior's. Uggggh. Nightmare.

After reading Don's comment, I'm hoping this next Christmas I will be feeling well enough to go shopping for a dress with Anna. :-) She is so much fun!

I think it's interesting no one is leaving a comment mentioning health. After a 8 year struggle to get to the bottom of my health crisis, I appreciate and guard my health now more than ever.

I agree that our nation has made a mess of our health. And, what's sadder is most people have no clue they are being jipped of good health down the road by eating foods that are filled with "garbage" they have no clue even exists. Some of the most dangerous things are not even on the label.

The FDA is so quick to approve chemical substitutes for real ingredients such as sugar because they have zero calories and taste great. Never mind they are made from industrial waste. "Come on, Mikey is eating it. It tastes great so it must be good for you." NOT.

Then there are the GMOs ... an it gets worse from there.

You are so right. It IS tough to get the the truth of things and frustrating not many people try. And don't care to. They just "go along" with the status quo. Well, not this house. :-)

As for HEALTHCARE in this country. Well, the chronic lyme disease controversy says it all. Money first, patients last. In the words of Willi Burgdorfer, the man who discovered the lyme spirochete, "It is a shameful affair."

Good luck with both your health and your happiness! Hugs, ~Kara

Anonymous said...

Luciette says to tell Lynds, "cute dress"....:)