Alison and I spent yesterday afternoon shopping. It was the lure of end-of-the-season + holiday sale prices, combined with left over birthday money to spend on ME that gave me this idea, and maybe a bit of the ever-hopeful in me -- forty-some years of coming home with little or nothing still has not killed that hope that maybe today I will find something! Normally a holiday would be for resting and relaxation, you know. Shopping is fun if it includes buying, and maybe some good company. For me, shopping is work! My shoulders ache from trying on every reasonably-priced blouse in the mall. My feet hurt from walking miles in my broken-down Crocs impersonators. I did have good company, but I did not get to spend any money. I'm not complaining about that, exactly, just saying.
This trip was supposed to be for me. But it wasn't long before Alie realized I was only looking for things for her. (I had already given up on finding something decent for myself.) That right there is a huge challenge. Have you ever shopped for modest clothing for a juniors-sized young lady? One who is both modest and particular? It's not easy. There's just nothing out there. I held a cute blouse out to her and she made a face. She suggested one for me to try on, and I made a face. After we had covered 75% of the mall this way she says to me, "Mom, maybe you need to branch out a little." What. Change my dull and frumpy wardrobe taste? To what? She holds out one of those nice blouse/sweater combos and says, "Try something black. Black is in style!" I told her black has been all the rage for at least twenty years, and I am ready for the fashion industry to move on. It's the longest lasting fad on record, ever. Besides, I never wear black. Almost never. I have one pair of black shoes that I paid $15 for, to wear with the dress I own that has black in it. And I only wear that because my husband likes it. Otherwise I'd never wear black. Okay, so what if I have eliminated a good percentage of the clothes that are on the rack out there. "How about this?" Nah. "This?" "Okay, this. Mom, this is pretty." Dark royal blue ribbed sweater with a wide band around the neck, and a fancy doohicky at the collarbone. Okay, I'll try that. I'm actually hopeful. I come out of the dressing room with my hair stuck to my head, blessed static electricity. Alison is thrilled to see me in her pick. "Mom!" she exclaims in a louder-than-normal voice, "You look like ROYALTY!" Yeah, royalty with flat hair, wearing a sweater made for Barbie! I look more like the Pillsbury dough boy with a few extra lumps, all in the wrong places. I duck behind a clothes rack for a moment, while the other shoppers have a good laugh and go back to what they were doing. The sweater is a gorgeous color. I love the style. But, like everything else I tried on today, it's made for either a woman who has been endowed by her creator with a certain shape, or whose upper body is artificial. (I'm pretty sure there is a strong conspiracy between the garment industry and the plastic surgeons of America. ) With that I did give up, and we made our way to the food court to split an Orange Julius. That is, until I discovered they wanted $5. $5!! We settled for a cone at McDonalds and came home with memories of a pleasant mother/daughter afternoon.
Alison and I learn a little bit about each other every time we shop together. Our color and style tastes are so different! Our Labor Day laboring was fruitless in the material realm, but it was worth it for the one-on-one time with my daughter. I'm grateful for the work the Lord has done in this girl's heart, giving her the desire to dress modestly whether or not she can dress fashionably. (JoAnn Fabrics is coming to town this winter. Yippee!!!)
...I need a new body, but I do have the promise of one to come in the resurrection. Hallelujah. In the meantime, I shall consider the lilies.
Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not;and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? Luke 12:27,28