Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Pants Story

I thought I had blogged about this already but I looked through my posts and whadayaknow, it's not there.

I have a teeny, tiny shopping addiction. As evidenced by three separate times in our lives when we had SEVERAL credit cards maxed out, adding up to a number I am not proud of and will not reveal.

Before The Boy was ever conceived...wait, back up farther. Before The Man and I were ever TOGETHER, I had a 50 gallon Rubermaid container stuffed with brand new children's clothing. I'm not even going to try to defend The Container.

It didn't get any better after The Boy was born. I bought him everything from regular retail clothes from Old Navy, Gap, Gymboree, Janie and Jack to high end designer clothes from department stores and boutiques (i.e., Seven for all Mankind jeans, Antik Denim jeans, Ralph Lauren, online boutiques, boutiques in San Francisco, Sacramento, etc.).

In partial defense, and to push for you to look favorably on me, I have sold everything I bought on eBay after he grew out of it. So it's not a total waste. It's an INVESTMENT.

I didn't think anybody would notice the brands, or how many clothes The Boy had. I didn't shop for these things for status or for other people to notice. I shopped for them because they were special and The Boy deserved special clothes because I LOVE HIM SOOOOOOOOO MUCH. I especially did not think my parents noticed his clothes because they were never into designer labels. When I was a kid we shopped at Mervyn's and JCPenney's. And there's nothing wrong with that. But that's why I thought they wouldn't be paying attention.

Also, I never thought I was doing anything in excess until this happened (the story I am about to tell you). I just thought I was providing for my kid to the very best of my abilities.

My parents have purchased only a few articles of clothing for The Boy over the years. Maybe a handful of things when he was really little (less than six months old), one or two things after that, and then at about two years old it really halted to a stop. And I was really surprised. I thought they would love doting on him and buying him all kinds of clothes. One day, I think The Boy was about three and a half, I asked my mom, really casually, "Mom, why don't you buy clothes for The Boy? I thought you would love doing that for your (ONLY) grandson. Is it because he's a boy? Like, if I had a girl, do you think you would buy more? Since girl stuff is so much cuter and frillier?"

Her (very cold) response: "Don't you think you do enough of that for everyone?"

I was shocked. I felt like I had been slapped across the face. I honestly did not know how to respond to that. So I didn't. I just dropped it. But on the inside, I resolved to prove her wrong. I was going to go home and count how many clothes he had. I was sure it was going to be a small amount and I could prove to her that we were PRACTICALLY DESTITUTE and she should buy her grandson some DAMN CLOTHES!!!

I got home and decided to start with his pants. All of the pants I counted fit him at the time.

There were thirty.

I did not continue counting any other articles of clothing.


Kelvin Kao said...

I'm the oldest kid (of three) and my parents probably bought me the most stuff... initially. And then they realized that I grew out of them really quickly so they stopped buying so much. My sisters had a lot more hand-me-downs since my parents knew that the clothes would not fit for a very long time.

Eventually they gave all the clothes to relatives having babies. And we gave all the toys away (most of them anyway) to relatives with kids when we moved to the United States.

Rph Mommy said...

I love shopping. When we found out Wee One was a boy I think The Husband was relieved that I wouldn't go crazy buying littley girly stuff. That relief was short lived. There is a LOT of extremely cute boy stuff. LOL

Fabulously Broke said...

I am so linking this :)

It's such a great cautionary tale... LOL :) I hope you don't mind - I was a shopaholic too

Annie said...

I so understand. I'm such a shopper, I actually started a blog about local shopping...I have fantasies about selling ads on it and thereby turning shopping into my actual job. I have found that "professional" shopping helps me not spend quite as much, or at least spend more carefully!

Kait said...

I can relate to your mom, actually. My niece and nephew receive more clothes than they could ever wear, both from my SIL and from her family. I have stopped buying the kids any clothing because I feel like I can't compete, and like anything I buy will only be worn once, if at all, because there is such a big selection to choose from already.

It sounds like it was sort of the wake up call you needed and it's great to hear that you realized you were overdoing it! That's great.