Day Off

Zoe was off school today, and I was off work, so we did what mothers and daughters since time immemorial have done: we went shopping together.

My daughter is a natural-born shopper. She does not get this from her mother. I hate shopping with the heat of a thousand suns, except for shopping with two people: my friend Chris, who is like the coolest adopted big sister in the world, and my cousin Meghan, who could literally wear a paper bag and look fabulous. If I’m not with either one of them, I’m the shopper from hell. I’m a whiny toddler who just wants to leave and is cranky because she’s missing her nap, dammit. I only go shopping when I am on a mission. Get in, get out. Zoe, on the other hand, could shop every day of her life and it wouldn’t be enough. I remember watching her in Macy’s when she was six, quickly flipping through hangers on a rack with confidence. M watched, too, and leaned over to whisper in my ear, “Oh, shit.” Her favorite part about vacation: the gift shops.

I agreed to take her to the mall today because I had a mission: I need a dress for M’s company holiday party. I decided that I’m of the age where waiting until the night before and flipping through my closet praying to find something suitable that fits is not working any more. Well, it never worked, but I never really cared before. Now it’s just embarrassing. I’m tired of showing up to fancy events feeling less than, feeling cobbled together, feeling self-conscious. It helps that I found a store that I can rely on to find the perfect dress. I’ve been buying work clothes there for a little while, and I went in this past summer in search of a dress for my mother’s funeral. I found exactly what I was looking for, and I felt good in it. Plus it was on sale so I got it for $20, which is amazing.

So we headed up to the mall, with Zoe verbalizing a list of about 15 stores she needed wanted to hit and me on a mission to find a dress. We enjoyed lunch and Starbucks and the massage chairs at Brookstone and a bath bomb demo at Lush and we laughed and goofed off and texted the snot out of M, who is at work and, I’m guessing, insanely jealous of our antics. We made an M mini-fig in the Lego store which cracked both of us up but did not elicit the same response from the real-life M. Zoe hung out in Barnes & Noble while I hit my dress store and found The Perfect Dress. Then I panicked about accessorizing it, so I snapped a photo in the dressing room and texted Meghan, and she responded immediately as all good personal shoppers do. A quick trip to Charming Charlie’s and now I’m all set.

So I add my daughter to my list of people I love shopping with, which is pretty cool. She made only one purchase today: a Hedwig ornament for the Christmas tree. Oh, she found about eleventy million other things to buy, but Hedwig was the only one I agreed to. (I declined the $3000 massage chair from Brookstone.) Not a bad way to start our Thanksgiving break.

#blog#M#personal essay#writing#zoe

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