"Mom, I am so bored, I think I am going to throw up."
Wow. I was school shopping with my sons. We were in the local surf shop, picking out T-shirts and shorts, just a few things to get through the still hot school months. I have never seen any need to vault into flannel shirts and jeans just because the Gap tells me to.
This comment coming from my son surprised me. I had the counter filled with Billabong, Quiksilver and Element clothes. I brought the boys not only because my oldest son needed to try shorts on, but because the twins were going into seventh grade, and I figured it was time that they started having some input into their appearance. And I thought it would be fun.
You know, fun. To shop. With boys. Ok, so there was my mistake.
I like my sons to look sharp. Lecture me if you will on how expensive it is to buy clothes in this economy. Remind me again how fast they grow out of stuff. Wax philosophic on how as a kid, you only had one pair of jeans.
Because I don't care. There is nothing anyone in the world can say that will convince me that boys are supposed to look messy. Because in my house you will not find floods, shorts above the knee, stained T-shirts, undersize hoodies, long nails, cruddy teeth or superhero sweatshirts. You will not find clothes bought at Target or KMart or JCPenny. I'm sorry, that's the way it is.
Here at the Oves', we are all cool, all the time.
And up until this year, I did the vast majority of shopping without them. But as of late, they had developed opinions, opinions that made no sense to me - opinions about surf boards, rash guards, wet suits, sneakers.
So as a mother, I assumed this new vault of opinion extended to everything else as well. So I brought them. What a huge mistake.
"Throw up? Why?" I asked my son.
"I'm bored. If you won't let me buy a surfboard or a skateboard, I don't want to be here. It's making me nauseous," he said, as he feigned a retching noise.
"All you have to do is tell me if you like the stuff I picked out," I said, as I motioned to the mountain of clothes on the counter. "There are children in the world who could only imagine having clothes like this in their wildest dreams."
He eyed me suspiciously. I had gone for the "deprived kids in the world" scenario very early, and it was one he couldn't fight.
"Fine," he said as he looked through the clothes. "The T-shirts are all cool, this hoodie is decent, but this black jacket will make me look like a gangster," he said.
I urged him to try it on, and he slouched, making sure the sleeves went as long as possible, so as to give the appearance of bad fit.
"Who am I, Johnny Cash?" he asked, as he looked in the mirror.
"Point made, fine. But it is beyond me that you would refuse a beautiful hooded Quiksilver jacket," I said, as I re-positioned it on the hanger. "I think you'll regret it."
"Doubt it," he said as he slunk away to drool at an $800 surfboard.
I love school shopping. I want summer to go on as long as possible, and I don't like to rush it, but the first late August rainy day sends me off to buy clothes and school supplies.
I sent my oldest son, who is more cooperative than the other two, into the dressing room to try on five pairs of shorts. He was out three minutes later, handing me the shorts, smiling and proclaiming proudly,
The shorts were still neatly pinioned into the hangers. Anyone who has ever seen a 12-year-old boy put something away would know right away that I was being played for a fool. Twelve-year-old boys shove, crush, slam and squish their clothes into small areas; they do not EVER hang anything up, unless their video game privileges are at risk.
"You didn't try these on, you didn't even take them off the hanger," I said.
"Mom, they fit. They're my size, so they fit. Will you buy me this skateboard as an early Christmas present?" he said.
"Of course not. Now what about this Johnny Cash coat? Do you like it?"
"Did Dustin like it?" he asked.
"No, he thought it made him look like a gangster," I answered.
"Then I like it," he said.
Twins are a mysterious species.