Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tales from the mall

I was in a children's wear store at the local mall this afternoon, browsing for possible Valentine's Day presents I could send to the Little Princesses.

(Yes!! -- whereas just walking past a Baby Gap once had the power to fill my eyes with tears, I have reached a point where I can now go inside a children's wear store and browse, gleefully even. It seems cute miniature dresses and leggings no longer have the power to hurt me.)(Much.)(Usually.) 

I was holding up a pink T-shirt that said, "Big Sister" and debating whether to buy it (there was also a yellow T-shirt in a smaller size that said "Little Sister") when an eager store clerk pounced upon me.

"Oh, do you need something for Pink Shirt Day? It's tomorrow, isn't it?"  she trilled. "My daughter was telling me she needed something to wear, and I thought, all the years I've worked here and you don't have one pink shirt you can put on??" 

"Pink Shirt Day?"  I repeated slowly, blankly. It was like she was speaking an entirely foreign language. I had NO IDEA what she was talking about.

Then I had a vague memory of seeing a post on Facebook about kids wearing pink shirts to school to raise awareness of bullying. Fine cause. But -- as a woman without children -- definitely not something on my radar.

I suppose I should be flattered that this woman thought I was shopping for MY KID (who would be 16, had she been around, and definitely not fitting into any of the things in this store).  These days, I'm just as likely (make that MORE likely) to be asked about grandchildren. (Not sure which is worse...!)

It wasn't an "ouch" moment, exactly. I was more bewildered and bemused than anything else. But I have to admit that this one brief exchange made me feel like a complete fish out of water -- and more than that, was yet another reminder (as if I needed one) that I don't belong to The Club. :p  That I didn't really belong in this store.

I beat a hasty retreat, and left empty-handed.

(I Googled "Pink Shirt Day" when I got home. I found various sites declaring it to be Feb. 25th, April 8th and May 4th -- I guess it depends on where you live?) 


  1. Um... I haven't heard of Pink Shirt day at all. And not sure how wearing a certain shirt can end bullying. Especially when the bullies themselves wear the shirts and then simper on about how we need to end bullying. Can you tell I'm a little jaded about events like this?

    But I love (prior to the woman coming over) that you were in the store, enjoying yourself.

  2. @Lollipop/Mel: It also occurred to me that, aren't kids always dressing up for some cause or event or another at school these days? I just saw photos on FB of kids dressed up to celebrate 100 days of school, and other days it's PJ Day, etc. Aside from wearing costumes on Halloween in grade school and a few dressup events during School Spirit Week in high school (e.g., 50s Day (complete with noon hour sock hop), I don't ever remember special dress up days when I went to school. One more of those things that makes it complicated to be a Mom these days, I guess (because it's generally Mom who winds up noting these events & making sure the kids are properly dressed, isn't it?) -- and, to be honest, sometimes glad that I'm not one. ;)

  3. I haven't heard of Pink Shirt Day either. Sounds.....interesting.....

  4. Here are a couple of links:
    -- there's an explanation here of how Pink Shirt Day began

  5. Yes, I love that now you can happily browse a kid's clothing store. I have to stop myself going into them now, because I'm always buying cute outfits for my niece, and the cost mounts up (and I'm unemployed rather than retired).

    The thing that always reminds me that I'm a fish out of water is when I'm asked if I want to go on the mailing list for their catalogues, or whatever. "No, I'm just the aunt," I respond, forgetting I probably buy as many clothes for my niece as my sister does! (School uniforms take a lot of pressure off parents in this neck of the woods.)

  6. LOL, Mali, I am on a few mailing lists for kids' stores. I figure you get the odd useful coupon or sale notice, & it's easy to hit the delete key. I was checking my email one day while The Little Princesses' mom was sitting beside me at the table & she started laughing & said, "I love that you get emails from The Children's Place." ;)

  7. P.S. I find it hilarious that I have to prove I'm not a robot on my own blog!!

  8. I just had to look it up on Boo's school website. Great, now I gotta go out and find a pink shirt. I'm hemorraghing money here....

  9. Reminds me of our holiday somewhere. I saw some cute holiday T-shirts and was thinking of buying them for my nephews (bro's sons) since we were planning to visit them (last year). I was checking out the designs and the price when the store clerk asked me how old the kids were, so I said, "Oh, these are for gifts. They are XX and XX years old." Thankfully he let me be he he...

    I never heard of a Pink Shirt Day, either.

  10. I love shopping for kids stuff now too. We spent Christmas day with some friends who have a child and loved shopping for him. It was so much fun. I'm glad you can find joy in that too!

    There are too many of these days for specific colors or other events... I have no idea how people keep track.

  11. Ahh, yes, that foreign language. I believe it's called "presumptive-ese"?