Thursday, May 26, 2005

The clothes make the girl?

A-Girl has always liked what she calls "belly shirts" - shirts that are a little too short and rise above her belly when she raises her hands above her head. Her dad and I haven't been big fans of belly shirts but that's what she likes and they aren't so short or small that I would say that they're inappropriate for her age. We pick our battles and this isn't one we generally choose to fight.

Today she tells me that she doesn't want to shop at Marshall's anymore. She says that every time she goes there she ends up with belly shirts (not really true but . . . ) and her friends have said that she wears too many belly shirts. Her friends have also suggested other places to shop like Target and Limited, Too. Remember - these are 7 and 8 year old girls.

One relevant piece of information is that there is one girl she calls her best friend (let's call her Friend A). This girls considers A-Girl one of her best friends but has other friends as well. A-Girl has been struggling with jealousy in this relationship. It is apparently Friend A who says that she doesn't like A-Girl's belly shirts. So the concern is that A-Girl wants to change what she's wearing and where she shops in order to please said friend. Big D rightly said, "Look, if she doesn't want to be your friend because you wear belly shirts, then she's not a very good friend." Amen to that. He also said, "You shouldn't change yourself for anyone, except your parents." She rolled her eyes.

It's not that I have anything against shopping at Target. In fact I love Target and if I'm there without proper supervision, I spend way too much money. Limited, Too I have mixed feelings about but at least it's within our budget. But what happens if she wants to be friends with someone who tells her to shop at Prada? Two words - no three - no f-ing way! I know, that's sort of beside the point but what if?

I'm just not prepared for these conversations. I can't remember caring about clothes quite this much until I was about 11 or 12. Or maybe even 13 - that's when I really, really, really wanted a cashmere sweater and I got one for my birthday and the housekeeper shrunk it in the wash and that's when I started doing my own laundry but that's a story for another time. She is not supposed to grow up so fast. So, after my husband imparted his very practical advice, all the wisdom I could muster is "Act your age, not your shoe size." (She wears size 13 shoes - get it . . .?).

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