Lately, I'm miffed about a lot of things. I'm miffed that it's such an inconvenience to find raw milk, butter, and cheese, and once I do find it, it's outrageously expensive. I'm miffed that the government makes such a mess out of the health of this nation, and rather than come clean, it would rather just keep slapping one ridiculous, trendy band-aid after another on the situation, while meanwhile most other nations just keep peddling along traditionally, enjoying health. I'm miffed that it's hard to get to the truth of things, and miffed that most people never even try to.
And I'm miffed about the mall and girls.
Lyndsay was invited to a birthday party. A dressy party. Actually, "semi-formal" was on the invitation. I told her she should just wear one of her nicer Sunday dresses, but she wanted something new. As reports started to trickle in about what her friends would be wearing, I was confused. Words like "halter top", "jeans with a really nice shirt", and "leggings" were getting back to me. "Those are not semi-formal!" I protested. And I made my case to Lyns that no matter what so-and-so was wearing, what if she had planned a party and really wanted it to be dressy and elegant and everyone came wearing just a bumped-up version of what they wear to Algebra?
Fortunately, it didn't take much to keep her focused. I've raised a girl. A lovely, feminine, proud-to-be a confident girl. Dressing up is something to look forward to. So, on short notice, we hit the mall.
(The mall used to carry such charm--when I was a young mother, living in the sweltering heat of Mesa, AZ, it was to the mall I'd escape, pushing my double stroller through the exorbitant air conditioning, ignoring the high-priced stores, but instead just walking and people watching, only stopping for Chick-fil-A or Cinnabon. Now, the mall is pretty much just a dreaded nightmare, only endured for Chick-fil-A or Cinnabon. And our mall doesn't even have Chick-fil-A. Another thing to be miffed about. But I digress.)
We searched for three hours. Through the crowds, into one store, and into another. Lyndsay tried on dresses, all of which were scavenged and excavated from racks of immodest, cheaply made, too-casual, and boyishly ugly clothing. Everything was too short, too icky, too tight, too old-ladyish, too low-cut, missing sleeves, or otherwise in need of amendment that I simply didn't have time to tend to. I knew she was getting irritated. So was I. So was Aiden. And Conor? Please. I was miffed. Why was it so hard to find a dress? Isn't half the population female? Shouldn't females be wearing dresses? Can't girls look like girls? What has happened to femininity?
Finally, FINALLY! we stumbled into a store and found not only a few cute, modest dresses, but they were 50% off! (Not a big market, I guess, when you can have boy-next-door or slut instead.) We found four that she liked, but decisions, especially decisions under pressure, are not Lyndsay's forte. I pulled out my favorite tactical maneuver.
"I know. Ask the clerk to hold them all. Let's get out of here and go eat a Cinnabon and think about it for a bit." She bit. (She is my daughter after all.) And that's what we did.
Upon returning to the store, one dress just seemed to sing to her more loudly than the others, and she made up her mind quickly. And bought a necklace to go with it. After hunting down shoes (of course) and a gift for the birthday girl, we high-tailed it out of there, a total of four hours later.
At home, Lyndsay curled her hair. She went to that party looking like a lady. When I picked her up and asked her about how everyone was dressed, she said she "stood out" in a sea of halter tops, leggings, and 'really nice jeans'.
She loved it.