Sometimes I think I must be missing an X chromosome, or maybe I was a man in a former life, because I *loathe* shopping. Especially clothes shopping. I would rather do just about anything than shop for clothes. It pains me. Nothing ever fits, and the styles are crazy and ugly, and it costs money. Trying on clothes is a nightmare. Plus it reminds me of something my mother would be out enjoying, so that makes it an automatic no in my subconscious. Yes, I do have issues like that. I don't even own a purse and bought the smallest, blackest, anti-girliest diaper bag available and it sits in my car 99% of the time. Issues.
Alas, this evening found us in search of new pajamas for my oldest daughter. Her current nighttime ensembles remind me of trying to stuff a Great Dane into a Chihuahua's sweater. Now I actually rather enjoy finding cute clothes for the kids (especially baby clothes, I'm a total sucker for those) but shopping for my daughter is a misadventure like no other. First, it means the whole darned family gets to tag along. Second, it means that we can't just pop over to Wal-Mart and pick something out because chances are high it's not going to fit. They don't seem to make clothes for seven-year-old girl linebackers. Third, it means we have to drive somewhere evil (my emphasis) like The Loop, which is basically an overgrown strip mall home to stores like JCPenney, Pier 1, Kohl's, and other froufrou nonsense. The Loop's only saving grace is a Babies R Us (did I mention I love baby clothes?) I suppose it is one step above the dreaded Florida Mall, but not by much.
Anyone who lives in the Orlando area knows that to get anywhere, it takes at least 45 minutes. You just live with it and learn to accept it. Between tourists looking for Disney World and locals trying to avoid the toll roads, and 5,000 red lights in between, you will be driving for 45 minutes. And at some point in your trip, it will probably be raining. I guess normal, sane individuals save these sorts of tasks for the weekend, but we have a penchant for Thursday evening excursions. Amazingly I'm not sure Thursday traffic is any better than Saturday traffic.
Anyhow, back to the story. We had the good sense to first enjoy a nice dinner at a local restaurant in our home town, and then headed to The Loop and our first stop, Old Navy. I found Ibis a cute shirt at a yard sale at the start of summer that was an Old Navy size medium, and lo and behold it fit, so it seemed as good a place as any to start our search. Now the shirt only says Medium. I have no idea if that means medium child, junior, woman, or French fry. We poked around the store and found absolutely nothing. Well, a fine selection of flannel pants several sizes too large for her, perfect for our long, hard Florida winters. Yeah, it will still be 88 degrees come Christmas Day. Oh, and Coral found about 10 different pairs of shoes, Halloween buckets, and tutus she would have loved to take home. The hubby dragged Coral back to the car whining and complaining, and I ran next door with the baby in the Ergo carrier to see if perhaps Justice, "Just for Girls" would have pajamas. Yeah, they sure did, but $35 for a pair of pajamas for a seven-year-old? Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha. No. Thank. You.
We loaded everyone back into the car and drove across the parking lot to Ross. I won't make any preambles here - I hate Ross. Despise it with a passion. I love a good bargain but I hate that store. Something about it crawls under my skin and starts laying eggs. But, we were there, we were determined to find pajamas, and it was likely to be in the price range I was willing to spend. Ross it was. After stomping around the entire store, we found not a single pair of pajamas in her size. Lots of toys that the kids begged and pleaded for, and Coral tried desperately to take home with us, but no pajamas. Pile back into the car and motor across the lot to the Loop West (amazingly just like The Loop, only less east). This time we spotted a TJ Maxx and I thought, in for a penny, in for a pound.
TJ Maxx had lots of nifty things. Hubby was mooning over some shiny bathroom knickknacks and I did see a darling tutu for Coral. But no pajamas for Ibis. How can junior sizes not be represented in the discount stores? Do the teenagers buy up all of the pj's for slumber parties or something? Is this a national phenomenon? So back we were in the car, and back across the Loop West to what we pre-determined to be the final destination of the night, JC Penney. Surely JC Penney would have junior pajamas. The baby bit me when I once again strapped him into the Ergo on our way in.
JC Penney had little girl pajamas. They had big girl pajamas. They had women's pajamas. They had NO junior pajamas. A whole humongous slutty....errr, I mean, fashionable junior section with every pair of skinny jeans, offensive graphic tees, and ugly plaid blousy things you could imagine, but NO pajamas. Do teenage girls just all sleep naked these days? Is that what it is? Do they even make junior pajamas? I'm not so sure they do.
So she tried on the one pair of pajama shorts we managed to scrounge up in the girls' section, and she tried on some plain junior shirts, and a couple of other pajama-esque articles of clothing. The only thing even passably fitting was the shorts. At this point it was after 9 o'clock, the baby was starving, Coral was running gleefully from mannequin to mannequin, kissing their hands and feet and proclaiming they were all her mother(s), and my feet were aching. We drove home in the rain, two hours and half a pair of new pajamas later.
I hate shopping.