Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Exchange

My mom always tries hard to get Ken and I nice gifts for Christmas.  In fact, her packages are often the only ones we open on Christmas morning.  Ken and I don't buy each other Christmas gifts, or if we do we don't wrap them up all pretty like my mom does.  We  don't exchange gifts with friends or other family either, with the exception of a World Vision gift exchange with a few special people.  So my mom, a Bat Mitzvah-ed Jewish lady, is our Santa Claus.

I have exchanged 99% of all the gifts my mom has ever chosen for me, mainly because she tries to buy me items of fashion without a grasp of my personal style.  For many years, it became a joke among my friends that my mom would always buy me a pink sweater, because she really likes it when I wear pink.  Every pink sweater was traded in for another colour.  Eventually she gave up on pink, but she's still not hitting much closer to the target.

The current problem is that my mom loves "feminine" clothes, which to her means things that are frilly, lacy, pleated, and pouffy.  She gravitates towards styles that would complement a rounded figure.  I am not rounded.  I am a skinny thinnifer made mainly of planes and bones.  My mom picks out sweaters and blouses that I would be happy to wear if I had an ample bosom.  My bosom, while quite satisfactory to me, is decidedly not ample.  Madonna circa 1986 would have looked great in the little top my mother picked out for me.  I didn't even bother to try it on.

Off I went to The Bay to play the exchange game.  I also had Ken's gift sweater with me.  He can't be bothered to browse, so every year he lets me take back his sweater and put it towards something for myself.  It's his little Christmas gift to me.

The Bay carries all the top designer clothing lines.  I spent over an hour wandering through the vast ladies' wear department searching for decent, attractive clothes.  I tell you, there were moments when I almost gave up all hope in that wasteland of expensive garments.

Here are a few of the reasons why none of the clothes appealed to me:
  • Lack of colour.  Grey, black, and purple are trendy at the moment, as I'm sure you've noticed.  95% of all the clothes in the store were grey, black and purple.  Now, I like these colours as much as anyone, but my wardrobe has enough of each.  I don't want to wear variations on the same outfit every day.  Would it kill the designers to add a little variety?
  • Sizing.  I am 5'4", right on the dividing line between normal clothes and petites.  (Contrary to the popular use of the word "petite" to mean frail and delicate, in the clothing industry "petite" just means short.  You can be size 16 petite no problem.)  You would think this would open up both types of clothing to me, but sometimes neither is right.  I tried on petite shirts whose cuffs did not cover my wrists.  The normal shirts' cuffs hung past my knuckles.  *sigh*
  • Extremes.  The clothing was either crazy-trendy or boring as paste.  Very little middle ground there.
I did finally pick out a stylish, serviceable cardigan that will do nicely for work, and a pair of flattering, boot-cut jeans.  The jeans are "distressed", which means that someone in a sweatshop attacked the right thigh and the back pockets with sandpaper.  I think it looks a bit stupid, but it is the trend (I could not find a non-distressed pair of jeans in the stack), and they are otherwise so slammin' hot that I will agree to overlook it.  Not to mention that they are super-comfy.  All in all, although I had to put in some sweat equity, my Christmas gifts turned out well.  Thanks mom!


Lulú said...

Well, at least you found some slammin' hot jeans! I tend to spend waaaay too much time shopping for just the right gift for someone (ask Holland...she'll NEVER go shopping with me again!). lol

I like that your Jewish mom plays Santa for you and Ken every year, and that you wind up with two presents instead of one. You made out great!!

Hope you are continuing to enjoy the holiday season. It's not over until it's over...and then HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Claire said...

You went shopping post Christmas? You brave brave girl. Glad you found some neat stuff!


LL Cool Joe said...

Yep the more distressed the jeans are the better they appear to be at the moment. Nope I never pictured you in pink and lace etc.

At least you found something!

Jenski said...

I'm impressed you jumped right in to the distressed jeans - I get picky with the "wear" on my denim. :-)

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Darn... I had all these frilly and poofy presents I was gonna send you!!! Oh well, maybe next year....

DarcsFalcon said...

You are far more dedicated than I would ever be, especially after the holiday like that. I'd have taken a cash exchange.

At least you found something you really like - that's the main thing. Maybe one day you and your mom can go shopping, and you can show her the kinds of things you like. :)

Glad you had a nice Christmas. :)

powdergirl said...

My Mom would NEVER try to buy me clothing. No one does : )
I don't know what kinda petites place your shopping in though. Its my fave department for fit, because they make things in small sizes, but LONG. They even make jackets that fit me which is hard to do because my shoulders need 2 sizes bigger than the rest of me. I'm a brute like that : D.

Nice post Sparkly, I love talking about clothes!

Jameil said...

LOLOL!! I love black, grey & purple!! But not exclusively. I so get it. I'm glad you were able to find something awesome!

kenju said...

I have not been able to find a pair of jeans to fit and I have given up. A friend told me about a brand she likes, but they are over $100 and I refuse to pay that for jeans! You were lucky to find some, distressed or not.

Juniper said...

I feel your frustration on boring colours and strange trends - sometimes there is just NOTHING I like. Or when there is it doesn't fit - too small on the bust or too big on the waist. Just what IS the 'normal' shape for people these days anyway?

Thank goodness my mother doesn't buy me clothes unless I've virtually chosen it myself. Heaven knows what she would like to see me wearing ;-)

Happy New Year!


Sparkling Red said...

Lulu: I only ever go gift shopping alone, because I also spend tons of time looking for just the right thing. I like to take my time without worrying that some person waiting for me is dying of boredom.

Claire: Luckily The Bay was not busy when I was there. I have heard from friends that other stores with big sales on were crammed with shoppers. Ugh! I can't stand crowds.

LL Cool Joe: I'm ashamed to admit that these jeans even have some faint whiskering front and centre. I've been told that this is a style No-No. What the heck - I can't dress perfectly every day. I just hope that my butt is attractive enough to take the attention off all the weird "ornamentation" on these jeans.

Jenski: I've been resisting it for years, but lately it looks like I get to choose between distressed jeans and "mom jeans". I guess I'd rather be trendy than a fuddy-duddy.

Ron: You'll have to wear them yourself. ;-)

DarcsFalcon: Since my mom shops with her credit cards, I can't get a cash exchange. That's the store policy. Oh well. And trust me, I've shopped plenty with my mom. She suffers from style-blindness, a sad but common affliction.

Powdergirl: Your petites are the opposite of my petites! Maybe it's the Toronto standard, I don't know. In any case, I also have broad shoulders, so I feel your pain when it comes to jackets and tailored shirts. Frustrating!

Jameil: I work with a woman who wears nothing but grey, black, and purple, and it looks like she gets up and pulls on a uniform every morning. Not what she's aiming for, I'm sure!

Kenju: It's silly, isn't it, that jeans have become much more expensive than dress pants. Then again, a good pair of jeans will last for years, so I don't mind shelling out for a sturdy pair. These ones only set me back $30 (on sale).

Juniper: I have found a couple of stores that carry clothes that fit me, so I tend to mainly shop at those two stores. I know I can walk in, grab a size "x" and it will almost always fit. I can't be bothered trying on tons of stuff in other stores, getting all sweaty and messing up my hair, when none of it fits anyway.

DarcKnyt said...

No pink, huh? I can't say I like it either. Wife loves it even though it does her no favors.

Glad you had a good pair of jeans to find. :) Always makes the day better.

zmanowner said...

I always say...a good xmas is getting clothes or things i like even if i have to buy them myself. I am totally with you about having to take stuff back. My penelope always takes stuff back cause i am the caveman shopper...but hey you got some slammin hot jeans and a cool top....good times....happy new years hope the coming year is a great one for you and yours..zman sends

E. Gorst said...

Is that how they distress jeans? Huh! I would love to see that.