Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Last night, for the first time in a looooong time – I went back to school shopping with Dave’s daughter. If I remember my own high school days, I usually went with my mother – tried to go to a big mall out of town, and usually, I blew whatever money I made as a trail guide at the riding stable I worked at. I also remember going on ‘spree’ with my friend, Jessica. We’d do the Charlie’s Angels thing in the parking lot… We’d flirt with shoe salesmen (I can’t actually even remember the last time I’ve been to a shoe store where the sales person actually put the shoe on my foot), and eat at Chi-Chi’s (which always gave me pains the next day).

I don’t remember having too many arguments with my mother about my wardrobe… But when we disagreed – well, looking back – I now understand my mother’s point of view. It WAS the Flashdance-era 80’s after all…

“Kelly, that thing has no neck!”

“But Mom!” I protested, holding the panda sweatshirt with no cuffs, neck, or waist, “Everyone’s wearing them. And I love it! Look! Panda bears!” We eventually compromised. I could have the sweatshirt, but I agreed to wear something underneath it.

Every now and then, I hear echoes of my mother in myself. “Mother-in-me” pops up in odd places (i.e. when I’m arguing with my nephew, and out of desperation say, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!” or encourage a busybody to butt out by reciting the poem my mother always told me:

“Never trouble trouble –
Till trouble troubles you.
You’ll always DOUBLE trouble
And trouble others too!”

Last night – mother-in-me emerged at the mall. She stayed quiet for a long time... Until we walked into Hollister.

NOTE: Have you ever been to a Hollister?!! Hollister infringes on my sense of propriety in that most of its merchandise has “HOLLISTER” emblazoned across the chest. My take – and it’s the same for Tommy Hilfiger, American Eagle, Old Navy, Gap, or even Anne Taylor (although Anne would NEVER do this to me…) – is that if I’m going to wear your name across my breasts, you’re going to pay me to do it. It’s called ADVERTISING, and if you’re not paying, I’m not wearing… nor am I buying. It seems counter-intuitive!

Dave’s daughter didn't feel the same way, because she immediately chose a yellow sweatshirt (price $40. Think about it. She was willing to pay Hollister 40$ for the priviledge of advertising the brand!) with the logo sewn across the front. “What do you think?” she asked.

I explained my theory of advertising. She wasn’t interested in my theory of advertising. She said she loved the sweatshirt and was going to get it. She moved on to these itsy bitsy scraps of denim skirts and said, “I need skirts.”

Here is where my mother-in-me couldn’t help but recoil in horror. She couldn't help it but to exclaim, “They’ll let you wear that to school?”


First, Dave’s daughter, very very slim and lovely, isn’t even large enough to warrant an actual number. She’s a size ZERO. Second, the skirt was barely crotch-lengthed. I would understand if she wanted this rag for the summer at the beach over a swimsuit – but school?!!

I– or more succinctly – my mother – asked the obvious.

“Can you sit down in that? Doesn’t it ride up your butt? How do you bend?”

“I wear shorts under it.”

“But – look at this!” I motioned to a ragged hole located right in front, slightly to the left of the fly. “Are you okay with that?”

NOTE 2: In case you’re wondering where Dave was during this double-team rally, he was standing outside the store against the railing with all the other dads in the mall that night. This was clearly up to mother-in-me and me.

Dave’s daughter thought about the skirt for a moment. I don’t know if she was appeasing me, or really thought maybe it was too holy and short. She put the $40 rag scrap back on the shelf. My mother-in-me raised her hands in victory.

Then, she did something I wasn’t expecting – she put the Hollister-ad-cum-sweatshirt back on the shelf too! Then she chose a smart-looking button down striped shirt and said, “What do think of this? It’s expensive, but I like the way these fit me.”

At this point, mother-in-me lowered her hands and waited to see what I would do, as if to say, “I wouldn’t pay 40 bucks for that – but whatever, Kell – it’s your call…” She disappeared, leaving Dave’s daughter and me alone. I picked up the shirt. It was nice. It had finished hems – it was well constructed. I shrugged and asked, “Will you wear it a lot?” She nodded. I told her I liked it…

As she paid, I went out to find Dave. “You owe me. I just talked your daughter out of buying a 40$ short-short skirt with a hole in the front…”

“Man, I’m glad you’re here…”

He didn’t acknowledge mother-in-me, but I didn’t expect him to know much about that part.


PS – On a completely different note, I just spell-checked this post… THE COMPUTER KNEW THAT HILFIGER IS SPELLED WITH ONE “L.” – This is completely WHY I don’t wear Hilfiger. If he’s so famous that the computer knows how to spell his last name, he doesn’t NEED my advertising… However, Tommy? If you’re willing to pay, just send the shirt and the check. I’ll wear it.



  • At 9:43 AM, Anonymous DF said…

    Thank you, Kelly, for giving some boundaries that a teenage hero can bump up against! You did a very loving and caring thing for Dave's daughter. It's been a tough week for idealism in my life, but this post was a bright spot.

  • At 2:35 PM, Blogger kimmmmm said…

    Kudos to you for saving Daves daughter from ridiculousness. My younger sister (she's 22) sometimes wears those stupid not-skirts. I tend to throw fits and tell her I won't be seen in public with her. Who would of thought that at 26 I would be such an old fuddy duddy?

  • At 6:02 PM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Ah Kell this is one of my favorite posts. Right up there with the whole costumed mascot post.

    I love that you found your inner-mother and think you will be a terrific parent. Whenever.

    I love that you told her your advertising theory rather than just being a snotty parent. You know that she will be repeating that tidbit to everyone at school and a whole new trend will catch on.. of not wearing clothes with brand names on them.

    The difference between the impluse buy which you wear once (or never) and the shirt that you wear all the time is a priceless lesson to learn. How many of our closets were chock full of things that our friends helped talk us into ..when we knew we wouldn't really wear it?



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