Monday, July 17, 2006

Gloom, despair, and agony on me!


My niece is getting married Saturday. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see this special, godly young lady marry a wonderful Christian young man. Everything is going according to plan, and it’s going to be a lovely wedding.

But let me tell you, there is nothing that strikes fear into the heart of this mom more than knowing, in less than one week,

All seven of us will have to look good – all at the same time!

Four girls, one boy, and me (Hubby gets off easy wearing a suit and maybe a new tie). My heart is palpitating as I type this.

We so rarely dress up anymore – even church is fairly casual – a skirt here, a cotton shirt there, some beady flip-flops, and I’m good. I can’t even remember the last time I wore hose. My daily wardrobe is a pair of Reeboks, shorts and a t-shirt. If I have to “dress up” I wear a pair of capris.

In the nice clothes department, I’m pathetically threadbare.

Main reason: I am just not a shopper.

Here’s my idea of shopping: Go to Sam’s Club for the usual $200 worth of stock items. Wind through the stacks of clothes on the way back to the register. Hurry, because the meat is starting to drip and the kids are losing patience. Grab a couple of shirts. Small? Medium? Hold it up. Whatever, it looks okay. Throw it in the cart (away from the meat). Start mentally calculating the total cost of this excursion. Yikes. Put one shirt back. Buy the other one. If it doesn’t quite fit, oh well, I can still wear it around the house.

Makes me just want to break into a song (from Hee-Haw, all you older folks can appreciate the tune):

Gloom, despair, and agony on me!
I ain’t got no dress for the wed’ festivity
If it weren’t for Sam’s Club I’d have no clothes at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!

Even my last pair of Reeboks (a brand that fits my wide feet), I grabbed off the rack. Size 7? Good. Done.

If I could buy a nice dress online (or better yet, hire a personal shopper), I most certainly would. I hate the lights, the mirrors, I hate having to try things on, and I hate the snobby atmosphere of stores that try to sell me things I just don’t need.

Compounding the problem: I am cheap. In general, I avoid any place that makes me part with my money (my husband even does most of our grocery shopping). When it comes to nice clothes, I expect not only to find high quality and great fit, I expect you to mark it down to rock bottom before I will pay for it.

Which explains why I have so few nice clothes.

The last time I bought a decent dress was two years ago – I remember coming home completely exhausted. I suppose I could wear that dress, but I was nursing a baby then, and well, things just ain’t what they used to be in certain areas anymore. Naw, I’d probably better avoid the deflated look if at all possible.

And the last time I took my oldest daughter shopping, which happened to be for swimwear (I’d rather have my eyelashes pulled out, one by one), we were both in tears by the end. How many ways can a person say, “NO?”

I am so not looking forward to this.

You’d think, with four girls, I’d at least have some hand-me-downs. Well, unfortunately, with ten years from the oldest to the youngest, they are quite worn, to say the least. And after years of baking on that ham-and-mashed-potato stain from Easter 2000 in our 140 degree attic, it’s a lost cause. I looked through our selection, and the ones that do look okay are the wrong size for the younger three. Isn’t that pathetic? Makes me not want to save hand-me-downs.

I’ve perused the local markdown stores – no luck.

On the bright side, my house is starting to look like itself again after our trip (normal clutter instead of trip clutter), and I have absolutely nothing on the calendar, except for seriously disinfecting the kids’ bathroom before my parents arrive on Tuesday.

That leaves most of the week for my unpleasant but necessary mission.

I’m doomed to face my nemesis: the mall.

Yesterday, I actually found some dresses for the three younger ones on clearance at Dillard’s. I'm not even going to let myself worry about accessories and how many times I'm going to have to redo their hair before we finally arrive at the wedding. That makes me break out in a cold sweat.

Three down, three to go (and maybe a tie, if I’m feeling lucky).

Of course, I saved the hardest for last – my tweens and me.

If you need to get in touch with me this week, just page me at the mall.

I may be there a while.

14 comments:

RANDI said...

Your wardrobe sounds kind of like mine--mommy casual! Best of luck finding what you need to look great! I would say that I hope you enjoy the mall, but alas I don't think that is possible! ;)

Wendy said...

You could look online. Although, with it being this week that might not work either. I don't like malls either. I do things online mostly now, which is sometimes risky w/sizes, but easier than bringing 3 little ones w/me.

JennG said...

Have fun! I don't think I'd wish that job on anyone. But look at the bright side, it's a wonderful chance to "wow" the husband again!

Jen said...

OKAY...LETS THINK THIS OUT. HOW ABOUT A SIMPLE BLACK DRESS FOR YOU. ONLY WEAR IT TO THINGS LIKE THIS WEDDING....YOU COULD DRESS IT UP WITH A BRIGHT COLORED SCARF OR SOME OTHER KIND OF JEWLERY. THIS WAY YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THIS BLACK DRESS FOR WEDDINGS, FUNERALS, COCKTAIL PARITES, ECT. GET IT SLEEVLESS, THIS WAY YOU CAN WEAR IT IN THE SUMMER....AND IT WILL BE CLASSY IN THE WINTER MONTHS...AS FOR THE GIRLS GO BACK TO DILLARDS GET THOSE DRESSES ON CLEARANCE...DONT FIX HAIR ON THE YOUNGEST UNTIL 45 MINUTES UNTIL YOU LEAVE OR BETTER YET PUT THIER HAIR UP IN BUNS WITH ALOT OF HAIRSPRAY THAT WAY IT CANT MESS UP. LOTS OF BOBBY PINS. GRAB A TIE AT DILLARDS FOR HUBBY AND POSSIBLY SON. GO TO THE MALL BY YOURSELF FOR YOUR BLACK DRESS. GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE AND HIT DILLARDS FIRST THEY ARE HAVING SUCH GREAT SALES.
GRAB SOME STRAPPY HIGH HEEL BLACK SHOES AND SCHEDULE YOURSELF A PEDICURE THAT WILL BE NICE FOR YOU. IF YOU CANT GET A SITTER....YOU AND THE GIRLS ALL GET PEDICURES...SOMETHING TOTHINK ABOUT I GUESS. MAKE THIS WEDDING GREAT AND A NICE MOMENT OUT WITH HUBBY DRESSED UP AND REMEMEBER TO TAKE PICTURES OF YOU AND THE FAMILY....IT WILL BE GRAND..
JEN

ashlee said...

i laughed all the way through this post. sounds sooo familiar! check target clearance. I can always find somthing there. you cant beat a shirt for $3!!love your blog!!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I loved this post Katherine! Perfect.

Beck said...

Hilarious! Last summer, we had an important wedding to go to - my younger brother's. He wanted my daughter to be a flower girl and for me - TWO MONTHS POST PARTUM - to be a bridesmaid.
I looked like a hippo. In lilac satin.

Joy said...

I feel stressed for you girl!! I hope that the shopping is a sucess...you guys are all adorable, so no one will notice what you are wearing anyhow!!

Blessings!

Nicole said...

I LOVE to shop, but I feel for you. You sound a little overwhelmed to say the least. You've made good progress though. Just keep going. You CAN DO THIS!!!!

Michelle said...

Oh, honey, how I feel your pain. We've been to a 40th wedding anniversary AND a wedding this year. Torture, I tell you, pure torture.

My only word of advice is-- DO NOT buy on-line. You really need to try it on and look in the 3-way. You'll feel so much better about how you look if you do this. If I've learned one thing from that show "What Not to Wear" (which I always watch at my sister-in-law's house) it's that you need to buy clothes that fit right. It just makes all the difference.

My tween recently bought a very cute dress at Charlotte Russe for only $30. It's shoulderless-so she has to wear a little sweater with it, but she picked it out while away on her school trip and I was very impressed. Oh--and just between you and me, I refuse to go swimsuit shopping with this child. It's Land's End all the way baby. Doesn't fit? Send it back and try again. Swimsuit shopping is right up there with Chinese water torture.

For you--I have very good luck at Penney's.

Breathe, Katherine, breathe. And have someone take pictures. This may not happen again for a very long time. :)

Wystful1 said...

First off, I'm a first time visitor. And secondly, the verbalization of Gloom Despair and Agony on Me caught my eye. Oh so many times I've sang to the tune....from HEE HAW!! LOLOLOL

Hope you find something, outside of Sam's that is!!

Grammy said...

I'm with you. I hate shopping, but I love a bargain. When I get something really cheap, it makes me feel like I have WON! Isn't it ironic that when you're not really looking, everything is cute and on sale, but when you need it today by 5:00, there is nothing.

When I went shopping for my mother-of the-bride dress for my oldest, I went about berserk looking everywhere (I kid you not, in 2 different STATES) and found nothing. Just as I had given up, I found the perfect, dressy, 3-piece suit, in the exact wedding color @ the little clothes store where my youngest worked. On sale and with her discount it was $28. Why can't life always bve that easy? Good Luck!

Susanne said...

I know, I can write "What Not To Wear" and in no time flat, you'll have a $5000.00 wardrobe and we'll all get to watch you on T.V. next season!

Heather said...

I am so gald someone else posed Jen's comment since I was horribly tempted. I hate choppin for household stuff but enjoy clothes shopping (but only at the thrift shop.)

I peruse the $.99 sale weekly at our closest thrift shop and always have something to wear. I do hate last minute shopping which is why I do yard sales and thrift shop when I can. My friend Bonnie (http://www.bonnieburmanphotography.blogspot.com/) is the opposite, so I pick up clothes for her and her kids and she buys housewares for me. It works out pretty well. :)