Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When a mother passes her dislike of shopping on to her son January 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:44 AM
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I AM THE RARE WOMAN who dislikes shopping. And I suppose, because of that, I am partly to blame for my teenage son’s lack of interest in shopping for clothes.

But it had gotten to the point where, day after day, he was wearing the same nondescript gray sweatshirt—the new one I gave him for Christmas—over a plain-colored t-shirt.

Finally, one day last week, I advised him that I needed to wash the sweatshirt and that he would have to choose another clothing option. The look he shot me at 7:37 didn’t exactly start my day with a “Good morning, Mom, I’m happy to see you” greeting.

I should mention here that my 17-year-old is not a morning person. Not at all. I have found it in my best interests to limit conversation with him any time prior to 10 a.m.

After this recent morning wardrobe exchange, I decided my teen simply needed to acquire additional clothing. After all, what must his classmates and teachers think with him wearing the same sweatshirt every day? Therefore, we needed to make the dreaded, long-avoided shopping trip.

Shopping success: A $60 hoodie purchased for $21.

So last Sunday afternoon we went clothes shopping. After about 1 ½ hours, which is an hour beyond my browsing limit, he had a new sweatshirt, three complimentary t-shirts and three flannel shirts. Success at only $58 sale prices.

Much to my surprise, my son handled the excursion without complaint, which might just be a first for him. I’ll be honest here and tell you that I understand my high school senior’s shopping frustration. He is tall, well over six foot—I’ve lost count of how many inches—and slender. He needs tall sizes for arm and body and leg length, but not for body girth. That presents a challenge whether he’s searching for shirts or for pants. Nothing fits him right.

It’s the same problem I had as a tall and slender teen. The “tall” part is still an issue for me. Honestly, every woman in this world is not average or petite in height and I am constantly frustrated by the limited choices for 5-foot, 8 ½-inch women like me who do not wear plus sizes.

So if you see me repeatedly wearing the same attire, my reasons are three-fold: I detest shopping, can’t find clothes that fit right and refuse to pay a pretty penny (aka full retail) for clothing.

Yup, I suppose I truly am to blame for my son’s avoidance of shopping and limited wardrobe.

IF YOU’RE THE MOTHER of a teenage boy or have raised one, what has been your experience with clothes shopping? I’ve tried the route of buying clothes for my son, but that rarely works. Either they don’t fit or he doesn’t like them or both. Help.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling