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


6 Responses to “When a mother passes her dislike of shopping on to her son”

  1. jeanne Says:

    I share your disdain for malls and shopping, in general. Two of my children love shopping & 2 hate it. What can I say? I do, however, enjoy lovely, quaint antique shops, art & art supply shops, thrift shops or rummage sales. Especially ones where I can pick up things to re-purpose. I never look at anything w/out seeing it’s future possibilities. Clothing shopping….ho-hum! And I make it my challenge to stay out of shops at Christmas. O.K. ….so I actually went into one. (failure) Other than grocery shopping, which I also, hate…….that’s it. I think your Blog is totally charming & applaud your efforts and talents My daughter-in-law, Kim, has a, somewhat, similar Blog in Wisconsin. You might want to check them out. Good luck to you both!!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I also enjoy browsing antique shops, artsy and thrift stores, and rummage sales. Absolutely, these are my favorite places to shop.

      Thank you for your kind words re. Minnesota Prairie Roots.

      Could you direct me to your daughter-in-law’s blog? I’d love to check it out.

      • jeanne Says:

        I tried to send you her Blog but it didn’t register in my comment to you. Am I able to email it to you. I’ll try again. Her Blog name is “Surviving Oshkosh” & the other is “Clutter Bomb”.
        Check out her Oshkosh architecture pic’s & others. Let me know if this works.

      • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

        The blog names came through and I will check them out shortly. Thank you.

  2. jeanne Says:

    I sent her yours, also. Even though she does like shopping…..you have a common bond with the camera. enjoy!

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