You can't look away

Thursday, January 22, 2015

No Justice

Like any mother of a burgeoning "tween" girl, I want to give my daughter all the love, support and positive role modeling I can. She's growing up so fast. I want to teach her to be fearless, to go boldly after her dreams and goals and have confidence in her choices...

Unless her dreams are dumb and her choice is to spend $100 at Justice, because that shit is just crazy.

By some miracle I have mostly managed to shield my almost nine-year-old from the bedazzled mall mecca that is Justice. Until today. Her Christmas cash was burning a hole in her pocket, so initially I was pleased when she asked to go clothes shopping with her own funds!? Yes!
Then she blindsided me with, "Can we go to Justice?"

"Welcome to the Seventh Circle of Hell... We're totes having a sale!" 

<inwardly>  No. No. Nooooooooooooooooo!
<outwardly>  "Um, sure." "Sure."  "If that's what you want... to do with your money."


Suddenly, even the American Girl store sounded downright delightful. I even mentioned it out of desperation, but she demanded Justice! How did this happen? I've been so careful, steering her towards the classics; dresses with cute leggings, twin sets, ballet flats. Everyone knows Justice is the gateway drug to Wet Seal, and I'm not having it. I mean, I like a little tasteful sparkle- what girl doesn't? But I really didn't want her dressing like a walking Bratz doll. Clearly, one of her fashion-forward little friends got to her. Those bitches!

What can you do? The tacky heart wants what it wants. It was her money (she reminded me) and besides, I thought, did I want to be a "lame mom" or a "cool mom"?

Ugh. Dammit. Fine. Okay.
Just walking into Justice is an assault on the senses. It feels like I've been drop-kicked right into the middle of a Kidz Bop video. I can't really take it all in at once, for fear of triggering seizures. The music! The neon! The smells! They should offer Xanax-infused calming hoods like the kind you put on animals, but for parents having to endure this place. There's much to see, and Camille runs off like we're at the carnival. Only it's the worst carnival ever- a carnival without funnel cakes.

The first thing I encounter is a stack of glittery graphic tees with sayings like, 'I'M SO FANCY!' and 'TOTES ADORBS!' also 'WHEN IN DOUBT, DANCE!'  I think that last one is a Gandhi quote.
Fun fact: Gandhi loved hip hop and exclamation points!
I pick up a hideous, neon-fringed tee and grumble, "My gawd, this looks like something you'd find Ke$ha wearing... pantsless and unconscious, lying in a puddle of her own vomit." My daughter just laughs and looks for her size. Uh oh. This is totally backfiring, so I change tactics; now everything she picks up I say, "SO KEWL!" She immediately rolls her eyes and puts it back. Yes! Success!
We find a few things that aren't totally terrible. She picks up some crazy print leggings, and I feign defeat, even though I secretly think the pair with the doggies screen-printed all over them are kind of #LOL ADORBS.
Oh God, what's happening to me?

We wander over to the crap cool accessories. This place has everything: Bedazzled makeup kits, 700 types of glittery lip gloss, hair extensions, press-on nails and "comb-in scented hair glitter" WTF? I don't know what it is but I know I hate it. There is also a "smoothing facial masque". Why does this even exist? Eight-year-olds have crow's feet now? Everything is scented. Everything. The fucking throw pillows are scented. Justice has it's own line of fragrances, with five distinctive scents that all seem to be an intoxicating blend of baby powder and melted Skittles.

My daughter looks longingly at the colorful training bras, perfect for her non existent boobs. But hey, I get it; I myself have a lot of yoga pants for my non existent yoga. Then she picks up the booty shorts and I want to scream "OH, HELL NAH!" but I remain calm. I don't show fear. But I do wonder silently WHY IS THERE SO MUCH ANIMAL PRINT? I show her a fuzzy cheetah print diary to divert her attention from some lacy cheetah print bikini panties, because I can't go for that. No can do. So much cheetah. I'm pretty sure Ariana Grande and Chester Cheetah collaborated on this collection. And why do the sweatpants and shorts have words on the butt? To call attention to an 8-year-old's ass? Really, Justice? She thinks it's cute. I want to remind her that just a few years ago, she did have words across her butt-- yeah, those words said PULL UPS®
We compromise and I let her get one pair of ridiculously short boxers TO SLEEP IN.

As her pile gets bigger (and tackier) I remind her that we're getting dangerously close to the $100 mark. She's only slightly better at math than I, so this seems to slow her down. She does choose one thing I actually like- a backpack, albeit a silver, blingy one, but a backpack nonetheless. Hey, it holds books! Books will keep her off the pole! Right? Done. 

We make our way to the register and the salesgirl smacks her cheetah print bubblegum and asks for my coupons or "J-Bucks". I have no idea what this is but she graciously pulls a discount code off my phone and voilĂ , the $100 pile of crap becomes a $58 pile of crap. Hooray! Luckily, Camille has wandered off to douse herself in Justice juice and doesn't know she actually had more money to spend. She doesn't need to know. I hurry to finish the purchase and get the hell out of there, but not before SUPER HELPFUL SALESGIRL calls after me with a 30% coupon, "for next time you shop!" 

Next time?! We shall see. But for today, Justice was served. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Perfect Christmas Letter

If you weren't one of the precious few to receive our annual Christmas letter, I'm generously sharing it here. You're welcome.

My Dearest Family & Friends,

This year has been such a busy, blessed and wonderful year for our 
family-- where to begin?!!  As I’m sure you all saw on TV, with my beloved spouse's company going global, all those exhausting flights back and forth to Europe, vacations with Oprah, etc. we were finally able to get that private jet we’ve been eyeing.  Whew! No more commercial flights with the commoners!!

I’ve been super busy, too! Along with my charity work in Sierra Leone, my fundraising, my organic garden, yoga-lates and beekeeping, I’m still very active on the PTA, the HOA, the CCA, the NRA and the NAACP. Of course, let’s not forget the most important job IN THE WORLD-- raising two prodigies. As you probably cannot even imagine, having two profoundly gifted and gorgeous “mini-me”s can be a challenge, but we muddle through! If you missed the thrice-daily  Facebook updates on their activities, here’s the short version--

don’t want to bore you!!

Henry is turning 12 and breezing through 
sixth grade AP classes!! We
are talking to MIT and considering some college courses to keep him challenged. When he’s not wowing his professors, he enjoys online games, chat rooms, writing computer code, and tinkering with math theorems for fun. He’s so well-rounded-- he also loves Crossfit, eating healthy to fuel his body and music, too!! This year he mastered the saxophone and in fact, we are thrilled to announce he will be touring with Kenny G. this summer- but summer only. School  
first, mister!!! 

Our darling Camille is now 8, going on 18! She’s taking a break from modeling in
Paris to concentrate on her studies. She is loving third grade and is on Honor Roll, yet again. She continues to be a spirited but sweet, quiet young lady, just like her mother!!!

She loves fashion, dance, visual art, poetry, astrology, pyrotechnics, and her American Girl doll collection. She can spend hours playing with them and making up stories. So creative, that one! She even has her own Wiccan jewelry line, which admittedly I don’t know much about but I plan on spending more time learning about it when I can catch my breath! 

Lastly, our incredibly intelligent, furry family member, our protector and pointer, Mudge, continues to astound hunters and spectators alike- whether we’re out  walking in the neighborhood or in the field. He made the cover of Dog  
Fancy again this month when they got wind of the story in our local paper about him pulling the toddler from the well!  I’m sure you read about that. The story went viral. Everyone was talking about it!!!  And it’s no surprise that right after that, he was singled out by the AKC as Top Grand Champion, Master Hunting Retriever Of All Time!!!!

Well, I could go on but I’m exhausted, so I’ll close by saying I hope the coming year finds you as blessed and humble as we.