Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

The jacket that keeps on giving

In our community, there is a wardrobe that the girls in high school all wear. And I mean all. Because when you're in high school it is important to have certain pieces of clothing that make you "belong." Now, I know a lot of parents think this is terrible, and that they have no intention of paying huge bucks for clothing just so their kids will fit in. But fitting in is so important in high school, and unless it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE for you to find a way to get your daughter these few tidbits, then I believe you should get them just to make your kid's life a bit easier. Think back to when you were in high school. Remember how important it was to have levi jeans with the red tags, and that lee and wrangler just weren't worn? OK, I'm dating myself here, but it was really important to have those items that made you part of the crowd even back in the stone age when I was in high school.

The two Must Haves are Ugg Boots and a North Face Denali jacket. Both are outrageously expensive, both last for years, and both are actually good buys when you realize that your kid is gonna be warm and dry with these practical purchases. Not that I've ever bought these things right off the store shelf. No way, Jose!

When the Girl went to middle school, the North Face jacket became something that she wanted so badly that she would do just about anything to get one. Her first year there was one of total envy, for so many of the girls had more than just a couple of North Face jackets, they had one in every freaking color. That summer between 7 and 8th grade we were in a store with a friend and the Girl started in on the North Face jacket, and my friend said that some kid had left one at her house a couple of years back and it was just sitting in their closet. Did the Girl want it?

Did the Girl want it? Do pigs wear lipstick? Is Sarah Palen a moron? OF COURSE she wanted it. She begged and begged to go over to my friend's house to get the jacket, and from that day forth I think she's rarely had it off her back. The kid loves that jacket.

But the jacket has seen better days. The fleece is getting compacted down and it's not as warm as it used to be. It has a big hole in one pocket, and the draw strings don't work quite right anymore. It looks just fine, but it's seen better days. After all, it was worn pretty much every day for at least 3 years.

Since the Girl got her job at Panera, she's been talking about buying two things. First up was a pair of chocolate brown tall Uggs. Chocolate brown is the big color this year in Uggs. She bought those with her first check, and yes, she's worn them every day since. She loves them and she's so proud that she bought them with her own money. Because she knows that the only Uggs I will buy are the odd colors at Marshalls. They cost 1/3 of the price in Bloomingdales or Nordstrom. I'm not an idiot!

The second thing she's going to buy is a chocolate brown North Face to go with her Uggs. She has never had a new North Face and she's totally psyched to buy one for herself. But in the meantime, a friend of hers sold her a black one in much better condition than her origional black one for a piddling price. She coughed up the money, and now she has a warm North Face in decent condition. After next week, she'll have a brown one too, and she's all set for winter.

But there is the original North Face. We talked about it and we decided to give it to a girl we know that really doesn't have the money to buy one. She's a freshman at a neighboring high school, and her parents are struggling right now, like so many other people. This girl will really appreciate the jacket, even in less than perfect condition. There were other kids that we could have given it to, but the Girl was clear that if their parents could afford to buy one but wouldn't because they were cheap, she wasn't giving them the jacket. She wanted to pass it on to someone like her, who would really appreciate it despite it's flaws.

Today I dropped off the jacket. The girl was playing soccer and didn't see the jacket, but I told her mom to just hang it in her closet and let her find it. I know she's going to be thrilled to have it. Her mom was so touched. When I called to tell her I was bringing it over, the Girl got on the phone and clearly spelled out every single flaw so they knew how to fix it. My friend sews and she'll get it right in no time at all.

Having a job has been such a good thing for the Girl. Not only does she have money in her pocket, she's saving for things she wants, and she's learning that spending big bucks hurts a bit. Since I've been driving her to and from work I told her she had to put $20 of gas in the car and she blanched. I mean, she literally turned gray because she hadn't thought of how much this driving was costing me. But she forked it over and she was fine with it once the shock wore off. I told her that she has to contribute $40 of each paycheck for gas and 'incidentals' and she's OK with that, too.

Now, if her brother would get off his duff and get a job, too... life would be sweet for them both!

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Blogger Daisy said...

This Working gig has been good for her in so many ways!

4/10/08 5:02 PM  

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