When Lydia announced that it was time to begin the dreaded back-to-school shopping spree, I joined the kids in a groan. Wandering the aisles of the nearest Staples looking for cheap deals on Duo-Tangs and looseleaf paper is not exactly a fun-filled excursion. This year the school preparations would be even less enjoyable.
"It's time to get you some new clothes," Lydia told Mitchell.
I watched him cringe in horror. Unlike Sylvia, Mitchell was content to wear track pants and T-shirts until they no longer fit or looked like they belonged to Robinson Crusoe on a bad day. The only shopping he likes to do involves the search for the latest LEGO sets. Combining clothes and school made the whole idea completely unpalatable. To make matters worse his sister offered to provide fashion tips to which Lydia quickly agreed.
Poor Mitchell, he spent an excruciating afternoon traipsing around the Halifax Shopping Centre trying on an assortment of shirts and pants. Despite his aversion, Mitchell gamely entered change room after change room with armloads of clothes. Each time he came out he was greeted by the critical eyes of his mother and sister. It was like a discount version of What Not to Wear.
To lighten the mood, they suggested a few items which were the height of Nerd fashion. Without hesitation, Mitchell tried on the clothes, and looked like a cast member of the ‘ Big Bang Theory.
The grueling day came to an end with only shirts and a jean jacket being purchased. We still needed to find a replacement for Mitchell's flood-ready track pants. However, the jeans he tried had legs too short or waists too wide. Off the rack did not seem like it would be an option.
Back home, Lydia jumped onto the Internet and ordered a few pairs of jeans that had the proper measurements. A few days later they arrived and Mitchell slipped them on.
Much to everyone's horror the jeans hung dangerously low at the backside. Somehow Lydia had picked the dreaded droopy drawer style!
I'm not sure what traumatized Mitchell more, the pants or the realization that his shopping odyssey wasn't over.
Kevin Toal is a freelance writer who takes some solace in the fact that bell-bottoms and wide lapels are currently out of fashion.