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When Wal-Mart Trumps Mom

When Wal-Mart Trumps Mom

I am officially uncool.

I mean, SO far from being cool that I can’t possibly hope for ever being back in the game.

I thought I had a little more time! I wasn’t quite ready for the seal and stamp of being someone’s old lady who doesn’t know cool from social disaster when it comes to, well, anything.

I mean, we all remember suspecting that our mothers actually hated us based on some of the things we were dressed in as young girls (okay, for me, it was really only when I looked back at pictures and saw ensembles my mother had agreed to allow me out of the house in that I began to wonder if she really loved me at all).

But now? Now I’ve joined the ranks of clueless mother who would make embarrassing fashion choices for my daughter if given free reign.

I took my oldest child to buy some summer shoes this afternoon. This is more difficult than you would at first imagine. For starters, she is EXTREMELY picky. This has been a problem with her and footwear since she was old enough to shake her head in protest.

Our second challenge is that, at nine years old, she is already wearing a size 8 in women’s shoes. This cuts down considerably on appropriate style choices for a young girl (Also cuts into the budget…whew!).

Today’s search was just one in a long series of tries and misses when it comes to shoes. We struck out at Target, we struck out at Kinnucan’s, we’d already been to the Shoe Department and I kinda refuse to go to the Clark store for someone who still (secretly) uses a night light.

And so, in a last ditch effort, we did the unthinkable.

We went to Wal-Mart.

I know! I heard you gasp and cringe with me.

And just like every other place, all the styles she liked in the youth section were not available in her size and we were forced to browse the women’s sizes.

Success! I couldn’t believe it! I found her a totally cute pair of brown, leather sandals that were really comfortable and just what she needed! At WAL-MART of all places!

As I ooed and aaahed over the cute factor of the shoes, I was given the look that all mothers know well. The look that communicates without a single word spoken that you are without a doubt THE most pitiful, completely disconnected with society weirdo ever born.

My daughter absolutely insisted that the sandals were much too “fancy” to be worn with shorts and t-shirts and were only appropriate for church. I tried in vain to explain to her that just because they weren’t flip-flops or crocs, they were still totally cute and perfectly acceptable for romping around in the yard or riding her bike.

She would have none of it.

And in the single most horrifying and humiliating moment so far as a mother (when it comes to discovering what my preteen daughter thinks of me), she said the following:

“I’m going to find somebody here to ask and see what they think about these shoes. We’ll see if they agree with you that these shoes are okay.”

Record scratch.

What?! You are going to take the fashion advice of a potential “Wal-Martian” over the input of your mother? For the love of mike! I mean, look at the sort of people who are now in line ahead of me when it comes to fashion advice!

THESE are the people she wants fashion advice from???
THESE are the people she wants fashion advice from???

It all became clear in that moment. My mind quickly reviewed the times just in the past couple weeks I’ve been informed that I am out of touch with today’s styles. My four-year-old took one look at me when I picked her up from preschool and (very graciously) waited until we got into the privacy of the minivan to ask me incredulously WHAT I was wearing and tell me that NOBODY would like me.

I also seem to remember my middle daughter saying nothing except, “Yikes” at my plan for church one morning recently.

Have I ALWAYS been this fashion ignorant? When did this happen? Should I be expecting to see Stacy and Clinton jump out with my name on a credit card at any moment? In what other areas am I completely inept and not aware of it yet?


God’s single most effective tool for humility. Excuse me while I go ask someone like this if they can help me.


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