Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Perfect Shoe

We've all been there...we need an outfit and we also need the perfect shoe, right now, this minute, time's up.  The universe has graced me with two daughters and they both have opinions about their outfits.  Shopping for the "special outfit", although fun, can turn more into a power broker frenzy than a memorable mother/daughter bonding moment.  Trust me.  When your baby girl is little and in your arms, you dream of finding the breath-taking First Communion dress, the knee socks and chubby stockinged legs with little black patent leather shoes, searching for the stunning prom dress and yes, even finding the perfect shoe.  I imagined a dream-like time where we would walk arm in arm smiling and just full of joy...little did I know it would be an endurance test: a series of negotiations and compromise.  More than anything it was a tangible moment of the daughter seeing herself one way (grown up, stylish, hip) and the mother trying to remind the her that she was after all 15 (youthful, sweet and covered up!).  We have had our nightmare searches...the seemingly endless saga of an appropriate First Reconciliation outfit being the one that remains above all others.  We morphed into mall rats and became familiar with even the underbelly of the mall and still we had no luck.  We settled for a pink poncho and striped skirt with some sort of undergarment purchased from Nordstrom's.  It worked, but like the budget compromises in Washington, nobody was happy.

This week-end we went in search of an outfit that Mary Kate needs to wear for several upcoming occasions.  It had to be dressy and suitable for church, grandparents, high school friends and everyone in between. Believe it or not, we found the dress quickly and easily.  See, miracles do happen! It was the perfect shoes that eluded us.  Mary Kate had a definite vision.  She wanted tall (very tall) and sophisticated.  I thought a wedge was adorable...so did every other mother, grandmother and twenty-something in the shoe department.  Everyone had an opinion and it became a Seinfeld moment when Mary Kate finally looked at me genuinely puzzled and asked,"Why do they care?"

How can you explain that every woman remembers her first amazing pair of shoes and every woman in that store department recognized that it was happening for her right then.  I told her it was the thrill of the hunt.  We all enjoy a little treasure hunt and Mary Kate was clearly on one. She held her dress up, wobbled on stiletto after stiletto toward the mirror and played the imagination game: I'm not in my sweats, I don't have a ponytail, I'm even wearing make up and wearing this...does it feel right? Do I look amazing?  She easily tried on 15 pairs of shoes and for some reason I was not annoyed or hurried -- hence the grace.  I was enjoying the hunt too and I had no skin in the game.  This was her call.  These were going to be her favorites and she was going to own them for a good long while. She finally found them: tall, suede, nude and zippers in the back.  I'm sure someday, she will take a look at these shoes and see just how 2011 they really are but for now they are fabulous.

She came home and immediately tried them on with the outfit and then went on to do the fashion show of all the other outfits that would look ever so amazing all because of these rockin' shoes. She wore them with jeans, skirts, shorts and anything else she could find. She wore them while she was doing homework, petted them while she was reading and placed them in the perfect spot in her closet where they are protected.  They are keepers and I am grateful I got to be part of the search team. Grateful more for my evolution in clothing shopping...no longer a gate-keeper but a team member up to the challenge.

I remember my first pair of amazing shoes but more vividly I remember my smokin' hot skin tight dark jeans from the GAP. Man, how I loved them.  How I wore them for any reason whatsoever and felt fabulous each and every time.  Do you remember your first pair of shoes?  How about your most adored article of clothing when you were a teen? I'd love to hear your story.  March 6th is Mary Kate's day to be decked out...think of her! :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! This story brings back so many dressing room moments for me! My mom and I both HATED to shop and we have the hardest time finding clothes. I like it more now, but it was a process. We like to zip in and zip out, which is not always possible when you have something specific you need to find. And of course, we had the classic arguments about being covered up enough and whether things were appropriate. It was always a struggle to fit my long torso and chest into something my mom felt was appropriate! My mom still tugs on my shirts to pull them up or down when I come home and I am 25! ahahah I am sure I will be the same way.
    I remember loving my jeans that had no pockets in the back. Can you believe that?? They must have looked so silly. But, I loved them and wore them whenever I could. My sister and I called them our "butt jeans." Nice, right?
    I am glad you had a fun time searching for MK's perfect shoes. I think they're awesome and I hope she has such a great decked out day! I will be thinking of her!