Monday, October 1, 2007

Bra shopping with a pre-teen

Could you use a good Target (please to pronounce that Tar-shay...) laugh? How about a good old-fashioned torturing-a-pre-teen-story? Oh good, I'm glad I'm not the only sadistic mother/aunt/friend out there.

After listening to weeks of wrangling, I finally agreed to take my "tween" shopping last night. For the uninitiated among you, a "tween" is a 10-12 yo gearing-up-to-drive-her-parents-batty. Companies now make entire clothing lines for tweens, publishers devote several magazines to them, and Disney has nearly taken over the free world by gearing shows toward them. Tweens are snippy, hormonal little balls of "fun". If you've never met one - thank your stars and run. Run fast, run far. They're usually pretty quick little buggers.

After being tortured by a hideous beast of a mother who insisted she help birthday shop for a tween finally badgered me into a "ladies" shopping trip. We headed to Target (remember, you must pronounce it with the French-Ohio accent...Tar-shay) to get new hooter-holders.

My dear tween is so thrilled, she's "outgrown" her original bean-holders. After a marathon try-on session, she settled on a purple-camoflauge number with a silver skull on one boob, a black racer back one for tank tops, a pink one with poodles, and a boring beige one for light colored shirts. All together, a rather colorful and tweenish lot.

We got to the register, and the poor cashier's scanner wasn't working well, so traffic was backing up. Finally, its our turn. Scan, scan, scan...uh oh - something without a price tag. The cashier holds it up, yelling a couple of times at a cashier down the way. When that one doesn't know the price, she turns, waves it in the air - and yells at a different cashier. She tries something on the computer, gives up, and starts pestering the first cashier she yelled at. That's when I looked at Miss Tween.

Oh Miss Tween...she was so red, she nearly blended in with the Target counters. Yes, my friends, it was her beige hooter holder that the cashier was brandishing and shrieking about.
First of all, being the beige one - there was no doubt it was a bra and not a swimsuit. Second of all, the damn thing is so small, it wouldn't make a good pasty for one of my there was no doubt who it belonged to. Tweenerella was croaking.... Every wave of the hooter holder brought her more misery. It was delightful.

Once the cashier and I figured it got way worse for her. Face it, adults are just teenagers in plumper, poorly dressed bodies. We're all jerks. Its fun! Of course, we had to have a little bit of fun at her expense. C'mon...its in the handbook. Page 62, subparagraph C: Once tweendom has descended upon your humble domicile, you may find it helpful to your continued mental health, to occassionally embarrass said tween to remind them of your rightful place as head of the pack. Humiliation should never permanently damage their psyche. It should be accomplished with a minimum of psychological trauma, paired with a maximum of hilarity for the involved parent. Its in the guidebook...we had to follow directions....

The cashier and I had to point it out to the people (including, horror-of-horrors, a man) in line behind us. Mind you, we made overtures as if we were pointing it out to them. Truth is, not one person ever gave us a second look. Tween-thang didn't notice that. She was convinced they were all staring at her in rapturous interest. Tweens are always convinced everyone is looking at them. That's part of Tweendom I forgot to mention. Every tween alive is convinced the universe actually revolves specifically around them. Works to your advantage when you're acting on the Mental Health Clause.

Eventually, the cashiers decide to suspend our order - so cashier B can go track down a price. This leaves Miss Tween and I standing, waiting, while all the people in line, who had just seen her boobie barracade, get checked out and go marching past. Truth is, they were all 20 somethings, and utterly clueless as to what was going on. None of them gave us a second look. However, the cashier and I were in fits of giggles, and the Tortured Tween was convinced she had a giant "B" on her chest - and they were all burning holes in her boobs with their constant mocking stares. Way funny, but its not over.

Finally, cashier B returns, waving several more beige bras - and triumphantly (and loudly) says, "Look! I managed to find more of them!" She kindly offers to take us to her register - so we didn't have to wait anymore. By the time we walk the two feet - Torturted Tween is once again, the color of a beet. I start giggling, and say something to the cashier.

At this point, she can no longer be known as "the cashier" - she must now be called by her proper name, She-High-Goddess-of-Glee. You cannot ignore the name of your new best must remember it. The She-High-Goddess was probably early, to mid-twenties. She looked at Tween Thing and said, "You mean it embarrasses you that we're discussing your bras?" Tormented Tween shook her head, and turned 2 shades darker red... At which time, my personal Goddess-of-Glee said, "And what if I do this?" And started waving the bra overhead like a crazed flag-bearing vet on Memorial Day. "You mean, if I do this...(wave, wave) will embarrass you a bit?"

I nearly hurt something. Then the Goddess kindly said, "Oh honey, you'll get used to it. We all wear them, get over it." (she said all of this with a huge grin, not malicious - just gently teasing) She followed with, "I'm the youngest of 4. I've had years of practice tormenting my older sisters. I'm good at it!" The Tragic Tween told her she's the oldest of 4, and that's why we came shopping without them, because they do embarrass her. My She-High-Goddess-of-Glee grinned, winked at me, and waved the hooter holder a few more times for good measure.

I told the Goddess, her name would live in infamy in our family lore....