Shop Till You Drop

July 28, 2000

180 mile round trip drive (at conventional mileage rate) to the shopping mall at King of Prussia because there’s a Delia’s there: $58.50

Turnpike tolls: $6.10

Teenager’s first two-piece bathing suit, a halter top with boy-cut shorts bottom, 20% off at Delia’s: $39.95

3 bottles of marigold highlighting shampoo (for teenager), 2 quarts of almond creme shower gel (for mother) at Garden Botanika: $55

Lunch for two at the Salad Bistro outside Neiman-Marcus: $12.35

“Just looking” walk through Crane and Co. with explanation to teenager about why the bridegroom’s parents’ names do not appear on a traditional wedding invitation, plus discussion of how and why sealing wax is used: $0

Seven hours of bonding with daughter who is growing up much too fast: priceless

She had to have a new bathing suit for camp. And khaki shorts, although she already has two pairs. One can’t, I’m told, have too many pairs of khaki shorts, and anyway, one of them had a spot that turned pink from contact with a wet towel from Hersheypark’s water rides.

Lynn is easy to shop with. She knows exactly what she wants and even at this age (almost 15) can search for a bargain. With a good eye for color and cut, she knows what looks becoming on her. And she accepts without complaint a maternal veto, such as the one I handed down on the $30 telephone shaped like a duck that quacks instead of rings. Often on trips such as these I feel a little like the security detail that used to accompany the Princess of Wales on her forays into London shops. By royal tradition, she carried no money, just indicated what she wanted and had her detective take care of the details.

We went to a large Gap store. While Lynn took an armload of tee shirts into the fitting room, I fell into conversation with a woman who was shopping in the Baby Gap section for her five-month-old. The little girl was a bundle of squeals and laughter, and she responded to my smile by kicking energetically, which let fly one of her pink satin booties.

“I miss my tiny baby sometimes,” I told the new mother.

“We had to wait so long to have her that I want each day to last forever,” she said. “I’m afraid I can’t remember enough. This is the best thing I’ve ever done.”

“That’s exactly what I say, almost every day,” I said.

I looked at the outfits the woman had chosen – yellow sunsuits, little pink t-shirts, striped diaper covers, ruffled socks. Lynn came out then with the pieces she wanted.

At least after nearly fifteen years I’m still buying her little pink tee shirts.