Friday, March 11, 2011


Catgirl and I have very different taste in clothes. That probably doesn’t surprise you, does it? After all she is 12 and I am … not. Of course we like to wear different things. I would be a little frightened if we liked the same clothes. There would be something the matter with one of us, if that were the case. That's not the issue that I am writing about here. We do run into difficulties, however, is because I would like her to wear different clothes than the ones she would prefer to wear. And isn’t that one of the basic issues facing all mothers and daughters?

When Catgirl was a baby or a toddler, I could dress her the way I wanted her to look. She was like a doll. A crying, tantrum-throwing doll sometimes, but that’s all water under the bridge, now, thank God. Sometime around kindergarten-age, Catgirl started to get picky about what she would wear. By the time she was in 3rd grade, I realized that it was pointless for me to shop for clothes for her without having her with me. If I bought something she didn‘t like, it would end up being a big waste of money. She simply would not wear it. Things would end up in the garage sale or donation piles, outgrown but still in new or nearly new condition.

That was the year we discovered Justice. In general, the clothes there are a heckuva lot more busy than I personally prefer, and they have a lot of animal prints which I despise. But Catgirl and I usually could find something there we could agree on. And the frequent 40% coupons they send in the mail don’t hurt. The discovery of that store marked the beginning of a period of détente in the clothing wars between Catgirl and me.

Fast forward to October 2010: Catgirl is in 6th grade. Catgirl has always been a sucker for super-soft sweats and anything with fur. Well, ok. We found this heavy sweatshirt, with a furry fleece interior, fur trim, and blingy initials on the front at a P.S. store, and she fell in love with it.
We negotiated, and it ended up being a birthday present. She wore it every day for a few weeks, and then it just got forgotten.

Last week, I pulled it out of the closet and pointed out that it’s the right season for this weight of a jacket again. Would she like to wear it?

She got that expression that all parents have seen at some point. You know the one; like they are hearing fingernails going down a chalkboard? And she said, “Mom … it’s kind of … little-kiddish.”

My little girl is growing up. She growing out of Bling.

And what a difference six months makes, hm? When we bought this jacket in October, she was still enamored of the rhinestones and sequins, like so many of the clothes at Justice. But the last few times we tried to find her some nice church clothes there, we left without liking anything. Justice has been getting more and more bejeweled lately, while Catgirl has started preferring plainer things. Plain tops are more her style now. When she was little, she loved dresses, but now all she wants to wear are pants. It's been interesting watching her tastes change.

But back to the jacket. Just like when she was little and I used to buy clothes that she ended up boycotting, I am looking at a perfectly good jacket that is going to end up being sold or donated in nearly new condition. Just like all those years ago, I am not so happy about that. So i am trying an experiment.
I am de-blinging the jacket. I got out my sharpest sewing scissors, and I am painstakingly cutting the threads holding the appliques and the beads and the rhinestones on this jacket, and, so far, so good. There will probably remain some indication that the letters were there, but at least the sparklies will be gone, and hopefully that will make it less "little kiddish."

The crazy thing is that this bling probably accounts for about half of the original value of this jacket, and I am cutting it off and throwing it away. (I just hope that this stuff wasn't all sewn on by some poor child in a Third World nation. Maybe we should have thought of that when we bought it though, hm?) But if it makes it wearable again for Catgirl, it's worth it.

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