Shopping for school clothes is a grand time

Published 7:25 am Monday, August 26, 2013

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf


School days, school days

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Dear old Golden Rule days

‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic

Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick

You were my queen in calico

I was your bashful, barefoot beau

And you wrote on my slate, “I Love You So”

When we were a couple o’ kids


The chorus of the 1907 song “School Days,” written by Will Cobb and Gus Edwards, came to mind one day when my daughter-in-law and granddaughter asked me to go school shopping for clothes for my granddaughter. My granddaughter is 9.

I remembered the days when dresses turned up in my closet when I was about my granddaughter’s age. I remember one year when we didn’t go school shopping. My mom and I had different tastes and one morning I woke up to find two or three plaid dresses in my closet that my mom had purchased for me to wear to school (yes, we had to wear dresses in those days). I hated plaid, but I didn’t tell her that.

I remembered shopping for school clothes with my kids. I loved to shop for those school clothes, and now I was getting a second chance with my granddaughter. I was trusted to choose the right clothes. Also my granddaughter and I have the same taste. We like glitz. Grandpa and grandson went off for a day of different type of fun at the mall.

Mom had given us a certain amount to spend, and my granddaughter is very good at budgeting the money. She shops the way I shop that drives my whole family crazy. We stop in a store; she eyes the clothes she likes, checks the price and we move on until we have exhausted the choices of stores. She then chooses the clothes she likes the best and we revisit the stores to try them on. Did I mention we happened to like color too?

Her choices were bright lime green for a sweater and deep aqua for pants, along with a shirt that had both colors in, and a little sparkle with rhinestones. Bright pink was another choice for a shirt. I wonder who she inherited the love of pink from. We added leggings that had some pink dots and of course, sparkle, along with a denim shirt. We always were both drawn to the color and the sparkle. I wondered what mom was going to think about this. She likes toned down things. So when we added sparkle and color we always added a toned down piece of clothing so we wouldn’t get in trouble.

On the way past the stores we happened upon a Claire’s. We both love earrings. Even though earrings were not on our list we had to stop. My granddaughter picked out a pair of earrings, held them out to me and said “These look like you.” They were the type of earrings where the front is part of the earring and the back dangles down so it has a dimensional effect. The earrings were two googly eyes on the front and dangling from the back were red lips that sparkled. She knew me well, I loved them. We purchased those for me and then she purchased some bright fluorescent green alligator earrings.

I remember when I got my first pair of glasses. No one wanted to wear glasses, including me. Now people wear fake glasses in cool designs. They seem to make a designer statement.

My granddaughter had a hidden agenda for visiting Claire’s. Yes, she liked the earrings but the real reason for the stop was glasses. We spent at least 15 minutes determining the cute ones for her. We didn’t think that they were on Mom’s list so Grandma decided the glasses and earrings were a needed purchase that she would pay for.

Then the text came, “In your shopping we need a dressy blouse.” We trekked back to the clothing store. One store only. We quickly picked out a pretty, sensible church blouse. It didn’t take us long. Shopping for a sensible blouse wasn’t as much fun as glitz. We walked into the store; grabbed one we thought would fit and look good, tried it on and purchased it.

I have a tradition with my grandchildren. When we take time together we always take time for a smoothie so ended the trip with a smoothie.

I thought I did a good job making memories and shopping with my granddaughter. There was just enough glitz and color to make my granddaughter and I happy and enough contrast to keep mom happy.

On the other hand Grandpa did not do as well. He and my grandson both fell in love with a six-foot, huge, stuffed, orange dog in a thrift shop and purchased it. All mom said when she saw it was “Oh my!” I have a feeling in the future there will be a six-foot, orange, stuffed puppy living with my cats.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at