Saturday, January 27, 2007
Of huge hairbows and $100 outfits
I guess you're wondering what that title has to do with a picture of My Little Pony Live.
Or maybe you aren't.
I took Anna Marie today, and we met my cousin Cheree and her son Aaron for the show. I got the tickets free from the newspaper, in exchange for some ads we ran.
Good thing I didn't have to pay for the tickets, because I had to pay $10 to park! I'm sure if I had been more familiar with the area around the Cannon Center I could've found a cheaper lot, but it was just across the street, and it was cold and raining, so I didn't mind not having far to walk.
Anyway, there was another group of moms/daughters walking up to the Cannon Center the same time we were. One of the girls, in particular, caught my attention.
She was maybe four or five years old, with shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing a pair of jeans and a striped sweater.
But it was what was on top of her head that caught my attention.
It was a HUGE hairbow, made of brown grosgrain ribbon. It was, quite literally, the biggest I'd ever seen. It was about four inches square in circumference, and about two inches high.
It sat squarely on her head, like she was a little walking Christmas present.
Her mom looked like a real piece of work too - tight jeans, high heeled boots, and hair teased within an inch of its life.
When I got inside, I was shocked to see nearly the same scene repeated over and over again. It was like the moms were in some sort of contest, to see who had the best-dressed kid.
Tights and smocked Sunday dresses, people. In 45 degree weather.
It was conspicuous consumption at it's purest level.
Those outfits, which would be outgrown in a matter of months, cost more than what Anna Marie and I had on put together. I know, because there are a couple of boutiques here in town that sell that kind of clothes, and I naively looked at the tags one day.
Those clothes were in addition to the $25-30 for each ticket, and the $10 light-up wands (and other over-priced souvenirs).
I actually wondered how many of those families could actually afford the trip, and how many were going into debt to finance their afternoon.
I'll admit, if I didn't get free tickets to these shows, there's a large possibility we wouldn't be going. No offense to all those parents who do take their kids, but it's just not something we'd put a priority on in our budget.
I'll also admit, I've been prey to the feeling that my daughter has to look perfect every time we leave the house. As recently as this past Tuesday, I was an hour late to work because I couldn't find but one of her tennis shoes. I ended up putting her boots on her. They didn't "go" with what she was wearing, but they enabled her to go to the babysitter and me to go to work.
Those boots haunted me all day that day.
But after today, I'm afraid I might be cured. It was that perfection obsession taken to the extreme. It made me sick to my stomach.
I pray that I never get to the point with my child that those mothers are apparently at.
Although, with my limited resources, I probably don't have anything to worry about.