06 March 2006


while browsing for books at the thrift store, I heard this woman (late 30s/early 40s) talking with what appeared to be her mother. said woman was trying on clothes and asking her mother's opinion. tell me you have not been here with someone:

"so, what do you think of this blouse?"

"oh, it's nice... I guess."

"I just really like the color and the sleeves."

"actually, it's not very flattering on you... it's pretty unflattering. no, I'm sorry. it really doesn't look that good on you."

"well, I like it."

"well, I'm not the one that has to wear it, am I? you're the one who has to wear it."

"it's just that, see how modern the sleeves are? and it hits me at the right place here on my hips. plus, this color--"

"like I said, you're the one who has to wear it... out in public."

"well, I don't care. I'M BUYING IT."


I'm guessing that the daughter then makes a hasty, huffy retreat into the dressing room while mother sits with her hands crossed in her lap. I'm dying to turn around and look but resist the impulse. I am sure even the shortest glance will give away my eavesdropping ways. instead, I thumb through old dictionaries and try not to laugh. and I have the strong urge to call my mom.


  1. HILARIOUS!!! What a fun story! I don't think I could have resisted the urge to look!

  2. ah, so funny! my conversations were so similar, although more centered on the colors of the clothes than the style. White made me look pasty, black was so depressing, I should always wear navy blue (no thanks.) takes me back to the teenage years just reading about it!

  3. I couldn't have resisted, either!

  4. I love to eavesdrop but I would have totally looked....you've got better restraint than I!!

  5. Well, my mom was a little more subtle and restrained.. but the intent was the same. Her big thing was "Just try it on -- you never know til you try." Same thing they are always saying on What Not to Wear. Ah... moms... Thanks for the fun story.

  6. LOL! I still buy things my mom disapproves of just to spite her. No matter how unflattering. But there's usually that epiphany in my bedroom mirror, later on, when I realize that I still haven't, and may never, grow up around her.
    great post!

  7. That is sooo funny! i must try harder now to eavesdrop on folks in thrifts...i am always so focused on getting the goods! ha ha!

  8. Damn, I SO would have looked! I would have wanted to know if I agreed with the mother or the daughter! :-)

  9. Thanks for including us on this eavesdrop! I felt like I was looking at the dictionary with you and elbowing you and then we shared a smile and tried not to look nor giggle!!
    Well put hula!

  10. i too would have looked, but i'm nosey like that :)

    so did you find any good books?

  11. this for me is funny & painful.
    my mom would ask as I was walking out to a party

    Is THAT what you are going to wear?

    then endless questioning of myself.

  12. i remember as young as 5 having arguments about what i should wear... (i so disliked my itchy wool sweaters and hats my mom made me wear in the winter - such a mother/daughter thing!) - great capture of it!

  13. that is awesome & familiar! i love your blog. the other day i made my boyfriend come over and read... actually it was your husband's blog about ava's flying drawings. so adorable and heartbreaking and you clearly have the cutest family.

  14. Moms will be mothers till the end! Moms rule!

  15. you have better self-control than I, girl, I would have HAD to look to see which one I agreed with :)

  16. ha!
    these kind of things always make me want to call my mom, too!
    great story!

  17. i hope i never say something like that if/when i'm a mom.... i remember a close friend's mom who was always saything stuff like that to her as she left the house. it so ruined her self esteem...

    i can't believe you didn't peek....

  18. mothers and daughters should duke it out in the yard with socks filled with horse dung every five years. would get rid of some of the passive aggression, i think.

    "i hate you! where did you go?"
    "i love you! get away from me!"

    my mother has said she prays that i get a daughter just like me, and so do i, knowing full well that when the gods really want to punish us, they give us exactly what we wish for.

  19. I'm cracking up at this!

    So funny...and so annoying how some mothers can squelch dreams! My Mom would have told me to buy the blouse!

    But seriously...fashion should be FUN, not filled with prim and proper rules!

    You need to start recording these conversations you overhear at the shops...it would make a funny book.

  20. thanks, all.

    okay, maybe I peeked. just a little. ha. I've got to say, it was a little sad. but just SO FUNNY AND FAMILIAR.