Shopping with teen boys is almost as bad as shopping with girls — unless you’re lucky enough to have one that is into Grunge, meaning you can buy them some nondescript plaid shirts, enormous blue jeans and a stocking (or ball) cap and never do wrong.
He will put whatever you buy — as long as it doesn’t have a logo over the heart area, or come in anything other than black, navy, or gray — without even looking at it, and will not even ask how much it cost or where it was purchased. If your son actually cares about how he looks, you face similar issues as with the female teens except you don’t have to worry about the trampy fashions and they are, at least, a little less whiney.
Boys will wander off toward anything with a battery or motor so you have to keep an eye on them or, like me, often you will find yourself asking your son, “Who do you think makes up all these goofy insignias on the fronts of these shirts?” — and your only answer is a dirty look from the 20-something wearing a similar pattern and a store name tag. On the other hand, the boys won’t get caught in the perfume, jewelry, purse, bra, or other sections that will inevitably entangle you within their tempting “SALE” signs and glittery baubles.
You will have to fight boys get them to try anything on — but you won’t have to hear them ask how their bottoms look in the jeans. Boys won’t ask you ridiculous questions (“Does this look like the scarf Stacy said not to wear on that one show?”) — but you will have to buy them some sort of food to sustain their attention spans. Boys won’t bring along their friends to get their opinions or text their friends with photos of every item they are considering, but they may walk into a wall while playing a video game on their phone.
Boys like mine however, will be just as picky about the style of a clothing item — though not necessarily the brand (thankfully THAT lesson made it to his brain) — but he will not like anything you choose for him.
Boys like mine will also stand and stare at a box holding a video game-related item for 10 minutes, but if the mother does a double-take at a clearance rack, will physically steer her in another direction exclaiming, “Gaw, mom! You take forever!”
Boys carry the benefit that they won’t giggle as every similar-aged member of the opposite sex that walks by … but they will walk into things watching one that is giggling and walking by.
Shopping with either sex teenager is a potential disaster. Either could swing into a meltdown over some trivial encounter — Girls: “Why can’t I get a belly-button ring?” EVERYONE has one!” or Boys: “Why did you have to come stand by me right when that sales girl started talking to me!”
The good points for each are that girls will look at almost anything you will, but boys will get it all done much faster … unless of course you don’t maneuver your trek through the mall correctly and you let him end up walking past any of the three lingerie store’s display windows. On the upside, if you do, then you can go on to shop for whatever you want from Bath and Body Works because he will stand there all day if you let him. The downside to that is you will have to find a hot pretzel stand, wait in line to purchase it and then balance it back to him and then literally wave the steaming bread under his nose to lure him away.
Fathers just don’t understand. It just naturally isn’t in them to understand how to manage the situation with planning ahead.
You can MAKE them understand (and teach them a lesson) by handing over the checkbook, the gassed-up vehicle, and even a list. He will take that female child to the nearest mall, sleep soundly in the car, on a bench, or in a model vibrating chair in the shopping center thoroughfare while she and a couple friends scoot off whispering.
When she wakes him, her arms draped in colorful bags, they will wink at one another conspiratorially (silly Mom, making things difficult) and stop for ice cream on the way home.
They will greet Mom with maddening smiles on their faces — he triumphant that he made it much more easy than you ever have and the child, for getting away with something she knows she would never get past Mom.
That will fly for a day or two until dad sees his “little buttercup” walking out of the house to meet friends, a thong peeking from the back of the 10-inch tall mini he just paid $40 for and the $120 stilettos that only a trained and seasoned pole dancer could manage without breaking an ankle.
That’s when Mom gets to smile that “I-told-you-so” grin while dad scrambles from his chair shouting, “You wait just a minute!”
Mom can then reverse the situation and simply shrug in silent camaraderie with the sobbing teen on her way to her room to change, and prior to her shouting “I hate you!” to the father — the poor sap that doesn’t yet realize he will not only be paying for those purchases he will never allow her to wear out of the house, but also the $80 worth of jewelry and $40 manicure she got while he was dreaming of baseball fields.
Don’t let him take the boy though. They will come back hours and hours later, with identical grins, three pair of identical pants, four of the same shirts, a new game system, bellies full of gaseous and artery clogging food … and a sales flier, from Victoria’s Secret.