Holy Gap, I hated back-to-school shopping as a kid. Primarily I hated it, obviously, for what it signified. I wanted no part of going back to school and no amount of those Toughskins with the crotch-chafing consistency of freshly molded fiberglass was going to change my mind.
School shopping was just all-around bad. But somehow Mom usually seemed to manage to find something that would at least make it not TOO terrible (cool sneakers, I'm With Stupid t-shirt, some kind of tricked-out backpack…). Corinne had Josh out tonight for round one and she managed to get this hint of a smile with some kick-ass Nikes and that totally butch necklace.
Moms are great that way.
Dad's? Not so much. God help you if you ever had to go back-to-school shopping with my Dad.
[commence flashback sequence]
Dad: Greg?! Where the hell are you? Get over here. No, over here. Over by the clearance rack.
Greg: [mumble, mumble]
Dad: There you are. Here. Go try these on.
Greg: But those aren't even jeans, Dad.
Dad: Of course they're not jeans. That is one sharp-looking pair of slacks. Listen kid, you put those on and you're gonna have to beat the women off with a stick.
Greg: Dad, can't I just get some jeans instead?
Dad: What the hell are you talking about? This is a classy pair of pants. And they're on clearance. Have you seen how much they want for those jeans you were looking at? When you get a job, you can buy yourself some jeans…
Greg: [grating, high-pitched whine] But Dad, I don't LIKE these.
Dad: [exasperated, fist-clenching attempt at a calm voice] Oh for the love of God, what the hell is WRONG with these pants? Take them in the goddamn dressing room and try them on!
[painfully slow trudge toward the dressing room, followed by sniffling, horrified donning of said garment and reluctant emergence from dressing room stall]
Dad: He-hey! Now THAT is spiffy! Hoo-hoo!
Greg: Dad, they're too short! Everybody's gonna make fun of me.
Dad: They're NOT too short, they're perfect. Look, see, you've got just a little bit of a break there in the front where it meets the shoe. That's perfect – just the way I have mine tailored.
Greg: Yeah, but Dad, you… Never mind. Can I at least go back and get a bigger pair.
Dad: Are you kidding? Jesus Greg, how many pairs of these do you think they have out there? You put a deal like this out on the clearance rack and you don't think they're going to jump off the shelves?
Greg: [return of the mumbling]
Dad: Stop that damned mumbling.
Greg: Dad, I can't even tell what color these are.
Dad: What the hell are you talking about, they're brown…er…well, they were brown over by the rack. I think they're green. Whatever color they are, I saw some fantastic v-neck sweaters over there that would go great with them. Come on…