Lint-Trap 1/14/01: Little Mom Riding Hood

Little Mom Riding Hood


Had a nice celebration of Diana's birthday yesterday. Everything went pretty much as planned--her parents came down, bearing a meal in several large bags. I showed up with flowers and a yummy birthday cake. I joked that Diana should start getting used to this, since as she gets older she'll have more 'meals on wheels'. Diana's mother and I thought it was funny. Diana didn't, but managed a smile.

After lunch, we headed for the mall to buy, I had thought, a dress. On the way, a short discussion suggested that a nice coat would be more appreciated, and I yielded gracefully.

We got to the store, and finally found the coat section--Lo, there was a big sale on winter coats! It was so funny to watch Diana. She looked like a terrier in a prarie dog farm. I found one right off that had a hood and showed it to her--it looked wonderful on her. She found a nearby rack that had the same design in russet rather than black. She tried on size 12, then 10, then 8, and finally 6. They all looked good on her, but the smaller ones looked a bit better. She looked very pleased...

But of course, this wasn't the end of the story. There was no way we were going to walk out of there with a coat in 10 minutes when there were hundreds more, and one might be even better...

It was just as much fun as I had thought it would be to watch her in action. She would try on a coat, go over to the full-length mirror, and look at it face on and in profile, strking several poses quite unconsciously (yes, preening, I would say). She would alternate the preens with a stern "I am going to be responsible and make the very best decision" look, suspicious and alert to flaws and poor workmanship. It was both very funny (no, I didn't laugh...much) and totally endearing.

I became newly amazed by the fiction of woman's sizes in clothing. I don't know why they bother! The first coats she looked at, from size 6 to size 12 the coats were all the same length, and the size differences modest. Then she finds another coat from another maker, and the size 8 looks like a sleeping bag on her. It was hugely bigger than the size 12 of the other maker.

The irreverent thought crossed my mind--would men ever stand for anything like this? Well I guess men stand for 'two by fours' that measure neither two nor four, so the answer isn't that clear...

So an hour went by quickly. And she actually did find another coat in the bunch that gave the russet one a run for its money. It was black and looked completely classic--like you could wear it to the White House. She finally got the russet one.

When she got home, her eldest son, in best teenage fashion, said "What is this--little mom riding hood?" She just smiled, content in knowing that she had the best coat in the whole damn store. And on sale, too...

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.