Monday, April 26, 2004
Posted By Allen at 10:04 PM
If left to our own devices, Jenna and I will wear a set of clothes until they fall apart. We both dislike shopping, and this dislike leads to procrastination, and this procrastination leads to us doing semi-annual shopping sprees where we buy whatever will fit, and keep us decent, for the next six months. Not only is this practice terrible for a budget, but it also leads to a very boring wardrobe. This is true especially in my case, because when Jenna and I are compared side by side, I have an even smaller tolerance for shopping than her. I also have a sense of fasion, if you can be so kind to call it as such, that favors utilitarian over anything else. As a result of this, I've ended up with a closet full of Polo shirts and jeans because they are easy to buy, can be worn in many situations, and require zero effort in the morning. We decided, this year, to get out of our rut, to spice up our wardrobes, and to make our clothes purchases on a more even cycle. So, we now try to buy one outfit each month. It's a good plan because I only have to shop for one outfit as opposed to a whole years worth. It's easier to budget for, and my closet is starting to build some character that would have been impossible to imagine just a year ago. Last Sunday was our shopping day, and it found us at the local mall. We'd decided to go to Nordstrom because they have everything, which makes the shopping process even easier. Also, they are right next door to the Apple Store, so I have an incentive. I was sitting in one of the chairs by the escalator, you know the ones, while Jenna was trying on a few things. It was busy, and people were streaming by. I sat and watched, wondering about the people and their stories as they walked by. I found myself thinking about how other people would feel about that day's trip to the mall. Then at one point started to wonder if anyone would find the day memorable. Just moments after I started down this line of thinking, I spied a father and his very young son. Mom was out in the racks looking for clothes, and Dad was bent over holding his son's arms in the air for support. The child was working on balance in that wobbly way that very young children have. It was fun to watch as the soon-to-be toddler would steady himself, and then loose his balance. Hid Dad was always there in time to catch him. After several tries the boy started taking little steps. He would place one small shoe in front of the other, and then lean into the step, counting on his Dad to take care of the balance and support. He started walking. His Dad was so proud. He yelled across the racks to his wife, and she came running. At first her face shown a species of concern that is reserved for Mothers with only one child. The kind of concern that just isn't there for the later children because she knows that they are fine and safe. She saw her husband beaming with pride, and her son walking down the aisle between the dresses and the slacks. Her face mirrored her husband's and they smiled the biggest smiles I have ever seen. They looked so incredibly happy and proud. Others had gathered around them, attracted by the commotion. I remember an older lady in a nice sunday dress and pearls started to clap and smile. Another lady wiped a tear from her eye, and a couple with their teenage daughter exchanged nostalgic glances. Everyone who saw the family couldn't help but watch and cheer the little boy as he took his first steps. The scene dissipated almost as quickly as it had appeared. Moving from the present into the mists of memory, and then I realized that yes, this would be a day to remember. It would be a day that I would remember, that the boy's parents were sure to remember, and that the crowd gathered spontaneously on a hot Sunday afternoon would also remember. Jenna came back from the dressing room, and found me with a smile and a memory of a first step on a Sunday afternoon.