Monday, June 16, 2008

Just When I Thought I'd Seen It All

Every year, as the school year draws to a close, my oldest daughter's school has their annual June Fair. She loves it because she gets to go and play with her school mates. I love it because they have a terrific indoor "yard sale" (usually located inside their cafeteria), and I almost always score some pretty terrific deals.

This year, the June Fair was this past Saturday (6/14). My son had to go to take a placement test at the high school he'll be attending in the fall, so when he and my husband came back from that, my daughter and I took off up to her school. I handed her a couple of bucks for her tickets, and headed inside to scout for some bargains.

Within 10 minutes, I'd already accumulated a small pile of really nice summer and fall clothes for my little one, and had them draped over my arm. I was just about to reach the end of that first table, when the moms of one of my daughter's class mates approached me to say hello. We chatted for a bit, and I spotted a really pretty long-sleeved dress for my youngest. It was solid colored lilac on the top, with a "skirt" of lilac, cream and purple flowers on the bottom, and a hem of lilac lace. VERY boutique looking. The only problem was, it looked HUGE (even though it was marked a size 4).

Since the mom was from somewhere in Europe, I held the dress up to her, and asked her -- "Does this look too big to you? It says it's a size 4 on the tag, but is that equivalent to an American size 4T, or a European 4?" She took the dress from me, briefly examined it, and handed it back with almost a look of disgust on her face. She said, "It looks to be the right size, but I wouldn't buy it. See that marker spot on the sleeve? It looks worn."

Now, as I was pilfering through the clothing, there were some things that I just wouldn't even consider (not even for play clothes), because they were badly stained, or ripped beyond repair, or just too worn out. But, I have an arsenal of cleaning products on my laundry shelf, and I can give even some tough stains a run for its money. But honestly..... upon closer inspection of this so-called "worn" marker stain, the size and color of the offensive blemish looked like about the size of a Bindi:

See the orange dot on this beautiful woman's forehead? Picture something like that, only not as symmetrical, and red instead of orange, near the seam of the sleeve. She found THAT offensive enough to suggest that I put the garment down!

I actually said to her, "You're joking right??", which again, produced that look of disgust. She said, "I personally wouldn't buy it, but you do what you want", and walked away from me.

I thought I'd seen everything that could possibly prove to me just how shallow the parents are whose children attend school with mine. I thought I might be imagining things when they began to treat my daughter differently, because she didn't wear Crocs in the summer, or Uggs in the winter, or dress in head-to-toe Gap, Limited Too, Hanna Anderssen, The Children's Place, or at the very least Old Navy (even then, she'd be on the fence). And, because she doesn't participate in Brownies, or Karate, or Dance, I always got this tinge that she was looked upon as something a little bit "different". These Stepford Wives moms never allowed their precious bundles play with my little girl, because she wasn't part of their little cookie-cutter clique. But, that brief interaction with that one particular mom, who actually turned up her nose at a beautiful, European-boutique dress because it had a small red dot on the sleeve.... well, that was almost too much to even bear for me!

But, to the victor definitely came the spoils.... I wound up with three completely STUFFED plastic grocery bags of clothing, two bags full of toys, a hobby horse (that whinnies and nays when you press a button on its ear), a school bus fort, a Little Tykes shopping cart, some play food and cooking utensils, and a few articles of clothing and a really pretty pair of flip flops for my sister -- all for a whopping $7.50!!

Oh, and the best part.... a little Oxy Clean got that marker stain right out! :)


Susy said...

You rock, that is a great story. I have my daughter in dance, singing, piano, and may I say there are still women that will belittle you, it just amazes me.
What values are they teaching their girls?!

Mama C. said...

Apparently not the right values, Susy. In my opinion, my daughter will grow up to be more morally sound than their daughters, because she'll learn how to value things (and people) much more.

The funny thing is, she's already so secure within herself (at the tender age of nine!), that she's much less bothered by this behavior than I am. She just brushes it aside and moves on to something new.

You mark my words... this child of mine is destined for real greatness. The sky's the limit.

And please, sweetie.... call me Cheryl! :)