Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Uniform Store

Call me a slacker Mom. Call me last minute. Call me crazy--but I waited until 4 business days before the first day of school to go to the uniform store.

It was reckless, I know. But I hate going to the uniform store. It is annual trip into shopping hell.

Picture, if you will, a warehouse. A charming, dank warehouse housed in the middle of an industrial plaza. It rains only over this building each and every time I go like its the Munster's house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Now throw in some bad clothes and really long lines, and you've got the uniform store.

The saleswomen (and I use the term "sales" to refer to the hand written cutout tax table they consult rather than a computer, not in any sort of service aspect) are gathering starched clothing from bags around the room. They bark out, "How many kids you got?" and "Oh, you sure did wait long enough," or "I bet we're all sold out of that." It makes a girl get all warm and fuzzy inside.

So we begin the process of finding clothes that fit. There is no rhyme or reason to the sizes--a small gym short will reach Matty's ankle while the same size polo will reach his belly-button. After 4 hours and 37 different size designations, we come out with a wardrobe that would do any preteen tax accountant proud. And then she writes it up.

No, literally, writes it up.

With a clipboard and form in triplicate, she writes out every style number, sku, price, price extension, vendor number, style number, wage of the loom worker that wove the scratchy pants. It goes on and on and on...

The bill turns up at $357. I have absolutely no idea if this is wildly exorbitant or amazingly reasonable, because I don't know what I actually got in that bag--I'm afraid to reach in for fear of being bitten by one of the baby polyesters that were harmed in the making of that skort.

I pay (by check--I figure if they can't conduct commerce by 21st century means, than I pay with archaic methods to match) and go home to launder the brand new clothes at least a dozen times to make them pliable enough for human limbs.

Don't even ask me about the shoe store...

7 comments:

Mama Ginger Tree said...

That sounds like a blast! I will think of you though every morning before school while I battle my twin girls over wardrobe choices. Good times.

p.s. I love your writing. "It rains only over this building each and every time I go like its the Munster's house on 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Now throw in some bad clothes and really long lines, and you've got the uniform store." You are clever wizard with words.

JODI said...

SD, I think I would have almost traded you for the uniform back to school chore. Let's make a deal if I get stuck doing another classroom move/organization I will fly to Florida next year with my pen, take the kids uniform shopping and even write up the ticket for the "sales" lady. Then you can enjoy STL and the treasures a music can hold.

Thanks for a good laugh! You saved me from the bottle last night.

Kristyn said...

I have one child and the bill came to $328.00. Then the saleswomen convinced me he HAD to have the v-neck ichy sweater (another $25.00). Since I am new to the uniforms this year, I bought it so I don't look like a fool. Of course, I ordered all the wrong sizes in April (nothing fit right when we went to pick them up) and didn't order enough gym clothes. At this point I just don't care if I get the phone call home regarding his clothing.

C.G. Barrett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.G. Barrett said...

What I meant to say is...

To this day I still hate the person who made my high school gym uniform. The thing cost me $7 and my love life for the next half decade.

Marcy Writes - The Glamorous Life said...

"no, literally, writes it up"

That was the best.

I have been to a similar uniform store here in CA. And it was the wierdest shopping experience. I guess they know you are held hostage and have no option to shop elsewhere!

This year we are switching to public school- so no more uniforms! Yippee.....

Tracey said...

I'm glad you all share me my pain. It helps....