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Fashion Tribe

I love clothes.  I would say I love fashion, but I don’t always love fashion.  I love MY sense of fashion, which doesn’t always coincide with what designers find fashionable in a given season.

I feel like when I purchase most of my clothing, I’m adding to an overall sense of style in my closet.  Occasionally I make mistakes and buy something that just doesn’t mesh with my look and ends up getting worn just once.  These items first get shown to my youngest sister and cousin, who always have first dibs, then to anyone else who wants to take a look, then finally to the church.

A lot of the time though I buy items that I love.  I’ll keep pieces for years!  It could be a tiered dress from target (like the purple one I bought back in 2008 and worn two weeks ago) or it could be a stunning Anthropologie dress with hand-embroidery that I bought for a wedding back in 2000.  Whatever it is, if it appeals to my specific sense of style it becomes a part of my collection.

That’s not to say that I don’t adhere to fashion trends.  I definitely do!  I try to incorporate the current trends into my wardrobe by buying prints or shapes that are “in” but won’t got “out” so easily.

Take this dress, for example:

This tribal print maxi dress from Ya Los Angeles was a great buy.  I found it on Piperlime for a rather inexpensive price.  It incorporates several trends that I love: maxi dress, tribal print, and see-through paneling.  Perfect!

Given that the tribal print makes up about half of the dress I don’t expect to keep this dress forever.  However, since it is a more sedate print I should be able to get at least a year’s worth of wear out of it, if not two.  Not bad for a dress that was under $100.

What’s curious, though, is that I never considered this dress to be a daring choice.  In fact, just look above to see that I used the word “sedate” to describe this dress.  I never think that my fashion choices might be out of the ordinary or seen as bold to other people.

At least I didn’t until I wore this dress to a bridal shower a few months ago.  A woman I’ve met several times before came up to me and complimented me on my dress.  I returned the compliment as she was wearing a darling outfit of an a-line red skirt with white sailboats and a navy blue t-shirt, tucked in and kind of blousey.  She looked adorable!  And I told her so.

She then started to tell me about her outfit choice and how she felt so daring in it.  I shook my head a little, saying it looked absolutely perfect and not at all out of the ordinary.  She laughed and said she knew I’d understand.

I just smiled and continued making small talk.

What the heck had she meant?  As the party wore on I didn’t give the comment another thought.  Until I was driving home, that is.  Then it struck me!  She meant that my current outfit was daring!  She meant that I always wore outfits that she considered “out there”.  I laughed to myself and wondered if anyone else I knew thought of me this way.

I’d always received compliments on my fashion choices, picking items that were out of the ordinary but beautiful.  I hate wearing items that I might see on a hundred different people!

Even know thinking about that conversation has me shaking my head and chuckling to myself.  Oh well!

If this is daring, then I guess I’ll be daring.  It’s a heck of a lot better than being ordinary!!

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A trip to the Mall

My son never ceases to amaze me.  Sometimes in a good way (by waking me with hugs and kisses), sometimes in a not so good way (by following said affection with wrestling falls to my full bladder).

Recently Connor surprised me by displaying a love for the mall.  That’s right, the horrible torturous building I couldn’t convince him to enter as a 1 year old, has become a desired destination for my 3 year old.  Whenever we drive by it now he points to it and asks “This one? This one?”

I say “This one what, buddy?”

He answers “More please”, still pointing to the mall.

It sometimes feels like I’m talking to someone who primarily speaks a foreign language, only having a tiny mastery of English.

So I say, “You want the mall?” somewhat incredulously.

“Mall please! Mall please!”

“Ok….we’ll stop by on our way back.  First doctor then mall.”

“Then mall”, he repeats.

On this particular day coming back from therapy, I asked him “Do you want to go to the mall or the park?”

“Mall or park?” Connor echoed.

At the next red light I turned around in my seat so I could face him.  “Connor, look at mommy.” I instructed.  He finally looked me in the eyes.  I said “Hi baby.”

“Hi Mommy” he answered.

“Do you want to go to the mall or to the park?”

He looked away.

“Connor, look at mommy.  Mall or park?”

Finally he met my eyes and pronounced “Mall!”

“Ok, mall it is.”

Driving into the mall parking lot Connor even directed me to which entrance he would like us to use, pointing this way and that until we parked close enough to his particular choice.  As I unbuckled him, he practically leapt out of his seat.  Must get to the mall!  Connor pulled me through the parking lot to the front entrance where he promptly let go of my hand and started sprinting down the hallway.

And why I say sprinting, I mean sprinting!  This boy can run! You cannot do a fast walk to catch him, you actually have to run to keep up.

So I took off after him, grabbing ahold of his hand after about 20 ft.  He didn’t mind.  Connor just switched to his happy walk instead (which is him bouncing up and down with each step).  However, once we neared the glass railing overlooking the first floor, Connor took off again.

He ran up and pressed his face against the glass, staring at the carousel below.

“ooooooo, look at that”, he said looking up at me.

“What is that baby?”

“Carousel” he said, although it sounded more like cow-o-sell.

Grabbing my hand, he pulled me to the escalator and dragged me towards the carousel.

“More please! More please!”

He was so happy I couldn’t refuse him a ride.

Here is a very blurry picture of him sort of smiling on the carousel. Connor usually has a deep look of concern when on a ride, as if he’s not sure he enjoys it.  This time however, he seemed happy.

Seemed being the operative word here.

After the ride ended, Connor maneuvered me back up the escalator to the Cinnabon we had passed.  He didn’t ask for anything specifically (or generally), instead he just ran over to the nearest table and sat down, just looking at me.

Ok…..I guess my child would like a snack.  Not the healthiest choice for a snack, given that the cinnamon roll has about 800 calories but they have some twists for around 300.  Cinnamon twists it is!

I think he enjoyed them.

Once he was done, which means he ate half the twists and drank half of my Diet Coke, Connor started running down the hallway again.  This time, his destination was clear: the Disney Store.  Located across and down from Cinnabon the Disney Store promised all of Connor’s favorite characters in one place.

I’m not sure how Connor came to be so familiar with this mall, I think a certain cousin of mine is to blame, but I can’t be sure.  If only I could get him to be this happy when we went to Nordstrom, I’d be the happiest mom in the world.

As it is, I’m just the most indulgent.

Yes I bought him a toy.  I know, I know.  Connor, being an only child and a member of a 70+ extended family, is already spoiled rotten.  He has more toys than he knows what to do with.  If he sat down and played with three different toys every day, I bet it would still take him more than two months to get through everything.

So why did I buy him yet another toy?

Well…

Because I’m a sucker.

Because my baby boy was so happy and so well-behaved at the mall.

Because my autistic son spoke to me and asked for it.

Because we shared an afternoon I’ll never forget, but he might.

Because it made me glad to do it.

Whatever the reason, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.