The Moonwalk and It's Power of Subtly

Back in the days of yonder, I loved the September. It meant back to school to see old friends, clothes that actually fit before I grew out of them and of course, spanky new school supplies.

What was better than your very own bendy ruler and a sparkle pen to call your own? Perhaps that new red pencil case you convinced your mom to buy, perfect for hiding notes in the side pockets.

Not that I wrote a lot of notes in class. Snicker.

If you believe that let me tell you about how perky my chest is too.

I still love September. But for different, more grown-up reasons. My daughter and I celebrate our birthdays this month. The canopy of tree tops starts to resemble the colours of a vibrant sunset. My kids board a little yellow school bus every morning to be driven far, far away by the world's nicest lady all before I have my first cup of coffee. And she doesn't bring them back until almost nine hours later.

Sweet, sweet freedom.

There is one thing I passionately and intensely dislike about September.

Back to school shopping. I hate having to shoulder my way into the throng of mothers who think their snot-nosed brats need a twenty dollar binder and block all access to the cheap binders on the back shelf. When you ask them to politely get the fuck out of my way before I hurt you excuse themselves so you may reach one of the ugly discounted D-rings, they sneer over their shoulders as if to convey that my very existence and desire not to spend what amounts to a boob job on school supplies are grunging up their airspace and my wild monkey children shouldn't be allowed to share the same air-space with their precious soon-to-be-white-collar-criminal children and then shuffle maybe a half-step to the left so that if I stretch really hard I may be able to reach the ugly puke green discount binder on the top instead of digging through the pile and finding a half decent colour for my kids.

I mean it's bad enough I buy the discount crap. They shouldn't have to stare at colours resembling what it looked like the last time they puked in the toilet.

Of course, this could all be in my imagination too. I just hate shopping if it doesn't involve various different shapes of glass bottles filled with pretty colours of ambrosia.

However, I am a dutiful mother, so I stuffed the kids into the car, cranked up the iPod and headed into town, equally determined not to get fleeced and not be the mother who sends her kids to school with pocket protectors just because she found them on sale and in theory they seem like a good idea.

After what seemed like an eternity, our shopping cart was full, my credit card company would soon be very happy with me and my kids were bouncing off the walls with excitement and I wearily pushed our mountain of supplies towards the car.

"Mom, aren't you going to buy us some clothes? I need new shoes and most of my pants are too short," Fric asked while pointing to her coltish legs. Sure enough, I could see four inches of ankle below her hem line.

"Oh, I thought that was the look you were going for these days, you crazy kids."

"MOM!" they complained in unison.

Fine, since I seem to have government agencies breathing down my neck these days all in name of finding out if I'm crazy. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to provide clothing that fit for my offspring.

But nobody said the clothes had to be pretty. Snicker.

As Fric and Frac raced around gathering up enough clothes in their arms to wear a new outfit every day for a year, I shouted out, "Only two pants and two shirts. You can trade outfits every day. And I'm not buying you any underwear. You can go commando like the rest of us!"

That always works to keep the sales people away.

As my lovely children tried on one lovely, expensive outfit after another, I sat in the corner rocking back and forth trying to figure out how I was going to pay for every thing they need on top of every thing they want.

There's not many street corners I can stand on in the sticks. Hmm. Maybe I could get a job for a 1-900 company. I'm told I have a sexy voice...

As Fric and Frac come out to model one incredibly over priced outfit after another, I tried to dissuade them from the most pricey choices and stir them towards the more reasonable (and slightly geeky) choices I could live with.

"Oh, you don't want that pair of pants Frac. They make you look like a two headed elf with small feet and a big nose. Besides, some child in India had to slave for twelve hours to make those jeans, wasn't allowed a washroom break and only made three cents for his effort. You don't want to buy merchandise from a company that treats KIDS that way do you?"

"Fric, that shirt looks lovely. If you want to resemble a prostitute walking her turf in it. It really highlights your eyes and makes you look cheap. Great choice honey. Love the colour. All the boys will love it."

Ya. Really, I should win awards for my parenting.

However, my kids aren't as dumb as I'd like. "You're just saying this because you don't want to pay these prices," Fric accused me after checking the price tag on her the last pants she tried on and telling her she resembled a mushroom butt.

Damn. I need to work on my subtlety skills.

"Well, can you blame me? It's not like these clothes are made with gold thread! They want an arm and a leg for crap that you are going to out grow in two shakes of a lambs tail. I'm trying to be frugal and conservative, thereby saving enough of your father's hard earned money, to oh, I don't know, FEED us!"

I went on, "Besides, the clothing I picked out is just as cool looking and only half the price. I'm a great shopper. I'm fashionable. I'm cool. I'm jiggy. I'm down wit tat." Said with hand motions and everything. I am so cool.

Que rolling of both sets of blue eyes.

"Fine Mom. Just do us a favour."

"Sure, what's that?" I'd do just about anything in the name of all that is holy just to be able to get the hell out of the store with some money still in the bank.

"Stop trying to do the Moonwalk in the mirror. You are embarrassing us. And you look like your having fits."

"Fine. So I can't dance. But don't I get cool points just for trying?"


"NO!" Again with unison. You'd think they were related or something.

"Fine no dancing. Oh, do you hear that? I grew up with that song! I still know the words. If you're not changed with some reasonably priced choices in hand in one minute, I'm gonna start singing loudly. Oh look! Isn't that a couple of kids you go to school with? Maybe I should dance for them too. Time's a ticking my friends. And Momma's getting the itch to be a star..."

Funny how a little public embarrassment can hurry things a long. Saved me a bundle too. I danced all the way to the cash register.

But only after waving hello to my kid's school chums. I like to be friendly, after all.