Swimsuit Shopping

Three hours at Target. I didn’t plan to spend so much time there. What I typically say to myself after a Target run is I didn’t plan to spend so much money there.

When the kids were younger, I’d put them in the cart, stop at the snack bar, order a bag of popcorn, and speed walk down the aisles grabbing what I needed, a little of what I didn’t, and maybe a little something for myself. A bottle of wine strategically placed on an end cap or a new notebook. Later, I dropped off the oldest in the LEGO aisle, speed walked with little sis in the cart, bag of popcorn in tow, and picked him up on the way to the checkout lane.

Yesterday, I’m the one who needed a bag of popcorn and a bottle of wine. Three hours! Swimsuit shopping. Little is now thirteen and she scored a dressing room while a line of hopeful weekend Target shoppers patiently waited their turns. The downside to big box shopping is no one runs to get more outfits in different sizes for you. That was my job.

I found the dressing room stall she took over. She let me in to see one option. “The bottoms are weird.”

Sure enough, they were weird. Too much fabric was missing. “You’re not adult enough to wear that, no ma’am. I’m not adult enough to wear that!”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought, but the top is cute.”

I stepped out to wait and out flew empty hangers, tops, bottoms, and a request for more. “Can you please bring me something bright, but NOT anything neon colored. Maybe something neutral that will suit my skin tone.”

Oh for the love of summer! There weren’t many other options. “You hate florals, so I don’t know what else you want.”

“Just pick something. If I get out of here, someone else will take my spot and I’ll have to get in line and wait all over again.”

I return to the massive swimsuit section to hunt for muted tones. I selected florals with neutral backgrounds. On purpose, along with some abstract prints. With spring break a week away, maybe that’s why everyone was shopping for swimwear. It could also be because all swimwear tends to disappear by April. Get it now or try to squeeze into last year’s swimsuits, if they still fit.

Knocking on the door, I offer a pile of four more swimsuits. “These aren’t quite your style, but you might like them once you’ve tried them on.”

“Ummm, I said no neon colors. I want something bright.”

“You said neutrals.”

“Well, neutral brights.”

I decided not to go where my brain wanted to go, we’re in public.

She hands back everything I brought without trying them on. “Never mind. I’ll take a look myself and get back in line.”

“There’s no line. It must come in waves and it’s calmed down now.”

I take the hangers and get them in order. The two teens working the dressing room looked exasperated. We’re heading back, so I decide to put them back myself.

There are two more possibilities from a wall of options. She heads back to the dressing room and I go back to my shopping list. I haven’t gotten anything I meant to get. I’m in the gardening section when I get a message.

“Where r u? Mom? Mom? Mommy!?”

She finds me and plops into the cart a hoodie, a pair of yoga pants, another swimsuit, and a pair of silver hoop earrings. She makes her way toward a bunny Squishmallow plush toy in the holiday section.

“I have a gift card,” she grins.

“With fifteen dollars left on it! You have two swimsuits in here. They’re priced by the piece,” I explain. “How much is that one top?”


“And what do you plan to wear on your bottom half?”

We discussed options, chores, the gift card, homework, and more chores.

“I’ll meet you at the checkout lane,” I call, as she heads back to return most of what she thought she was getting.

Three hours. One swimsuit. Hoop earrings. A Pusheen hoodie. Pruning shears and some odds and ends I needed.

Target runs seemed so much easier when I stopped to buy popcorn.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

14 thoughts on “Swimsuit Shopping

  1. I could feel the frenzy and stress of this trip. I also got the teenage words, tone, and attitude that are probably new to you since she’s only 13. Bless you, mom!!


  2. It was certainly easier to shop when my children were little. I could choose their clothes and they wore what I bought. Now everyone has their own opinions! It’s much harder. 🙂 Glad you found two suits though. You’re right about them all being gone by April!


    1. What gets on my nerves is buying something that is so “perfect” and winds up in the back of the closet with the tags still on, never worn. Sigh…


  3. Oh, I do not envy your mom duty at the fitting room door! And swimsuit shopping, no less! I hope a bottle of wine made it into your cart, too, for a wind-down afterwards.


    1. I had some at home so I definitely enjoyed a nice long sip. We went out for a late lunch afterward, but no designated driver, so I had to wait.


  4. OMG! You definitely needed the popcorn today! (I do admit occasionally getting sucked into the Target rabbit hole–but I try to steer clear of the enormous bathing suit department!)


  5. You really strike a lovely balance between the teenage dialogue and your own inner mom voice (and the nostalgia for the easier times with Littles). I’m not a mom, but I did have some flashbacks to when I was a teenager and the frustration I know I caused my own mom! This line made me chuckle: “And what do you plan to wear on your bottom half?” Well done!


    1. Oh how (some) times with littles were, dare I say, *easier. Definitely different. Some things get “easier,” but others get more challenging. Either way, it’s an adventure and I’m sure some day I’ll look back at this and wish we could bicker in the dressing room over swimsuits again. In the heat of the moment, though, not so pleasant, lol!


  6. Such a great narrative back and forth, keeping the tension high. Fortunately my daughters spent most of their teen years in India. They have ‘department stores’ but they’re the size of a shoebox. I obviously escaped a great deal of angst!


    1. The angst is real and I’m not mature enough to handle it! We have good times, but when they’re trying, boy do they make me want to crawl into a hole.


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