22 Aug 2014
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Stay-at-Home Dad: Back to School Consumerism for Everyone

Walking the fine line between needing and wanting.

Stay-at-Home Dad: Back to School Consumerism for Everyone

I’m sitting in one of those big comfy chairs in the center aisle of the mall watching all the school kids running around and showing off their newly acquired purchases. Girls are squealing in reaction to each others purchases as if they were seeing a Labrador puppy. Even the guys with the cool hair styles, that they will most likely someday regret, are checking out one another’s Abercrombie booty. All I can think to myself is do you really need ALL this stuff?

My kids aren’t that into clothing, but they do need some stuff, so I sort of give them a budget and let them shop it out themselves. Luckily I have two sons so I don’t have to worry too much about the clothing trend that the young “ladies” seem to be into these days, which is the "I have already outgrown these shorts and my ass cheeks are peeking out of the bottom."

My boys like clothes that make perfect sense for them. My youngest likes Australian surfing wear, even though he lives in Westchester and never goes to the beach. My oldest loves basketball stuff even though he is the shortest kid in his grade...very logical.

My wife came along with us today and only needs a few things for herself.  When we got to the mall we all synchronize our watches like a Seal Team and set a rendezvous time and location. Gentlemen, there are two schools of thought on where to set up the meeting place. One is to choose a place where your wife needs to go, that way it ensures that she will eventually end up there. The other option is to pick a place where you won’t mind waiting for her as she will undoubtedly be at least 20 minutes late!

Today she needed a few things at a store named Sephora, so that was our meeting location. This emporium sells make up, skin care products, and hair stuff. There is no male equivalent to this store, and if there was it would be a place that sold sporting goods, candy and porn. Nice thing about using it as a meeting place is there is tons of stuff to sample to kill the time. Today I tried some exfoliating creme, and sampled 21 drops, which are therapeutic essential oils that made me forget that my kids were somewhere in the mall spending all of my money.

Since the whole space-time continuum seems to evaporate while at the mall, and its close to lunch time, I’m gonna head down to PF Chang's to get one of those beepers that let you know that your table will be ready in 3-1/2 hours! Who the heck waits that long just to get the TGI Fridays equivalent of Chinese food? Come on people, we are New Yorkers and can do better than this!  

All-in-all, a day in the mall can range across the spectrum of extremes. There are things that you need, things that you may want, and things that you may not be able to afford. But shopping has become part of the American way of life, especially for that first day, back-to-school impression–even if parking is $6.

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