Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Practically Practical

Remember when you were young? The ultimate insult was that the shoes on your feet or the clothes on your back were KMart bluelight specials. Somehow having parents who were thrifty was a social gaffe in the highest degree. (as if you had even the slightest control over where your parents shopped) Getting a good deal was a curse and if people found-out it could somehow impugn your character and even worse your popularity. There was even a major hit by a superstar of note who no one would ever confuse with the mother of Christ boldly titled "Material Girl". It was an age of consumerism.

Though there have been many groups of teens who avoided this materialism (punk and grunge spring to mind immediately) it has steadily grown. The kids who would ridicule each other in the school yard became the parents who bought $50 Air Jordans for their 1 year-olds and frequented toy boutiques because everyone knows "it" is better if you spend more. But, then came the dollar stores, warehouse stores, and discounted and outlet stores. Steadily a change began in the most consumer population known to America - the teens. 

No longer are there clothing allowances that rival the GDP of a small country. Teens need to learn to budget their money and the value of their purchases. Teen, who never cared much about the label on her clothes handy since it wouldn't have made a bit of differenece in my shopping habits, went shopping for her friends' gifts. There was no mad dash to the mall, no $25 t-shirts that shred to bits in the first load of laundry, and no need for me to supplement her savings lucky - since I wouldn't, I'm just evil like that. She and her friends exchanged gifts purchased largely from the dollar store. They loved giving and receiving odd items that made them laugh. And when the time came for Teen to purchase pop for class parties etc. she told me not to worry. She would buy no-name pop or pick it up at the Dollar Store where there is the "cheapest price for name-brand 2 liters." A victory for practicality! Now, if we can just get them to see the folly of a $4 cup of coffee...


  1. The $4 cup of coffee is beyond me. I will never understand it, but I don't see those "gourmet" coffee shops going away.

  2. This is definitely a trend among the teens in this area. They buy a lot of clothes at second hand stores and my oldest in particular is bargain hunting crazy.
    It's definitely a good thing.

  3. i love this trend and just wish it had been around when i was in middle school & high school. heck my mom (and non-fashion expert me) thought we were doing good buying gloria vanderbilt & jordache jeans. but lo and behold...we must have been a trend or two behind because i was still ridiculed for them! i hate teenagers! lol


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