I’m not what one might call a trendsetter. As a matter of fact, I haven’t found a “trend” since somewhere in the mid seventies and in a strange kind of way, I’m still stuck there. When I consider myself, the words “fashion statement” don’t exactly leap to mind and over the years the authorities have been called on more than one occasion to help me clear my closet and rid myself of worn out flannels, earth shoes and acid wash jeans. Speaking of acid, even back in my experimental phase, I didn’t see bleeding rainbows or flowers melting into golden sunsets. Instead, I saw other peoples footprints etched into the cold gray concrete.

I guess I was destined to be monochromatic.

I took my twelve year old daughter clothes shopping the other day. It’s not an experience that I particularly enjoy since I’m more apt to buy on impulse instead of fingering every piece of merchandise in the store. My philosophy is simple, see it, like it, buy it. So it was an air of impatience that surrounded me as my daughter walked the aisles, touching and feeling every sweater, hoodie, pair of trousers or items of a more personal nature that Old Navy had to offer.

They had a lot…

After trying on various outfits that seemed to consist of the stores entire line, we gathered up a handful of items and headed to the checkout line. As any seasoned shopper will tell you, it’s there that they put things to catch your eye and to move merchandise that for whatever reason wasn’t selling fast enough. Sure enough, racks of scarves marked down from $16.50 to .50 cents were available for the taking and sure enough they caught my kids eye. Even though I told her I had reached my personal ground zero when it came to shopping, I heard the following.

”But Da-aaad”

Anybody who’s a father has heard that pleading tone. For me, it sounds like a call to surrender.

And that’s just what I did.

She picked out three of them to help complete her ensemble and out the door we went. After a short stop at the local watering hole for lunch where, incidentally, the girl behind the bar complimented her on one of the scarves she was wearing and thereby reduced her tip when I got the “I told you so” look from my kid, we headed for home. It’s there that the girl talk started.

She got on the phone and talked to some of her friends and the news of scarves on sale for .50 cents must have spread like wildfire amongst her circle. One of them asked if she wanted to go back and the next thing I knew I was dropping her off at the store.

By the time she got back home, she had six more scarves to her name.

The next day, I dropped her off at school and lo and behold, all of her friends were wearing brand spanking new scarves and talking excitedly about which ones were their favorites and some other stuff that seemed foreign to me. All in all, I think they cleaned out a grateful Old Navy from a lot of their old inventory to the tune of about sixty of them.

When I picked her up later in the afternoon, even one of the female teachers remarked that she wished we would have given her a call so she could get in on the deal.

I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but the look of pride and satisfaction on my kids face was one I won’t soon forget. I think she thought she started something since in the days that followed, all of the kids at her school, the ones she runs around with and the ones she’s trying to impress, look at her a little different.

See, she’s always been somewhat on the fringe when it came to matters of fashion. Much like her dad, she preferred blue jeans and tennis shoes to whatever the latest fad was and was considered more of a tomboy when it came to clothes.

My little girl is growing up and in a huge way I’m gonna miss the one she leaves behind. You can’t stop the aging process though and I’m looking forward to each passing day with a new sense wonder.

At least I think I am.

When you stop to consider it, that’s a small price to pay for a little over five bucks and change for a handful of scarves.

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