Homeschooling has an interesting side-effect for my boys, that I’m not sure I started to pay attention to until fairly recently. My children have no clue about clothing. What’s in…what’s out. It’s all Greek togas to them.
Case in point…if I happen to leave both summer and winter clothing accessible to them, it is not unusual to see someone sitting around in shorts and a turtleneck. Their idea of picking out something to wear is reaching into the closest drawer (hopefully one that is still drooping open from yesterday so they don’t actually have to open it) and pulling out enough clothing to cover the parts they don’t want seen in pictures.
Now this is fine and good while you are sitting in your bedroom, hidden away on your computer. But what about if mom wants to take you out into the real world? Now it get’s complicated – – not for them, but for mom. Because at that point, we begin the repeating ritual that happens on a weekly, if not daily, basis at the Topsy household that I fondly like to call “the who-cares argument.”
It always begins with my suggestion that they look in the mirror. I lead with this because having seen the ridiculousness that is their current wardrobe choice, I have this hope that someday they will “see it” for themselves. Never happens.
So on to part two.
Me: “We’re going out in just a little while, and I was hoping you might put on something a little more appropriate for the weather. While the fuzzy vest was probably pretty cozy back during January, it probably just isn’t the best clothing choice for mid-June.”
Them: “Mom…it’s just clothes. Who cares?”
Me: “I know it is just clothes, but besides being wrong for this climate, that outfit is also not really in style right now. I think tube socks and sandals might have gone out a few years back.”
Them: “Mom, if we are running errands, we will probably never see those people again in our lives. Who cares whether I am in style?”
Me: “You never know who we might bump into out there. A neighbor, a church member, or God-forbid a future employer.”
Them: “Why would THEY care what we are wearing? Do they own a clothing store?”
At this point my voice always starts getting an edge to it, and I am wearing down, and they sense it. Time to pull out the big guns.
Me:”For all I know, some hot teenage girl will have started working at the pharmacy, and she will be the one to ring up our purchase, and you will have a chance to tell her that you like her nose ring, and she will giggle, and you will say something clever back, and then she will flash you her best smile, and you will brush your hair back over your ear, and she will lean forward over the counter to commence flirting and suddenly see that you are wearing a fuzzy vest, green shorts, and tube socks with sandals, and in horrified amazement, she will not only ignore your existence, but short change me, which will make me ill, and I will probably give you extra chores.”
Works every time. Off goes the fuzzy vest and the tube socks. On goes the purple t-shirt which just happens to create some sort of 3-D effect with the green shorts. But hey, I’m happy. If you think I’m going to argue color schemes too, you’ve got another thing coming. I’m going to let their wives worry with that one.