You may or may not have noticed that I am outnumbered in my house, gender-wise.
I’m fine with it, though. I may not have a daughter of my own but I have lots of friends who have girls and I totally glom onto them whether they like it or not. (I think they do: I’m a pretty awesome pseudo-aunt if I do say so myself.) I treasure the relationships that I have with my friends’ kids (girls and boys!) and love to create opportunities to interact with them as the spectacular individuals they are and not just because they happen to be the offspring of my friends.
When I was preparing for this year’s LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER show here in Chicago, I needed to find some accessories to go with my dress. I had three major problems with that:
1. With very rare exceptions, I am not the type of shopper who browses. I like to have a mission (i.e. know exactly what I’m looking for) so I can get in and get out.
2. I don’t think of myself as someone who has fashion sense, especially when it comes to accessories.
3. I didn’t want to ask any of my local friends to go with me because A) See number one; I’m not usually a fun shopping companion and B) Most of my local friends are fairly busy with their own stuff
It occurred to me that I was very well-acquainted with the perfect person to help style me for the show, even though it would have to be long-distance: Liz’s daughter Hope.
Sidenote: we sometimes refer to Hope as MY daughter because she has some Type A tendencies and other personality traits that align with mine. (Exhibit A, your honor: click here.) She’s amazing, and that has nothing to do with me.
Anyway, Hope has more fashion sense in her thirteen-year-old pinky finger than I have in my forty-five-year-old entire body. I decided to text her one day and ask if she would help me pick some jewelry for the show, and she was more than happy to do just that. Shortly after I sent her a full-length picture of me wearing the dress I chose, I headed off to the mall. From there I sent her pictures of various necklaces I tried on so she could advise me on what to do. We whittled down my choices to two, and I bought both so I could try them on with my dress at home and send her more pictures. Soon, we had a winner:
The necklace got lots of compliments, and naturally I had fun telling people that I was styled long-distance by Hope.
Yesterday I had to go out and pick up a gift for another friend’s daughter, Bean, who is turning ten this week (OMG!). With the crazed conference season I’ve had, I did not plan ahead for the gift (ahem, research what she might like) and I needed to call in some reinforcements so I could pick up something that had a great chance of success, as birthday gifts go.
I decided to call in the expert once again and grabbed my phone to text Hope.
Me, via text: “Hi Hope! Question. I have to find a birthday present for a ten-year-old girl. I know you’re way beyond that but…any ideas? I’m at Target. Please and thank you?”
Hope, via text: “Uh I guess there’s these things called janimals.”
Me, via text: “Janimals? What department? LOL”
Hope, via text: “I have no idea LOL”
Me, via text: “What are they?? Toys? Clothing?”
And that’s when I had to call her because she didn’t respond and totally left me hanging out to dry in the middle of Target.
*calling Hope’s number…ring ring…*
Hope: *laughing* “Hello?”
Me: “Hope!! WHAT ARE JANIMALS???”
Hope: “I saw them on TV and they’re kind of stuffed animals that turn into those onesie things…”
Me: “Onesie things? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Hope: “You know, like the pajamas with the feet. They come in three sizes, according to the height of the person.”
Me: “Ohhhhhhh! Okay. Thanks, Hope! I’ll look for those and check them out.”
It turns out that Janimals are only available online, I wasn’t sure about Bean’s current height, and I wanted to get something I could send with a gift receipt. It doesn’t matter.
THE POINT IS, I think everyone should have a young expert in their life who is willing to be on hand for idea-bouncing.
You can’t have Hope, though. She’s mine. Well, I mean, she’s really Liz’s. But she’s mine, too. I love that girl.