If you ever meet me, you'll notice a few things: I have a fondness for red shoes and red lipstick; I am vain and I love big earrings. My parents did their best to quash all of these characteristics when I was growing up. I remember my mom once asking, "Where do you get this from? I don't wear jewelery or make-up. But this?!"
I may have solved the mystery.
My grandmother was visiting me for a week. Knowing she is going back home to attend my cousin's wedding, shopping was on our itinerary. There was also a long list of family members who had asked for dresses/shoes/accessories for the same wedding, "if I came across anything". Honestly, we did our best. We visited just about every mall, outlet and store I could think of from Carlsbad to Downtown San Diego. We couldn't find anything that fit the styles, budget and tastes of the people involved. I incorporated shopping into our sight seeing, meal times and social calls. I had deep conversations with friends as I skimmed racks and racks of clothes that were entirely inappropriate for my purposes. I actually exhausted my grandmother on Saturday after whisking her from one mall to another.
The thing that bothered me most was that my grandmother had seen my various red shoes--and she commented on them. The shoe loving woman who wore high heels and corralled a gaggle of grandchildren on her long walks wearing a chador loved MY shoes. Every time I wore one, she'd start giggling with joy and say, "What pretty shoes!". I was determined to find her a pair she would wear.
Finally on Tuesday, on the way to the airport we stopped by Marshalls. I saw a pair of red sandals that she clearly liked. I grabbed them in her size and kept walking. Slightly behind me, she was trying to keep up, saying, "I can't get those. I can't take them home, it's not becoming. *giggle giggle giggle* Your mom will not approve. *giggle* Maybe if I wear them when I have company over." I was already at the register paying, if for no other reason than to hear her giggle like that all the way to the airport. And perhaps wait for the call from my mom, asking me what I was thinking buying my grandmother red shoes. We bonded over our love of red that has always been a mystery.
We stopped at the next store, where I moved on to phase two of my unintentional plan to upset the balance of proper dress amongst the women-folk in my family. My new sister-in-law will also be attending the wedding, and had hinted that she would like a dress. My parents are of the modest dress mentality. So much so that half the things I wear (shorts, sleeveless shirts, almost any formal wear) scandalizes them and results in a polite but firm request to 'see what else I have to wear'. My sister-in-law apparently is not so fond of these suggestions (and I don't blame her one bit). So imagine my glee when I saw a lovely green dress that may have lacked sleeves and may also have been low cut. The good news: 1. It will look great on her. 2. She loves green 3. She will practically be obligated to accept the dress because I got it for her. 4. It was almost 60% off! The bad news? I will be getting a number of scandalized calls, wondering "What I was thinking?! Had I forgotten who I was shopping for? WHAT WAS I THINKING!?!"
I blame it on the math. With two purchases, I made three people very happy--maybe more. I did some very good deeds. I may have thought of doing this on my own, but would never have gone through with it without encouragement from a slightly mischevious friend. Now excuse me as I adjust my halo. It may get knocked off soon.