The week prior to my neice’s wedding, I invited my sister Ann Marie to go shopping in hopes of finding a nice looking Moo Moo for me to wear. “A Moo Moo?” She asked. “It has to be a Moo Moo…I don’t think anything else will fit…” I explained and was subsequently slapped on the arm by her for the comment. We also invited the doll to join us in hopes of finding a nice dress to double for the wedding and Christmas; along with some new dress shoes. As we wandered through the mall, trying on shoes, looking for dresses for me, the doll seemed quite bored. Not that I blame her. Yet when we arrived at one of the anchor stores and wandered into the Junior department, her mood and attitude changed immediately.
In case you may have missed this tidbit of information, I hate clothes shopping. I like to go in, grab what I want then get the hell out. My sister inherited my mother’s love for shopping and knows exactly what 12 yr old girls like to wear–So I followed her lead all the way. “I’m just going to start grabbing dresses and we can have her try them on…” Ann Marie said. After we’d grabbed about eight dresses, the doll sequestered herself into a dressing room and began trying them on. In the meantime Ann Marie went off in search of dress shoes, while I sat patiently outside the dressing room area, hoping she might give me a glimpse of what she was trying on.
After ten minutes I asked, “Hey, how many have you tried on?” ‘Three” came her reply “Mom, could you go see if they have this dress in the next size up?” She asked handing the dress over the top of the door to me.”Yeah sure, be right back” I replied.When I returned a minute later and tried to enter her dressing room she slammed the door shut and locked the door in the process. “Really doll?” I asked and resumed my place outside the dressing room. “You know, what would be nice, considering I’m PAYING for the dress…?” I began rather annoyed how long she was taking… “Would be if you let me see how you look in a few of them…” I said after another ten minutes.
“Is she still inside?” Ann Marie asked. “Yes…can you believe it?” “Mom, I’m still trying on all those dresses…” The doll argued. “But can’t you come out and twirl a few so I can help you choose?” I asked but got nothing in rerturn. Then finally after what felt like forever the doll quietly asked, “Mom, could you come in here and tell me what you think?” “Sure” I replied almost running into her room. There standing before me was a beautiful red head wearing an extremely cute, but rather short, black party dress. Except she didn’t look like the doll I knew. For a half a second I thought I must have entered the wrong room, before realizing, no right room, she’s just not your little girl anymore. In that instance I was struck by how little time I have left with her. Taking the beautiful woman’s sight in I replied in a soft tone “Wow!” “What do you think?” she asked. “Wow” Sigh. “Wow. Wow.” SIGH “Umm Wow. Wow”. She looked back at me curiously, then turned to look back into the mirror. I kept trying to wrap my mind around the sight in front of me, trying to formulate thoughts into words, but all I could say was “Wow”.
Outside the dressing room, perhaps sensing I was stuck in the “OMG my baby’s grown up” hell; Ann Marie asked, “Doll can I see what has your mother so tongue tied?” Seeing that I wasn’t offering her any constructive help with the dress, she opened the door and invited her aunt in. Sizing the doll up and down and shooting me a brief look Ann Marie threw out a lifesaver to the both of us. “Doll, do you mind the dress being that short?” Yes!! Good question!! I thought. Turning and looking back into the mirror, the doll immediately lowered her arms trying to cover her legs. Embarrassed she said, “Not really…” “Well then, was there another dress you liked just as well? Why not try that on and let us compare?” Agreeing the doll changed dresses, after we exited the room and then allowed us another preview. “Oh I like this dress!” I said; maybe too enthusiastically.”What do you think Aunt Ann?” The doll asked. “I think this one is more appropriate for your comfort level…” She explained. “Me too” The doll agreed.
Later in the evening when I tried to explain the incident to my husband I laughed, “Our baby is growing up and I don’t like it one bit!” “I know…but that’s how this whole world spins…” He said in return. “Hey, you’re supposed to be commiserating with me!” I snarked back. “Believe me I am Marsh…I am”.