Shopping with Jeremy…

I was making pancakes this morning when my phone rang. It was my friend P. He and his husband were dropping off groceries at home then he was heading out. Did I want to hang out this afternoon? Was I interested in hanging out in arts and craft shops? Most definitely. So a half hour later Jeremy and I were off.

Shopping with Jeremy is interesting. It always has been. Jeremy has an incessant need to buy something… anything. From the time zie’s been old enough to speak I’ve been tucking zir under my arm while zie wailed, “But Mommy I need… I need…” It didn’t matter what it was. A car battery, a tin of peas, a dented can of anchovies on clearance… Jeremy needed it desperately.

Now at least zie’s more selective with zir needs but they’re all still desperate and burning (while we’re in the store at least). We started at Dollarama where I picked up a couple of stocking stuffers for Emma (did you know they have inflatable elephants there hon?). I found a package of purple glittery pumpkins for our table then Jeremy asked for a purple glittery bow for zir bedroom door. It was $1.25 so I stuck it in the cart. Then zie wanted headphones with a built in microphone. Okay. Then a Lost computer video game. I just bought zir a video game this week so no. I also said no to the USB key to replace the other Dollarama USB key which zie got to replace the previous Dollarama USB key (that could go on forever). I figure I averaged about four “no’s” an aisle.

We went to Subway next, which was a break because everything was food and there wasn’t an option other than a sandwich, a side, and a drink. After that was Wal-Mart, where I said yes to a new pair of jeans and a Doctor Who poster and no to everything else including a $40 suitcase that Jeremy wanted for the sole reason it was purple. The same reason zie gave for wanting a $45 backpack at the nearby art store. I just bought zir a backpack last month. I thought the art store would be a bit of a reprieve but Jeremy started begging for artist’s brushes even though zie doesn’t paint. There are a lot of brushes in art stores.

Michaels Arts and Crafts was our final stop. Jeremy started that store off by asking for a $25 Christmas ornament. We didn’t buy it. Then zie begged zir way up and down every single aisle. The purple glittery scrapbooking paper was tempting. Jeremy doesn’t scrapbook but I do and I’m a sucker for glitter. I’ve been digiscrapping for a decade now though so I resisted. Jeremy pouted.

“Jeremy. I spent thirty-six dollars at Dollarama,” I hissed when we were alone in an aisle. “I’m broke. I can’t afford to spend anymore.”

“We spent that much?!” Jeremy replied. Zie looked shocked.


“So you can’t afford to buy me anything else?” zie asked and I sighed with relief. Maybe it was going to be that simple.

“No, I can’t,” I agreed. “We’re going to have to window shop.”

We turned the corner into a new aisle. P was standing halfway down the aisle, contemplating a display.

“Ooo… brushes,” Jeremy said excitedly. “Mom, can you buy me a brush?”

it wasn’t that simple. I just barely managed to resist banging my head against the wall.

Jeremy continued begging down every single aisle. My pat answer of “ask for it for Christmas” grew weary. No wonder Jeremy likes the TARDIS so much. Zie’d need one just to hold all the stuff zie wants. And a lot bigger family to buy it all.

Finally we reached the check out and Jeremy grew more frantic. Zie hadn’t gotten anything in the last two stores and zir need to buy had reached a fevered pitch.

“Mom, I’m starving. I need something to eat,” zie pleaded after I turned down a request for candies stuffed inside the plastic bomb from Super Mario. Almost four dollars for 25 cents worth of candy.

“You have a butter tart waiting for you at home,” I replied. This was the fourth time I’d used that line.

“But that’s at home,” he snapped. “I’m starving.”

“You just ate a 12 inch sub and two rainbow chip cookies,” I pointed out.

“But I’m still starving. How about one of those Lindor chocolates?”

It was 89 cents. I grabbed it from the bin and zie sighed with relief.

“Thank you Mom.”

Zie forgot about the chocolate until I pulled it out of the bag at home and obviously didn’t starve. The poster is still rolled inside its wrap and the jeans still folded in the bag. Zie’s done nothing with the purple plastic bin zie needed at Dollarama and the glittery bow is tucked away in a closet because zie’s waiting until closer to Christmas to put it up. Actually, the only one who’s done anything with the stuff we bought today is me.

And now I’ve got a bit of a reprieve… until the next time we go shopping at least.


We went shopping…

I hate shopping. More specifically I hate crowds. The last time I went shopping near Christmas, I muttered to Emma that the trip would be so much better if everyone else disappeared. She thought that was hysterical. I wasn’t joking.

Jeremy and I got off the bus and I stared at the parking lot in dismay. It looked like the week before Christmas instead of a weekday in August. The whole lot was full. If the bus hadn’t already left, I’d have turned around and climbed back on.

The first thing Jeremy did was drag me into Icing, a jewelry store chain, because he needed earrings. We ended up buying a package with nine sets of purple rhinestone earrings. He was thrilled. He was also thrilled when we took a trip into Purdys so he could have an ice cream bar with two kinds of chocolate dip and rainbow sprinkles. The cashier helpfully informed me that, while they have chocolate with no milk ingredients, all their sugar is filtered through bone char. Damn. Oh well, I can make treats at home.

Then we took a detour into Old Navy to look at their backpacks. It was a very brief detour. Years ago I bought Jeremy a backpack from there; it was plain brown but made out of a silky, shiny material and it came with a matching lunch bag. This year… well it was very gendered. I couldn’t see him wanting a backpack covered in glitter hearts or one with a giant shark face. I promised him we’d go to Electronic Boutique next, which turned out to be a surprise disappointment. I hadn’t realized he didn’t know the EB in EB Games stood for “Electronic Boutique”. He thought we were going to a store with all sorts of computer parts; not a game store.

And then it got interesting. I’d taken a quick peek at the pictures in Icing as I’m a sucker for both glitter and word art. Icing often combines the two…


This is my favourite picture (and yes, I have silver mirror butterflies on my walls). Icing didn’t have any more pictures that I liked this time but Claires is run by the same company and often has similar products so I wandered in. Jeremy was horrified and left immediately, claiming it was too crowded. Whatever. If anything Icing had been more crowded. Two stores down was H&M. I had never been in there before but read it was a good place to shop, especially if you have a gender nonconforming kid. I figured they might have backpacks. I was wrong. And, once again Jeremy was horrified. Loudly and obnoxiously horrified. Then he disappeared while I was looking for a clerk. I found him in the mall a store away, pointedly looking anywhere but H&M. After the scene he’d pulled there and at Claires, I was briefly tempted to turn and walk the other direction.

“What was that all about?” I snapped. “Why the hell did you just turn around and leave?”

“That was a girls clothing store,” he retorted, visibly angry. “People were going to think we were shopping for me.”

It took me a moment to reply because his reply was not what I expected. Had he not noticed the entire mens section? Plus why would he assume people would think we were shopping for ladies wear for him, especially with me right there. My first thought was he was being very oversensitive. But he’s seventeen, that goes with the territory. I simply pointed out that the store was unisex. I was right, he hadn’t noticed the mens section.

We browsed at Dollarama next, which calmed Jeremy right down (he loves that store) then we found a sonic screwdriver keychain in another store (plus a stocking stuffer for Jeremy but he didn’t see me buy it). And then we went home.

We went to the mall to buy a new cellphone for Jeremy and a backpack. We left with earrings, a cellphone case for me, a sonic screwdriver keychain, and a small silver lamp for the living room (with tree cut outs in the shade). Then we got off the bus into a torrential downpour and came home completely soaked. The trip was not what I planned but was pretty typical for us.

His backpack from last year should be fine.


The Pyjama Chronicles…

We had a marvelous dinner on Friday then immediately went out pyjama shopping. I had high hopes for Superstore, apparently too high.

We entered the men’s department and there were the pjs, right in front of us. Jeremy’s scowl deepened.

“I don’t like any of those,” he stated, giving the whole rack a look of disdain.

I felt one and silently agreed. They were a rough textured cotton and fairly stiff. Shrugging, I turned around toward the ladies department.

“Where are we going?” Jeremy asked in confusion.

“The ladies department,” I replied, feeling confused as well. We’d already discussed this. “I, umm, need to look at pyjamas too.”

That set Jeremy right off. He ranted the whole time we were in there about how unfair it was that we’d gone shopping for him but were now shopping for me. I showed him a few pairs of pjs, all of which he disliked, and he continued to rant.

“We never finished looking in the men’s department,” he snapped.

I shrugged again, there wasn’t anything I could see in the ladies department. The pyjamas were also stiff, rough cotton and many were covered in gaudy flowers. Then I turned and went back to the men’s department.

I found another rack of pyjamas which Jeremy intensely disliked…

“They’re plaid Mom!” He almost turned plaid into a swear word.

… and ended up buying him a couple more t-shirts instead. We left the clothing department with Jeremy still complaining about how we’d been mostly shopping for me, even though it was his trip. Finally we reached a section with no customers.

“Jeremy, we talked about this on Thursday,” I said with some exasperation. “I do need a pair of pyjamas but we were mainly in there for you. That’s why I kept asking if you’d seen anything you liked.”

“Oh,” Jeremy said, looking faintly embarrassed. “No, I didn’t see anything.”

“We’re going to Wal-Mart next. If you see anything you like, you can say they’re for me.”

“Or I can say I like them for myself,” he retorted.

“Yes,” I agreed. “That works too.”

The Wal-Mart men’s department was a bust. Like Target, they didn’t actually have a pyjama section, just a handful of t-shirts and boxers. I did find a hanger with three pairs of lounge pants attached. They all were plaid. Jeremy stayed silent, but his expression spoke volumes.

Then we wandered over to the ladies department. I found a long nightie for me to wear on hot summer nights but couldn’t see anything for Jeremy at all.

“I don’t see anything for you,” Jeremy said urgently. This would have worked better if I wasn’t carrying a nightie.

“I’m saying this for me,” he hissed. “I don’t see anything for me.”

“Not even that Duck Dynasty nightie,” I replied cheerfully, pointing to a rack. Jeremy snorted.

The actual successful shopping trip was anticlimactic.

I needed to head out this afternoon and asked Jeremy if he wanted to go shopping. He was busy watching a video and didn’t. I stopped by Target and discovered their ladies nightwear section is huge. Most of the pjs were cotton but I found a pair that were soft and navy blue. I immediately snatched them up.

The best part? They were $16.99 on the rack and rang in at $5.07! I might just pick him up another pair. The only thing that would make them better is if they came in purple.