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Back-to-School Shopping with Hooligans

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Lori Curley: Ah, back-to-school memories. The smell of new erasers, the thrill of a new sweater, and ...

two young boys fighting in a clothing store
My brother Vince steps behind the burlap curtain to try on some Levi's straight-leg corduroys in navy, beige, and tan, the only styles and colors available in 1978; moments later, my other brother Michael pushes a naked female manikin through the same curtain. My mother watches in shock.

"We need to measure your inseam, honey," Michael announces in a mocking, senior voice. Vince pushes the manikin back, and Michael lets go. The plastic woman crashes into a wall of socks. My mother is mortified, but rather than reprimand them, she takes the high road and exits the store. She stands on the sidewalk pretending to wait for a bus. I remain in the store and watch like St. Peter from a distance.

One of the sales clerks heads toward the noise. She picks up the naked woman and looks about her for the breeze that must have caused such a collapse. There is no reason for her to think a customer pushed it into the dressing room. Why would anyone do such a thing?

Meanwhile, Vince in his new cords is walking around the store as Michael jumps on his back explaining, "We need to test their durability."

Vince takes a third hit before replying. He spins and throws Michael into a shelf of jeans. Michael steadies himself, laughs, ducks his head, and charges toward Vince like a linebacker.

It may seem like a scene from the "Bourne Identity" series, but this was how we shopped for back-to-school clothes. Getting pencils, loose leaf, and binders was not much different. Mom pushed the cart, I picked out the coolest folders and notebooks possible, while Michael threw Vince into every display he could find. Today they are normal, functioning adults and have never been prosecuted for a crime. Go figure.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Chrissy September 10, 2009, 11:49 AM

Are you freaking kidding me?! You’re mother “took the high road”? By leaving HER kids in the store to cause more destruction?
The manikin (Wrong spelling honey and you teach writing? Guess spelling doesn’t count today.)crashes into a sock display and they crashed into a shelf of jeans wearing clothes they haven’t paid for.
And I’m sure that if they have ripped those clothes in the ill mannered display of “boys being boys” your high roaded mother wouldn’t have paid for them. After all she had left the store and pretending they weren’t her responsility.

Annie September 10, 2009, 12:46 PM

Omg! What is wrong with the mother’s on this site?! Why are you so bitter Chrissy? And if you are going to correct someone’s spelling make sure you have spelled all of your words correctly first (responsility). I actually found the article funny and really think that was the point! Who hasn’t had a crazy experience with their children while shopping and I’m sure her mother made sure her children were taken care of. And did not she say that the children grew up to be law abiding, productive citizens in society? Hmmm…mom must have done something right!

Chrissy September 10, 2009, 7:41 PM

Annie - I’m teaching writing at a college level or have editors. I’m just a mom trying toget some internet time while my kids nap.
So I rushed my typing.
Big deal.
I ever left my kids in a store to run amuck.
And having been a Manager in retail, I’m sure the store employees weren’t happy to have been left with those kids.

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