In 5th grade, hammer pants were all the rage. You know the ones…..neon and Velcro at the waist. Well, I wanted them and I wanted them bad. They were sold at a cart at the mall and the outfit, hammer pants with a matching neon shirt, was $50! There was no way that my parents were going to get them for me. I mean my mom still shopped at K-Mart even though I sang the song:
K-Mart, K-Mart that my store,
we shop there because we’re poor,
we shop there all day and night,
just to see the big blue light.
(for the record, we were not poor and I will gladly shop at K-Mart today.)
I babysat one of the neighbor kids that summer and had earned exactly $50 (that was a lot of babysitting hours back then). My mom tried to talk me out of it but I really wanted those pants. I remember my friend, Allison, got an outfit in different colors (I think her mom bought hers) and we wore them on the same day in 5th grade and we looked oh so cool or so we thought, how cool can you look in neon colors and pants that Velcro at the waist. The next time that I wore it, I was in 6th grade and it wasn’t cool anymore……Guess? overalls, with one buckle undone, where all the rage by that point.
My parents knew what they were doing by letting me spend my own money on that outfit. I’m sure it killed them to let me do it but since my first large purchase, I have shopped the sale racks. I never had Z Cavariccis or Guess? jeans because I learned my lesson and well, I was broke. If I wanted clothes from the Gap, I bought what was on clearance. I know that my kids are going to run into things that they “must have” throughout the years. Their must haves may be more related to technology, like i-phones or tablets, but it will happen. And like my parents, I think I’m going to have to let them spend their hard earned money while biting my lip a time or two. I think it’s important to show kids how hard you have to work for a dollar and how quickly it’s gone.