Karen Dougherty is every 10-year-old boy’s nightmare mom. Take her views on school shopping, for instance:
“Well, you know how boys are,” said Dougherty, as she carefully hemmed the cuffs on a pair of baby-blue corduroys. “If Michael had his way, he’d probably run out the door every day in a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. He doesn’t understand that he’d make a much stronger impression on his classmates and teachers if he tried an outfit with more flair, like a nice mock turtleneck with a peach vest.”
Luckily (especially for her son), Dougherty isn’t real. She’s a fictional creation of The Onion. Their satire often goes too far, but this time they got it just right. Dougherty discusses possible schemes for her son’s wardrobe:
“Fourth grade is a great year for dressing boys because you can really do anything with them,” Dougherty told reporters waiting outside a Nordstrom dressing room as her son tried on the first of several prospective outfits. “You can go Southwestern, nautical, even safari. I mean, why not? There are no rules, really, and I think Michael’s look this year is going to reflect that.”
Hee. “Even safari.” Poor Michael. A friend of mine has a 12-year-old son, and she figures if he leaves the door in relatively closely matched track pants and sweatshirt, she’s done her job.
But satire is funny because it’s based, at least in part, in reality. Parents and kids everywhere are participating in the yearly tug-of-war: School shopping. You want them to look nice, they want to look like their friends. I was able to redirect my four-year-old today away from a bedazzled Hannah Montana t-shirt to something a little more age appropriate, but how many more years am I going to be able to do that without a fight?
How does school shopping go in your household? Fun family time or a constant battle of wills?