Let Loose the Princess Fury

Posted: January 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Food, Miss Kate, Shopping, Sisters | 2 Comments »

Thursday afternoon I got a babysitter for no reason other than the psychological thrill of three hours of Me Time. Sometimes looking forward to it or just knowing it’s approaching supplies more of a feel-good shock therapy jolt to my psyche than the actual kid-free time itself.  

So, mere minutes before the nanny arrived, I decided I’d set off for San Francisco for some thrift shopping. There’s something so stupid about paying $20 an hour to pick through two-dollar-ninety-nine-cent clothing alongside hipsters and the homeless that I just couldn’t resist.

Besides, Thrift Town is where I’m closest to God. Or rather, the place where in the acquisition of bargains I feel a rush that’s akin to religious fervor.  

My sisters call another Mission bastion, Community Thrift, “church.” I’ve never asked if it’s due to the reverence that they have for it, or that it’s a must on Sundays, when folks unload all their didn’t-sell yard sale items and the place brims with all manner of fresh crap. In the same way Kitchen Confidential taught us not to get fish on Tuesdays at restaurants, Ellen and Judy can direct you to the right crap store on the right day to give you the best shot of unearthing what it is you’re hankerin’ for.

It’s a gift, really.

At any rate, the religious metaphors also show you the effect that a childhood of being pulled by our ears to church every Sunday had on my sisters and I (i.e. we’re quick to reference but not participate in church activities). And it underscores the extent to which we Brunos exalt a good bargain.

So, childless and fancy-free I pushed open the doors to big grungy sweetly-stinky Thrift Town feeling the anticipatory titillation that comes with not knowing what dazzling finds await. And the first thing I see in the shelves of random crap along the entryway wall is a box covered over with Saran Wrap and housing–unused!–all the brightly colored plastic Snow White-branded crap a little girl could ever wish for (or break within moments of adoring ownership). It was $3.99.

Now I’m hardly a super crunchy Waldorf School Mama, but I have discouraged childhood TV-watchin’ nearly in its entirety. I despise kid crap that’s branded with licensed characters, prefer wooden toys to plastic, and have steered Kate clear of anything princess-related as if it were, uh, the Ebola Virus.

But I know not every mother is as fetishistic about avoiding these things as I am. And since my desire to home school the girls in order to maintain their commercial purity is as strong as my desire to pluck each of my not-exactly-lacking Italian-American leg hairs, I’m realistic about the fact that they’ll be exposed to it eventually.

To introduce it myself though just seems like a slippery slope. One viewing of SpongeBob SquarePants leads to excessive begging for crap at Target, and next thing you know she’s using intravenous drugs.

Maybe it was the feel-good high from my break from ass- and nose-wiping, or the alcohol hit I got off the breath of the bum next to me, but I picked up the thing and decided on the spot, what the heck. I’ll buy a little princess crap for Miss Kate.

The thing is, I’m a survivor of a sugar-free childhood. Well, nearly sugar free. There are naturally occurring sugars in fruit, right?

A bottle of soda rarely darkened our door, and sugary cereals were disparaged like the devil’s own drug. But, like me, my mother’s desire to shield me from the things she disliked only went so far. Which is to say, she let me out of the house. So, when visiting friends I perved out over the presence of forbidden foods.

Me: “You have Pop Tarts?! Aren’t you afraid your mother’ll see them in that cupboard?”

My friend: “What do you mean? My mom bought those for me.”

At which point my head exploded.

So, looking through the re-packaged plastic on this treasure trove of princess crap, I made my peace with the thought that maybe this petite offering might be enough to satisfy Kate’s burgeoning princess curiosity for now. Or at least safeguard her from short-circuiting (and ultimately stealing) the next faux-fur Cinderella dress-up cape she comes across at a friend’s house.

Plus, it’s kind of funny watching her teeter around the house on those oh-so-wholesome red plastic mini-heels.

And best of all, it was a great bargain.


2 Comments on “Let Loose the Princess Fury”

  1. 1 Drea said at 10:34 am on January 18th, 2009:

    Mondays…isn’t it Mondays you’re not supposed to order fish in a restaurant? Tuesday is fish day, as I recall

  2. 2 kristen said at 10:56 am on January 18th, 2009:

    you know, you are totally right. i meant to say don’t order fish *at red lobster* on mondays. or on any other day of the week from there.

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