The glorious legacy began 22 years ago at a McAlpins register. Whitney was in line with mom and grandma Peggy when she spied a red Rainbow-Brite umbrella. The purchase would inform her fashion, and sense of humor, for years to come. While the umbrella was memorable, the purpose of the trip was Back-to-School shopping, and resulted in many outfits of Spumoni, Osh-Kosh-Be-Gosh, and Khaki-cuteness. After this successful and fun day, Peggy declared it a tradition, topped only by Derby Day.
In the next two and three years, respectively, Lindsey and Katie received their prestigious invitation to join The Event. It didn't stop there. Luckily our family was blessed with seven granddaughters, each of whom was initiated into the yearly retail ritual before the first day of school.
The first stop was always McAlpins, as Aunt Susan worked there and could scout the newest styles and deals. As youngsters, we were easy to please, however, as we matured so did our personal styles.
Princess and the Pea Complex- no itchy fabrics like wool, no tight turtle necks, and no sleeve rolling (although she did tight roll her pants in middle school-ha!). In high school, she was a Total Bitch. Nothing pleased her. She refused to try anything on unless it was brown or black. She had that flannel-grunge-thing going for her, or against her. Later on, she improved. She added reds and pink to her repertoire. And she started to take advice from her fashion forward family.
Lindsey liked it all, the shopping and the clothes. Consistently classic, she liked stripes, solids, denim and khaki. She despised Whitney's inevitable rummage through her closet to find the newest (unworn) addition to her wardrobe, stealing her thunder and wearing it first. But she did get a nice superiority boost by bitching Whitney out ALL the way to school.
At an early age, like 3(!), Katie had developed her own style. She didn't want the gray pea coat that mom picked out and bought, she wanted the purple one. Distraught by the pain of betraying the purple coat, she burst into tears when modeling it for great-grandmother Sara Newt. (Sara Newt remedied said situation by demanding that mom exchange the coat for the appropriate color. More to come on "The Spoiling of the Grandchildren" by Sara Newt in a coming post.) From then on, Katie was not afraid to voice her opinion on fashion choices. As a result, Katie could be found in the best wears, with her eclectic-before-the-trend style, which gave her that "unapproachable look."
With our shiny new wardrobes in closet, we would spend an hour, minimum, getting ready for The First Day. We chose the outfits based on majority votes, men excluded, followed by hair styling, shoe picking, and later, bad make-up application. We were ready by 6:30 am when Aunt Robin would pick us up and drive us to the end of the lane to wait for the bus. There we were, seven groggy, yet beautiful and dressed to the nines, granddaughters huddled together at the end of VanDeren Lane. At the butt-crack of dawn, we waited. Aunt Robin got out her camera, and snapped the first picture. Beginning to dismantle, Robin would flail, "Megan had her eyes closed!" Rolling our eyes and making snide comments we always had to take at least five photos before she was satisfied. :-)
We never escaped the dreaded "First Day of School" picture. Even when we went to college at UK. There she was, with her camera, waiting eagerly for us to drop by Funkhouser Building (where she worked). And where she would take at least five photos.
And so, this post is dedicated to all of the wonderful women who enabled our addiction to shopping, and saying cheese. Here is my "First Day of Work" picture, complete with new outfit, new haircut, new accessories and a smile. (Look for Whitney's "First Day of Work" picture on Monday at Happenings Chez Nous)
Written by Katie and Whitney