Grateful Grandma

Dear “Grateful Grandma”

I was so surprised to get your little thank you card in my church mailbox after my Children’s Choir Christmas Messiah program last year. Not the card, exactly, but the $100 Nordstrom gift card inside of it. What gift card could be more alluring than a Nordstrom gift card?!

You advised me to use the card to get something nice to wear for performances. I wondered, briefly, if that meant that you didn’t like what I wore (I thought it looked nice, sexy even…too sexy you think?). I never did get around to going shopping, though. Clothes shopping just isn’t my thing. Generally speaking.

And then to find ANOTHER note and ANOTHER gift card in my mailbox after We Like Sheep. Well, I was floored. That gift card went to lay with its twin brother in a “safe” drawer, and was doomed to likewise lie there unused (but not unloved, let me assure you).

But luckily, my devoted husband sent me off to Nordstrom last Wednesday evening all by myself to go on my shopping spree…and he made sure that I remembered to take the gift cards with me. Smart man. He even looked online for store hours and informed me that it was the Half-Yearly Sale. There are many, many reasons why I love him.

It was a very dismal experience. I went in with great hopes and came out with sore feet. I really didn’t see anything that caught my eye. Well, I did see one shiny, sequiny, black thing that I thought I should look at, per your instructions. It was $1,700. And that was only the top. I guess I have good taste. At least that’s what Devo said to try to cheer me up when I got home, empty-handed and disillusioned.

And then there were all these shirt/jacket/cape things. Apparently, if you are rich and shopping at Nordstrom this season, you will be interested in dressing like a pilgrim. Or a travelling von Trapp.

Oh, I DID see a pair of decent, comfortable looking, pretty black heels. For $170.

I left Nordstrom, limping, and went to Barnes and Noble instead. I’m much more comfortable there. I would have no problem spending $200 at Barnes and Noble.

Devo sent me off to Nordstrom, expecting me to come back with clothes, and I came back with a book. Well, actually, two books. Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Which, as you can imagine, didn’t surprise him a bit.

But difficult times call for difficult measures. So I got out a book. Sam Saboura’s Real Style Secrets. Armed with newly acquired fashion sense, and some good advice from savvy friends, I entered Nordstrom Rack yesterday with confidence, my head held high. (And your darling $200 in gift cards…)

Apparently I have a 30% success rate in choosing clothes off the rack…for every ten things I took into the dressing room, I came out with 3 that fit. 43 items of clothing and 3 hours later, I emerged, the triumphant new owner of new clothes. Beautiful new clothes. Beautiful new clothes that are child-resistant.

Grateful Grandma, when you see me walking down the street, dressed in something other than white Target t-shirts and the same three pairs of pants, you can just roll down your window and whistle. Or, if that’s not exactly to your liking, you can just drive on by and surreptitiously admire my pretty new clothes knowing that it’s all thanks to you that I no longer look exactly the same every day of the week.

When I started the Children’s Choir I wasn’t doing it for fame or filthy lucre. I had no idea that there were Nordstrom gift cards in my future. I do it because I love the music and because I love the children–including your grandchild, whoever he or she might be–and because I love the magic that happens when children and music come together.

Gratefully (and more fashionably!) Yours,



3 thoughts on “Grateful Grandma

  1. Yay! I’m so glad you felt inspired and successful at last. I think it takes a whole new mind set to shop for clothes after having a baby. And as for the 30% success rate simply means you have high standards. Also, it may mean you’re trying not to be wasteful and simply buy STUFF.

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