Growing up Lao, our clothes were either hand-me-downs, thrift, or too big. Too big because my mom would buy us the next size(s) up so “we’d grow into them.” I would be wearing size 9 women’s shoes in 5th grade sounding like a scuba diver walking in the hall. Embarrassed as little Theek was, my mom was right in sticking us in oversized jackets and clown shoes. Not only because we were poor but because kids grow like fucking weeds and you can’t catch up with them. If I’m gonna buy these snotty-nosed womb-squatters brand clothing, they better wear it for longer than that size range on that tag. Knowing that they can’t, forget me spending money on it.
There are a rare exceptions when I pay for new children’s clothing but mostly the stars have to align above that Target, where I find that nice clearance sticker on something that I already wanted. Well, that happened when Humnoy screamed “Spider-Man!” at a pair of footed pajamas swinging about in the shitty tangle of a clearance rack. I don’t even care that it’s a shitty tangle of a clearance rack because I’ll sift through it all day long to not have to pay full price. I need to thank my mother for passing on the frugal gene because overpaying for kids’ (and anybody’s) general clothing is just not smart. How to shop like a Laotian mama:
1) Avoid eye contact with shiny, organized racks up front Just keep looking ahead. Never left, never right, just ahead toward the back to the clearance section.
2) Check each and every item I just go for anything not white because KIDS.
3) Check the size The clusterfuck of clearance is that it’s an OCD nightmare so make sure you look through it all: the tag, eye-ball it on your kid, etc.
4) Check the price If at least half off, get it. If not, I make a face then put it back. Unless it’s really cool then we can get away with maybe 30% off.
5) Repeat for off-season, next size, and staple clothing items. ‘This’ll be the shirt that they won’t eat in!’ – said no one ever.
Lo and behold, the Spider-Man footies were more than half off and came in Lanoy and Humnoy next-year size, respectively. They rang up for ~73% off original price so <$10 total for two awesome pairs of footie pajamas. I say they were a great deal because this wouldn’t have happened: