Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Proof Your Daughter Is Now a Teenager - Case 378

Scene: A department store in Narita. I, Mrs. Minstrel, and Minstrette are walking through the children's wear department.
(Note: All lines except mine are translated [figuratively rather than literally] from the Japanese.)

Mrs. Minstrel: So how many new outfits do you need?
Minstrette: (Apathetic scowl) Um, I don't know.
Mrs. Minstrel: Two? Three?
Minstrette: Three.
Me: *sigh* We're gonna be here all day.
Mrs. Minstrel: Don't worry! She's easy to shop for! So, what do you think?
Minstrette: (Looks around half-heartedly) Ummm...
Mrs. Minstrel: See anything you like?
Minstrette: (Totally disinterested) Ummm...
Me: We're gonna be here all day.
Mrs. Minstrel: Don't worry! What about these? (Points to a rack)
Minstrette: (shrugs)
Mrs. Minstrel: Or these? (Points to another rack)
Minstrette: (dead silence)
Me: I think we're in trouble.
Mrs. Minstrel: Isn't there anything here that you like?
Minstrette: (Looks around, shrugs)
Me: (Points to a rack of rowdy-looking T-shirts with stupid Engrish on them)(Sarcastically) Hey, how about these?
Minstrette: (Turns toward rack, eyes light up)
Me: (chuckles)
Mrs. Minstrel: Forget it! (Glares at me)(Turns back to rack) Oh, hey! (Pulls out a pastel blue blouse) This is pretty! Isn't this nice? How about this one?
Minstrette: Yuck.
Mrs. Minstrel: But look at it! It's so pretty!
Minstrette: Yuck.
Mrs. Minstrel: Come here! (Holds the blouse against Minstrette) Oh, how cute!
Minstrette: No thanks.
Me: That does suit you.
Minstrette: No thanks.
Mrs. Minstrel: What's wrong with it?
Minstrette: No thanks.
Mrs. Minstrel: (Sighs, puts blouse back, picks out an off-white one of a different design) How about this one? This one's nice, isn't it?
Minstrette: Yuck.
Mrs. Minstrel: But you have one that looks a lot like it, and I see you wearing it all the time!
Minstrette: That's why I don't like it.
Mrs. Minstrel: (Sighs even louder, pulls out yet another item) How about this one?
Minstrette: (ponders) Umm...
Mrs. Minstrel: Oh, come on! There's nothing wrong with this!
Minstrette: (not convinced) Umm...
Me: Alright, what do you want?
Minstrette: (Marches straight to the rowdy Engrish T-shirts, picks up a black one with "Love Me" spelled out with vinyl transfers that are apparently meant to look like studs) This'll do.
Me: We're in trouble.
Mrs. Minstrel: No way!
Minstrette: This'll do.
Mrs. Minstrel: That looks so dumb!
Minstrette: But it's so cool!
Me: (shrugs) At least the English on that one makes sense!
Mrs. Minstrel: (Gives me a look that would melt brass, picks up the pastel blue blouse again) But this one is so pretty! It would look so much nicer on you than...that!
Minstrette: Yuck.
Me: Do your friends wear stuff like that?
Minstrette: (pause) No.
Me: What do they usually wear?
Minstrette: (Pauses again, then points reluctantly to the rack of blouses next to her mother)
Mrs. Minstrel: (triumphant) You see? (grabs both the pastel blue and off-white blouses) These suit you better! Why don't I get you both of these...
Minstrette: I want this! (Holds up the black "Love me" T-shirt)
Me: Do you think you're going to be able to wear that everywhere?
Minstrette: (Deflates like a punctured water balloon)
Me: Alright, why don't we get her that plus one of the blouses?
Mrs. Minstrel: (sigh of defeat) Alright. (Holds up the pastel blue blouse) Is this okay, then?
Minstrette: (Thinks a moment, then grabs the off-white blouse and hands it to her mother with the black T-shirt) These'll do.
Mrs. Minstrel: (Starts to put the pastel blue blouse back, then tries again) Are you sure you...?
Minstrette: Yuck.
Me: (chuckles) Our daughter the metalhead!
Minstrette: What? Heavy metal? Yuck! But this shirt is cool. Black is cool! Black with...AH! (Turns and runs to another rack, pulls out an Elmo T-shirt) ELMO!!!! Elmo is SO CUTE!!!!!
Mrs. Minstrel: Yuck.


  • Oh, MM. You brave soul, you, to have gone shopping with Mrs and young Minstrette. My mom dressed me in pastels and sprigs of flowers forever, when all I wanted was Gap.

    By OpenID nikkipolani, at 2:19 AM  

  • I am sensing Deja Vu (though with completely different style arguments).

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 5:42 AM  

  • LOL

    This is so cute...

    Should tell your daughter that people outside Japan, actually adore how Japanese are wearing their very neat, beautiful, simple but elegant clothes ;)

    By Blogger Selba, at 1:01 PM  

  • Sigh, clothing should be functional. My mom did and still does buy me things from the thrift store. Consequently, I feel if I were to wear anything modern or trendy I would stick out like a sore thumb. So, your daughter doesn't have it so bad. Its tempting to force her to confront reality and dress her in conservative clothes. But I think she should go hardcare punk, or perhaps even gothe.

    By Anonymous Dave, at 1:22 PM  

  • A win-win-win situation. A successful shopping trip. Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

    By Blogger HappySurfer, at 10:46 PM  

  • Nikkipolani
    I often find myself tagging along when my wife takes the kids shopping, mainly because I tend to finish my own business quickly.

    I foresaw your saying that.

    The people you are talking about obviously haven't seen very many pics of Tokyo girls! Yeaaaaagh...

    Your mother sounds like my wife's father. "Cheapest is best!" That probably explains why his house is filled with broken, unusable items.


    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 11:18 PM  

  • Painful memories of an earlier time in my life. And I have TWO daughters.
    Good luck, Pop. :D

    By Blogger Pandabonium, at 5:28 PM  

  • Love it!

    To be honest, though, my wife and I would probably have been encouraging the slogan t-shirts, especially Elmo who is just too cool!

    By Blogger Rock Chef, at 7:25 PM  

  • Your daughter is lucky. She could choose her own dress style.

    For me, I dressed some old clothes from my two elder sisters. :-(

    By Anonymous L.C_D, at 4:08 PM  

  • I just wear MEAT!!

    By Blogger DewKid, at 5:21 AM  

  • Moody, this reminds me of a story my mother told. She once had the audacity to purchase a shirt for her teenage grandson. It was a bit on the conservative side.

    When he saw it, he said, "AW, that looks like something Mother Teresa's husband would wear."

    My mother: "Matt, Mother Teresa doesn't HAVE a husband!!!"

    Grandson: "I rest my case."

    By Blogger San, at 7:04 AM  

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