“You should wear that,” my mother said as she pointed to a model standing center floor in a 5th Avenue Department Store.
We had decided to spend a Sunday afternoon shopping for spring clothes together. I had one of idea of the type of wardrobe I wanted to cultivate this year. She clearly had another.
“THAT” was a crop top.
A crop top.
My mother, the woman who was constantly telling me that skirt was too short for a woman with legs the size of mine was advocating that I wear a shirt that barely covered my nipples.
“That’s not a shirt,” I told her. “That’s a collar.”
“I saw Kevin today,” she continued, ignoring my refusal to show off my upper abs as she pulled a shirt “my size” off the rack. “He’s gorgeous, of course, and almost done with Law School now. He doesn’t want to move in with that girl, which means it’s not serious. You should call him. Worse case, he’ll have some friends.”
It was a this point I tip-toed away to look at maxi-dresses. I’ll do backless, but I won’t do shrunken. I might be a child of the 90s (we thought crop tops were so cool), but I’ve grown up a bit. I was also not in the mood to discuss Kevin — if this was still the age of arranged marriages, our parents would have has us hitched a decade ago. Frankly, I don’t think this would have worked out badly for either of us.
When it was time to cash in on the fitting room, I noticed hidden in among the many silky floral printed blouses and high-waisted skirts of my choosing were more belly-baring numbers my mother deemed appropriate for the new season.
“What are you trying to tell me, mom?” I said, handing her back the arm-full of short shirts.
“Well, you know some things to wear when you go out. Maybe it’s time to change things up a bit. Maybe a little less top-shelf and a little more sorority girl? Maybe it’s a less intimidating look. I mean, you go to the gym, don’t you?”
I secretly hoped she was flasking it.
“Take these out and try again.”
She came back with a stunning striped Equipment blouse that fell neatly below my hips.
“Just testing you!” she cried. “I wanted to make sure you hadn’t turned desperate on me.”
I wasn’t sure if I all the way believed she was punking me, but when the only thing I went home with was the blouse she found on the replay, I was willing to forget the whole crop-top incident ever happened.