Sunday, August 12, 2007


This baby is only two pounds with an 80 percent survival rate outside my womb and yet she's already completely changed my life.

In an insane effort to "prepare," I find myself constantly hunting for deals because of this neurosis that I've developed. I call it All Things Baby. If it relates to a newborn, I'm all over it. If it doesn't, I don't bother. I'm like a heat-seeking missile steered by pastels and fluffy fabrics.

For the first time in my life, I don't have a clue what's in style. The mere sight of the fall fashion magazines, which I usually fawn over, now make me sick. Cute little button-down tops and hip-hugging jeans aren't even in my vocabulary at the moment. Not only do I not fit into them, but any new clothing purchases in this house these days are pint sized. At this point, I consider it a success if I wear matching shoes out of the house because I can just barely see my feet to check.

My pathetic excuse for a wardrobe isn't the only casualty. All Things Baby has infected other parts of my life, as well.

Last year at this time, I would've been absolutely disgusted that the throw pillows scattered on my front porch furniture haven't matched the rest of the house ever since we painted outside more than a month ago. Green pillows on a red brick house with a tan porch? I know. I should be ashamed. It's amazing I still have the balls to walk my dog down our street. Frankly, I think I'm high off the knowledge that I don't live in a neighborhood with a Homeowners Association. Me and my hideous unmatching sun-bleached pillows can't be blacklisted.

It's like I'm subtly giving a middle finger to my neighbors.

And, sadly, it doesn't even matter that Pottery Barn is likely having a sale on outdoor pillows right now. Being the best store on the planet, it probably has the perfect 18-inch square pillows in a tan ticking stripe fabric on clearance.

But, strangely enough, I don't even care.




Sure, it's kind of freeing, but at the same time, I'm in completely unfamiliar territory. It feels odd not to have a gravitational pull beckoning me to The Gap. Well, I still go in there, but I beeline for the baby section. Instead of ogling the latest set of ballet flats, I'm standing in the corner squeezing the plush yellow ducky and laughing at the electronically generated quacking sound. Then I squeeze the monkey. Then the frog.

Yes, I have become a complete loser.

A complete loser who is no longer in the much-coveted 18- to 25-year-old shopping demographic. I buy things like mulch and economy-sized hand soap instead of CDs and $200 sneakers. Glamorous.

Part of me wonders if the stores noticed. Whether some executive in a plush office somewhere spotted a blip on The Limited retail sales figures in February after I found out I was pregnant. I picture them mourning my loss of business, calling big all-night meetings where they order Chinese take-out and the boss screams, "No one leaves this office until we figure out how to lure Kelly back!"

But little do they know that I'm doing the system a favor. Sure, I'll never be in the target demo ever again, but I'm about to nurture something that will grow up to buy CDs and sneakers.

And just think of all the phases in between! Newborn to infant to toddler to pre-tween to tween to pre-teen to TEEN! And by then, I'll probably be well into the $4,355,065,220 they say it costs to raise a baby born in 2007.

So I guess the retailers shouldn't worry too much. Just because I'm a lost cause, doesn't mean I'm gone forever.

Pastels and fluffy fabrics are just the beginning.


Janice said...

That must be so weird, especially not gravitating toward the sections you normally go to... I know if I went to Target and didn't just waltz though the handbags first, I would be lost. My hat is off to you!

Chelsea said...

I'm in that demo, and I can't imagine what you're doing! Then again, buying baby stuff can be more fun that buying clothes for yourself.

Ray said...

You may think that you are out of the loop hole with that 18-25 year old shopping demographic, but really you aren't. You're just in a different demographic which is called, "Baby Boom." Things for babies nowadays aren't cheap. This celebrity baby boom and other's (meaning regular working class day people) are all of a sudden into babies themselves. Which means: they want to be hip with all this baby gear and clothing. And that all leads to wanting to dress your little babe like a celebrity baby. And that would entail all the clothing and all these gadgets that are out now but weren't before. And trust me it will be anything but the word, "Affordable."

So don't feel too bad about being out of the 18-25 demographic. And like Chelsea said buying baby stuff is much cooler and it so rocks! That's why I find myself buying baby clothes for my soon to be little cousin instead of for myself. I'm only 20 and yet even my shopping habits have shifted.

Which probably means that the "Baby Boom Shopping" is taking over the world, which I believe it will be. It makes me think of opening up a baby boutique. People will never stop having babies so I'll never go out of business!

Well take care, Kelly.

P.S. 4 million dollars, WOW!

Jessica said...

I love your writing!

I totally understand the lack of interest in personal belongings. It's so much more fun to shop for the baby, especially when it comes to clothes. Why look if you can't wear them anyway, right?

aahcoffee said...

Besides, Baby Gap (have you discovered Gymboree yet?!?!?!?) and Pottery Barn for kids is way more fun!!

Anonymous said...

I haven't followed a pregnancy this closely since Kathi Lee Gifford's. She ended up giving birth the same day as me.

Laura (bubbysbaby) said...

I find myself the same way. I have the hugest shirt collection in the planet (two closets a dresser and counting) but ever since I started planning my wedding three months ago its all I can think about, and shop for. The only clothes I have bought have been for engagement portraits. Its funny to find yourself changing what you usually shop for, but just as fun to shop! : D

Shalini said...

It's scary how many clothes a little one amasses, her closet might need to be bigger than mom's one day soon LOL

Shalini said...

this site is an addiction of mine.. and lots of good shopping links (mostly online)

the plainsman said...

This should be required reading in Marketing 101! But I'm sure PB will get you back. 100% sure. But that is worth a whole post someday when i write it.