I pictured it when I was younger, shopping with my girls. I pictured us sauntering in and out of stores at a relaxed pace, trying on clothes and modeling them for each other, and then bonding over a nice lunch.
Instead, we dart from what I call "the Merry Go Rounds" of their generation, featuring racks poorly made clothes that look cute but will fall apart after one wash and loud music and low lighting that make me feel like I'm in a nightclub.
I scour each store for a comfortable chair where I wait while they try on six pairs of jeans that all look exactly the same to me, yet they swear are different. In general, I don't go for overpriced bohemian teenager clothes, but occasionally I see a T-shirt or a sweater on the sale rack that I like.
"Mom, you cannot wear that!" my teenager tells me with an eye roll and a thumbs down with her free hand that is not loaded with pre-faded ripped jeans.
"Why not?" I ask innocently as I eye the simple oversized T-shirt in the mirror.
"Because you're old, no, absolutely not."
They are never so nice though as when we check out and I pay for their purchases. It makes the whole experience almost worth it ... almost ...
That "nice lunch" is usually at the food court, not exactly what I pictured, but still a chance to bond with my girls who are quickly turning into young women right before my eyes. I'll take what I can get.
Speaking of getting, I did get the T-shirt, and I think it looks pretty cool if I do say so myself ...
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.