I’ve been meaning to do some clothes shopping here in Vienna. I don’t really have a lot of warm winter clothes that I love (and a few of the things I intended to bring got put into storage by mistake). And, it can be really hard, as a mom, to not feel frumpy most of the time — I make sure I get a shower and brush my hair every day, but some days, that’s it. There isn’t always a lot of time or opportunity for putting together a fantastic outfit, and I don’t really have the clothes to do it now, even when I am so inclined. The people here are generally really well put together in terms of fashion and personal appearance, and it’s inspiring — I don’t need to look like I walked off the pages of a fashion magazine every time I leave the house (which is good, because that isn’t going to happen) but I’ve been wanting to make some changes. It would just be nice to have a few good outfits to go to — at least a few that I know look good on me and that look good togther.
So, I went shopping today. I went to a place that I walk by all the time. They have beautiful sweaters, scarves, jackets and hats in the windows, and the window displays are always beautiful — everything is very classically Austrian (without being “traditional” Austrian clothing, which is something else entirely). It was a little daunting — not only am I not the size I’d like to be right now (making it harder to find things that don’t contribute to the frumpiness) but, in what seems to be very typical of shops here, they only have one of each thing in each color in each size. So, if the one you like in your size has been sold, that’s it — they don’t have it. There isn’t a big store room in the back with dozens of the same thing. With a little perseverance, though, and a lot of help from my sweet and English speaking salesperson, I was able to find quite a few things that I’m very excited about.
Later, I took Benjamin to another shop buy a hat and a new set of gloves. (We want a set to leave for him at school so he has them to wear when he goes to play in the garden even if we forget them for his trip to school.) Finding a hat for a 3 year old is not easy, made more challenging by the fact that he’d really rather the shopping trip not be successful at all — Benjamin would probably be happiest if he never had to wear a hat or gloves, ever again. We were looking through the hats, trying to find one that fit. I picked one out (with reindeer on it!) for him to try. The saleswoman thought it would probably be too big, but I wanted him to try it anyway, just to see how cute it was. Well, it was too big, but he loved it. As soon as it went on, he decided it was the one he wanted, and he refused to take it off. He actually turned around and tried to walk out of the store — not just without paying for it, but without me. He got a little distressed when the saleswoman took it back to remove the tags, but was mollified when she let him stand behind the counter for the transaction (at this point he was wearing his new hat again, too, which helped).
He wore his hat around for most of the rest of the day (even though it was warm in Vienna today). He couldn’t wait to show it to his Grandma on our Skype — he’s very excited about it. I understand. Both Benjamin and I have exciting new Austrian things to wear, which is good. It’s always nice to have new things to wear that you feel good about.