I attended a Christmas Party this weekend that you people would not believe. I work part time at a group home for teenage girls, and the party was for the girls who reside there as well as the staff.
The Junior League does a lot of volunteer work for our group home, and a few weeks ago, they sent out these mysterious, unsigned invitations to come and have a "Shopping Party". They solicited donations of jewelry, shoes, clothes, and purses from all their folks, and set up a banquet room at the Hilton with racks and tables like it was a store. When we arrived at the party, they gave each of the girls and staff an envelope of Monopoly money and told us to go and shop. (Have I mentioned that I LOVE the Junior League?)
Now let me say that all of this stuff was second hand, but you could tell it was donated by the type of women that shop at Neiman's and that wouldn't be caught dead in last season's Banana Republic off-white cashmere sweater. So they donated it to us. Yeah.
(And by the way, last year's fashions are still five years ahead of the way I currently dress, so I have no problem with them.)
Anyway, another good thing about the fashion mavens that donated these clothes is that, well, they just don't dress like teenage girls. So when I found nice things, like say a fabulous J. Crew burgundy corduroy blazer, or an Ann Taylor sweater, I tried, I really tried, to offer it to the girls, so they could have something nice, you know, and every time, they would look at me, roll their goth-eyeliner eyes, and say:
"Ms. Chrissy. Ewww."
And I would cackle wildly and stuff the item into my shopping bag.
The girls did get a lot of good stuff, and we went home and spent the afternoon trying on clothes and squealing and exclaiming about how cute we all were. Then we went to the movies to see Enchanted and I wore my new pink sweater complete with matching pink and brown belt and necklace, and my new Gap leather jacket and matching purse and boots. It was a good day at work. It was truly a blessing poured out on me by God. I loved it.
As for the cashmere sweater, the one with the $178 price tag still attached (!), I quickly did the math and calculated that:
Off-white cashmere sweater + Living in my house = Certain heartbreak for me
So it went to live with our staff therapist who has no kids and can care for it properly. But I did get to hold it and snuggle it for a while before she pried it out of my hands.
**Oh, the girls had a good time cracking jokes about my awesome pink and purple KangaROOs (you have to capitalize ROO, according to Google), but I just told them, "The shoes are quirky, and so am I, so we go together." And they all agreed.
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