Mrs. Yeoman Farmer (MYF) had quite an eye-opening adventure yesterday: trying to locate an adjustable slip that nine-year-old Homeschooled Farm Girl (HFG) could wear under her new dresses. We’re not talking anything fancy here. Most of HFG’s dresses are of the “everyday” variety, but we consider them a bit too thin to wear modestly without a slip.
MYF had never seen slips at the “superstores” she shops at most: Wal-Mart, Meijer, etc. Those are great places to get Junior Slut In Training outfits, but we rarely get any clothing there other than underwear, socks, and jeans for the boys. So, MYF called her aunt (BTW, in the black community it’s pronounced “ONT,” something I will never get used to saying) and asked for advice. Aunt Rita suggested Sears or J.C. Penney’s; as MYF recalled her own mother buying slips at Sears when she was a girl, she decided to try that one first.
Uh, uh…sorry. Bad move. The children’s department had zip, zero, nada — but the clerk was kind enough to suggest MYF try a ballet studio. Using her cell phone and the store’s phone book, MYF called J.C. Penney’s, and both ballet studios in town. Nobody had anything. Just as MYF was snapping her phone shut, a nice older woman emerged from the bathroom. “I overheard you earlier. What you’re looking for is a dinosaur,” she said, sadly.
Undaunted, MYF decided to pursue another line of attack: based on the advice of a ballet studio clerk, she phoned the two bridal shops in town. Surely a bridal shop would have a slip that a Flower Girl could wear at a wedding, right? Nope. But the woman at one of the shops was kind enough to flip through all of her catalogues, seeing what could be ordered. But nothing sounded like it would work.
Frustrated but not defeated, MYF and the kids finally left Jackson and made their way to Ann Arbor to visit Grandma in the nursing home. Surely the big, upscale department stores like Macy’s would have something, right? Not a chance. One of them said they could order something, but it wasn’t the right size and the straps didn’t adjust. At least MYF was doing this by phone, from the nursing home, and not driving all over town.
When she arrived home (quite late) yesterday evening and shared this sad tale of woe, I suggested she turn to the Internet. Her first move was to Google the words “Girls Slip” or “girls slip lingerie” or some such thing. Uhm…bad move. Most of the sites that came up were pretty unmentionable, and reminded me of the time I Googled the term “Vietnamese girls” while researching my novel. I suggested she refine her search, and then she finally got some usable results. With a bit of comparison shopping, she found the best source: an outlet/closeout place called Boscovs. But given that these are closeouts, MYF thought it would be wise to order three slips: one in HFG’s current size, and one each in the next two larger sizes.
But you know what? It shouldn’t be this difficult to find modest clothing for little homeschooled farm girls. And it’s a crying shame that you can’t find anything modest in retail stores.