Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New Yorker in the South

    In November my family and I moved to southern Virginia from north-central New York. In almost every aspect, we have LOVED living here. From the very start it really has felt like home. Occasionally, though, I come across things that are very different from what we're used to like I wrote about in Six Things I've Learned About the South. Some days I just shake my head and laugh. Today my New York was showing.
   One difference I love is that Gymboree is everywhere. Five in a 25-mile radius from my house! I was able
to get a good majority of the kids' summer clothes this year by shopping their sales, and got a good jump-start on their winter wardrobes by shopping their clearance racks for prices little over what a thrift store would have- long-sleeved shirts for $3-4, skirts and jackets for $5-6, and jeans and pants for for $8-9.
   They also have a program called "GymBucks," where for every $50 you spend you receive a voucher for $25 GymBucks. Then a few times a year they have a 10-day period where you can go in and spend your GymBucks, dollar for dollar on anything and everything, just like cash. I was excited that my thrifty shopping this spring had earned me $75 in GymBucks, especially because the last time I had been there the associate had told me that the next time to spend GymBucks was during the back-to-school sale when their new autumn line would be unveiled. I was looking forward to being able to shop like I did in previous years and get the rest of the clothes the kids needed for fall and winter, as well as get great clearance deals on the summer deals in the next size up for the next year and use my GymBucks to get $150 worth of clearance-deal clothes this way for $75.
September in NY: wet and chilly
   Until I walked into the store this morning, that is. I had gotten all four of my kids up, fed, cleaned, dressed, and out the door by 8:30 to drive the half hour to the biggest Gymboree in the area, assuming it'd have the best selection of sizes, clearance, etc. What can I say? I'm serious about my thriftiness. As I started making the rounds through the store, checking racks and garments I started getting frustrated that everything was short-sleeved, shorts, skorts, sandals and sundresses, and the only things on the clearance racks were bathing suits. Finally, after searching the entire store I ask an associate if they had received the fall line I thought would be in stores for the GymBucks event. She gave me a really confused look as she pointed out the racks at the front of the store, and showed that everything new had 25% off signs. It was my turn to be confused. Then I specifically asked where the long-sleeved shirts, heavier skirts and dresses, and long pants were. Both associates looked at me like I had three heads and replied that since we're in such a warm climate and those types of garments wouldn't be necessary until November or so, they wouldn't be in stores for 2-3 more months. Climate! Duh. We're not in New York anymore, Toto. I thanked the helpful girls and left the store almost empty-handed(my 5-year-old found a dinosaur hat he HAD to have).
    All the way home I laughed. Where I come from, we're closer to Canada than Manhattan. Where I come
from, snow is quite possible in September but a sure thing before Halloween. Where I come from, back-to-school sales are heavy-weight garments, thick tights, coats, warm boots, and sweaters, not new styles of tank tops, shorts, and sundresses. But I live in the south now, and realistically we may very well NOT be using long sleeves until November. I have no idea. This does, however, give me a reason to budget more money for yarn so I can knit cardigans for everyone. Just in case. So thank you for that, Virginia. ;-)

1 comment:

  1. hahaha I love it. I had the opposite problem when I moved to Erie Pennsylvania from Florida. I had no idea how to shop for "seasonal" clothes because in Florida we wore the same stuff (including flip flops) year round, just add a jacket in the winter.