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July 21, 2011

The Brand Canyon

What To Do When Your Kid Wants Brand Name Clothing

Do you love buying shoes? Are you someone for whom shoe-shopping begets a Zennish euphoria? Yes?

Here's some advice for you: Don't do it with a 12-year-old.

My 8th-grade-bound son has long coveted classic Converse low-tops. Last week, we found a pair of lookalikes on sale for $15. Sweet! "We'll take 'em," I bellowed, relishing the rare and unparalleled near-delirium of buying fabulous shoes at ridiculous prices.

"Um," my son muttered sheepishly, staring at another pair of shoes: The Converse brand. All Star Chuck Taylors. Same color. Same style. Forty-five bleepin' bucks. "I'd rather have the real ones."

In my mind, I said this: "Well, I'd rather have a '57 Chevy Bel Air convertible, yet somehow we're leaving here in a dinged-up Honda." But sensing that we were heading into tricky parenting territory, I uttered this instead: "But ... they cost three times as much."

"Yeah," he said, forcing himself to meet my puzzled gaze.

"And they look ... exactly the same."

"Not exactly," he explained. "These have a label."

I had several problems with this situation. First, when pressed, my normally articulate child could not put into words why the brand mattered so much. His stuttered attempt contained the phrases: "important to me," "make fun," and, of course, "cool."

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I know this isn't helpful...but Nana will buy them for him - for his birthday...

Fri, Jul 29, 2011

great title - did you Trademark that? Maybe you could turn THAT into a brand? ;) Oh, and if you are successful teaching the lesson to your kid, please try my wife next. :)

Fri, Jul 29, 2011

I appreciate you, Starshine, for using your talent to teach as well as for humor and the laughter I enjoy while reading your stories. You are a local treasure...B xoxo
Betty Hatch

Sat, Jul 30, 2011

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