My parents came to visit mon bel homme and I this weekend for some great food, some lively debate, and of course, shopping. For the most part, I prefer shopping on my own because I am more focused and tend to make less ‘mistakes’ that way. I am quite strategic about it, with lists each season of particular items I’m looking for in order to build my wardrobe (which is not to say that I haven’t made some excellent spoantaneous purchases). As with any rule, there are exceptions and shopping avec ma mère is certainly one of them. There are a few items that I actually won’t buy without her opinion, including jeans or pants of any kind because she will be completely honest about the state of my postérieur in whatever garment I’m trying on, which I am eternally thankful for.
While mon bel homme set off with mon père to the Air & Space Museum in Dulles, ma mère and I set off to Virginia for some retail therapy. Fashion Centre at Pentagon City had all that we were looking for: some lovely department store options (Nordstrom in particular) as well as our favorites stand-bys such as Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Cole Haan, and others. It was a lovely day full of catching-up and discussing our thoughts on the latest trends and styles. I am always amazed at her hawk-like approach to shopping and her ability to find the perfect item, probably on sale, that you fall in love with.
Easily my favorite part of the day was our lovely lunch at Le Pain Quotidien in the quaint Eastern Market neighborhood. Every time she visits we make a stop at our favorite bookstore, Capitol Hill Books, where we try not to be the victims of a horrible accident in which we are crushed by the teetering piles of books as we peruse the eclectic collections for the perfect cookbook, spy novel, or vintage shoe guide. Upon checkout it is almost certain that you will be judged for you choices by owner Jim Toole who makes no effort to keep his inner thoughts contained. An example? He told People’s District: “I have never sold as many books to males as I do now that Obama is in office. I’m not sure if he caters to more intellectuals, or what. Prior to him, I sold mostly to women. The men used to come in here and stand around, trying to look cool. I used to say to them, ‘What the fuck? Why don’t you read?’ Or, I would give the girl a book, and tell her to read it to the poor bastard.” Ah, pure poetry- this store is heaven.
The day ended with a great homemade meal (lasagna, no less) with les parents and mon bel homme. Always thrilled when they visit, and looking forward to seeing them again at Thanksgiving!