I believe that it's common knowledge that Mississippi is the poorest state in the Union. We have the highest rates of all the bad things, like infant mortality and unemployment, and the lowest rates of all the good things, like intelligence and desire to move quickly from one place to another. Heh. Some people try to rationalize living here by saying "it sure is cheap to live down here." Yes, it is cheap. People are cheap. BUT, I just don't think cheap is very good, unless it's a 75% off sale at Bloomies - and you get a pair of Manolos CHEAP.
Let me just tell you how bad it is down here. Our two MAJOR stores are the two awful Marts. There is no Target. Target would be too HIGH scale for where I live. People buy clothing at Old Navy, McCrae's (one step up over JCPenney's type dept. store), and the Mall <-- which only has JCP and Sears. There are other cheapy stores (surprise surprise) that are even cheaper than the cheap stores in my old malls (you know RAVE...). Even the thrift stores and consignment shops (which should have "designer" duds - but they carry BR and GAP... that's designer down here) have NOTHING of any interest. There is a dollar store every block - which is fine - but not when you are clothing your entire family there. There isn't even a TJMAXX within 60 miles. When TJMAXX is too high scale, you know something is VERY WRONG.
If you have any money in this state, you shop at Boutiques. They carry brands that well, I've never heard of, but the prices are sky high and you are made to feel very fancy and rich when you shop there. The problem is that we live in Mississippi - so I SWEAR to you that everything has a feather, sequin, or faux fur on it. NO JOKE. The purses look like a costume design closet (sorry roo) threw up and made a handbag. The kid's stores are covered in poofy pinafores, those old-fashioned kids orthopedic shoes, and BIG BOWS - lots of BOWS.
So, I have found it nearly impossible to dress my child in any type of stylish, trendy clothing. I always thought that if I had a kid, she would be dressed like a mini rock star or the trendy European kid (you know, with the stripey tights and clunky leather shoes). Granted, I didn't know I'd be living down here, and well, that she would be a kid and refuse to wear anything without POOH on them and get food EVERYWHERE ALL THE TIME. You quickly realize it's not worth paying $100 to dress your child in a cute outfit when they are just going to grow out of it in 2 weeks or yak on it in a matter of minutes. Makes the grabbing for the $3 onesie a bit easier.
That doesn't mean I don't like to get her nice things. And, thus is the POINT of this long rant. The ONE decent store we have is called WALLS. It's definitely a poor girls TJMAXX, but they actually get some great stuff in there - like Lilly Pulitzer and that sort of thing at 50-75% off. So, after gyming it a few days ago, I popped in to find some really cute dresses that would be great on my daughter for her fastly approaching 2nd birthday. She never wears dresses and well, I feel as though it's not a big deal to spend a pretty penny on a dress or 20 pairs of shoes (I will NEVER buy cheap shoes).
So I bring the dress up to the register and the extremely SLOW moving clerk looks at the tag and asks, in her lovely Southern accent, "Dew Yew Know thaaayyt it's HAYLF of $74 dooollleeerrrsss?"
"Yes, I do. It's better than ALL of $74 wouldn't you say?"
And then I realized. ONLY HERE would that have happened. If I was shopping at any boutiques in Philly (where I could actually find rock star chic kid's clothes that I would spend all my money on) or even at TJMAXX, no one would EVER say that to me. BUT down here, no one has any money - and even 50% off $74 (which isn't that bad for a nice designer dress) is WAY too much. This, the land of paying all bills by money orders because no one has a checking account. This, the town of paying for your McDonald's burger with a check because you can't get a check card or credit card. I SHIT YOU NOT.
Needless to say, the dress is adorable and I'm glad I got it. Of course, I would have never paid the full $74 for it.
Don't call me cheap. I've just been living in Mississippi WAY TOO LONG.