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  • Kristan Higgins

Blood sport

Updated: May 3, 2022


My sainted mother loves to hate shopping.

The last time the Princess was home from college, my mom called me. “I need some clothes,” she said. “Will you—”

“Absolutely not,” I said. Because yes, she was about to ask me to go shopping with her. Years of experience have taught me that without a flask and some powerful narcotics, I should not go shopping with my mother. Let’s put it this way. There’s a store in the mall where we’re greeted with, “Oh, God, you two again.” Maybe more than one, now that I think of it.


Not my mother

“Do you think the Princess will go with me?” Mom asked.

“Sure!” I answered, blithely throwing my daughter under the bus. After all, Princess has a pretty easy life. Time for her to tote that barge. Also, there was the faint possibility that my daughter, who is lovely and sweet and kind and has great taste in clothes, could help my mother more than I could.

So off Princess went, naive and happy. Several hours later, she returned. “That was horrible,” she said, tossing back a few Motrin. “I’ll never do that again.”


“What happened?” I asked my mother. “You’ve crushed my child’s spirit.”

“Nothing!” Mom said, gleefully feigning ignorance. Turned out that Mom did the old I hate all clothing ever made, sackcloth and ashes will do just fine routine for which is rightfully famous.


My mom’s friend Jill sometimes takes her shopping. God bless Jill, I always say. She can usually convince my mother to buy something. Sometimes, I’ll see her after such an outing, and Jill will give me a grim look, widening her eyes at me in the universal I need a drink look that we all have after going shopping with my mother.

I know what you’re thinking. My poor mother. Don’t be fooled. She loves doing this. It’s a blood sport—Go ahead. Find me an outfit. I dare you. And listen, if you feel so bad, you can go with her next time.


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