"The lines are just right for you, but I think we need to take it in here and here," says the woman as she lifts the shimmering silken folds of the floor-length dress, pinching the fabric behind her daughter's chest and midriff. "Just to give her a bit of a waist." The sales clerk demurely agrees.
A perfectly reasonable request. Except that the girl in the scene I'm watching unfold is about 2 1/2 years old, and I, for one, have a few questions. Like isn't it way too soon for her to even have a waist, much less worry about it? And while I understand she is going to a wedding, it is obviously not her wedding, so why does the dress cost more than the one in which I said my vows? And, finally, why did I bother coming to Montana Avenue when I am so clearly out of my element?
My son has no answers. But then, he is 3 months old and, like so many men of his generation, interested only in procuring lunch. My prior baby-goods consumption has been conducted in, shall we say, more financially conservative establishments--Target or Sears, with occasional high-end forays into Old Navy. But as my maternity leave waned, I decided to splurge, to take Himself out for real fancy-pants shopping, L.A. style. We head west to Santa Monica's Montana, the avenue of Imagine, Little Folk Art, Room With a View, Cotton Rainbow and other sundry catering to the more discriminating baby.