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Dressing for "winter"
Old 01-16-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
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Dressing for "winter"

Another post in a perpetual series on the joys of parenting. 204 days to go! I'm looking forward to empty-nester almost as much as I looked forward to ER.

Here's an interesting challenge which no doubt you winterized posters will find hugely entertaining. I know I'm enjoying it, as much as I'll enjoy hearing her say "Mom, Dad, you were right..." in about 11 months. Call it parental schadenfreude.

We're trying to persuade our kid of the many healthful/thermal/social benefits of owning winter clothes for attending college in Houston. Now, before you get all competitive on us, I grew up near Pittsburgh and spouse grew up near DC. The Navy has shown us all sorts of worldwide winter weather, and that's why we live in Hawaii. We know cold, and we agree that Houston is on the margins. I bet that even Houstonites would rather proclaim their harsh summer climate than to defend their wimpy winters.

But as far as our kid knows winter, Houston is the equivalent of the Arctic circle. I think she's thrown a snowball once but she's never had to slog to school through sleety snow with wet hair, wet clothes, and soaked shoes. When told that a northeastern college's winter temperatures frequently dipped to "15 below", she innocently inquired "15 below what?" She's never had her snot freeze, let alone gotten a nosebleed from the cold. She's never had to soak her numbed, pasty-white extremities in water to restore the circulation while praying that her parents don't discover her to deliver the inevitable "I told you so" lecture. Houston doesn't seem to spend much time below freezing but it's spent a lot of the last couple months below 50 degrees, and that's never happened at our altitude of Oahu.

So first we had to persuade our kid to search for winter clothes. She looked through her closet, turned up two pairs of socks plus a hooded sweatshirt, and proclaimed "mission complete".

Then her engineer's logic asserted itself: "I'll just stay in the dorm. They'll have the heat on." That was followed by: "I'll just run between buildings. If it's cold, I won't want to be outside anyway."

Later that day we heard: "Look, HGTV is showing Michelle Obama giving a tour of the White House. It's snowing outside but she's wearing a sleeveless dress. I'll be fine!"

Exasperated, spouse suggested that she check with some of her local friends who are already attending Mainland colleges-- like Amy in Denver. Amy texted back "Brrrrrrrr, better listen to your mother on this one."

Luckily our kid, despite her entrenched skepticism of her crazy parents, was willing to go shopping. In Hawaii, you buy your winter clothes at Goodwill from all the malahini who've thrown theirs away. Here are some verbatim complaints:

"These long pants are too hot & sweaty." We're going to have to find her a walk-in freezer with a dressing room.

"This shirt tail is too long and it bunches up when I tuck it in." Well, that's so it doesn't pull out of your pants and give you a cold breeze up your backside every time you bend over.

"I can't pull up the cuffs of this sweater, and they're too loose." Sure, because you're supposed to be wearing that sweater layered over a long-sleeve shirt.

"These coat sleeves aren't right. My shirt sleeves are all bunching up at the elbow." Um, yeah, honey, let me show you how to hold your shirt cuff down over your wrist with your fingers while you slide your arm into the coat.

"Hey, this nylong windbreaker is cute!" Yeah, sure. Now get back to the real coats.

"Dad, can I have your 30-year-old Gerry ski jacket?" No, honey, I might need that to visit Grandpa. But maybe you could buy one of your own?

"These long shirtsleeves must be broken. The cuffs have to be buttoned together." Gosh, I'm still looking for a good answer to this one. What do you say to a kid who's never worn a long-sleeve buttoned shirt in her life?

It wasn't all a total loss. Turns out she's quite happy to be struttin' her stuff in high-heeled leather boots, which she recognized from old episodes of "America's Next Top Model". However that's a whole 'nother "getting ready for college" conversation.

Later she said "Well, I notice that the college schedule has a four-day vacation weekend in October. I think I'll borrow a friend's car and drive over to Denver to visit Amy."

Gonna be one heck of an education!
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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HAHAHAHA - drive from Houston to Denver? Four Days?? HAHAHAHAHA - good luck on that one. I see she also hasn't quite understood the concept of how "large" the US is. Oh well, like you said, education....and there are many types :-) She'll do fine - she'll do fine. Just decide whether or not you want your new cell phone off or on to hear about her 'lessons.'

Plus, 50 degrees or a little less? That's not that bad at all - she just may sweat in all those long sleeves and long pants. Although, I do understand a bit - growing up in AZ is similar, although in the winter at night, it did get cold - below feezing sometimes.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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She will figure it out when she is there. I trust there are cheap/used stores equivalent to Ragstock from my college days.
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Old 01-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #4
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Nords, be sure you send her off with a gift card to Neiman-Marcus in the Galleria. It's within walking distance of the Rice campus.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:16 PM   #5
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Does she know about Ugg boots? Apparently, even in warm & sunny California, the cool girls will wear them with their short skirts. They are *very* popular with the younger crowd, and very warm.
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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Shorts and sandals are the usual Christmas attire of college students in Houston. The Canadians in our office do not own any long-sleeve shirts. Sure it can get cold (it even snowed here early in December for the first time this season), but for the most part your daughter will need no extra clothes.

I wouldn't worry about clothes because (a) she can borrow clothes from dorm mates if needed in a real pinch, and (b) clothes are much, much cheaper in Houston than elsewhere. The synopsis
Quote:
She looked through her closet, turned up two pairs of socks plus a hooded sweatshirt, and proclaimed "mission complete".
is just about right. Socks go well with sandals and a hoodie.

This year, at my son's school they are making the athletes wear dress shirts, ties and nice pants for the first time on game days. My son has been wearing $2 shorts from WalMart his entire life along with T-shirts. He did not know how buttons worked since he had never seen one up close before. He did have a vague idea that a tie was supposed to go around your neck and not your waist.

I would advocate no winter clothes be purchased before she comes home for Christmas break in 2010*. Even then, give cash and let her shop when she returns to Houston.

Other notes:

Houston to Denver is about a 24 hour car drive, but that's what college students do because they switch off drivers and don't stop.

And the Galleria is not within walking distance of the Rice campus.

*She will be bringing a few friends with her every break she comes home, so you can start getting the homestead ready for that now.
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:29 PM   #7
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Most of the young women(20's and 30's) I know just wear the same warm weather tops all year and they put on a hoodie if they have to go outside.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:14 PM   #8
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With your luck, Houston won't have a cold winter the next couple of years, and you won't get your "told you so" satisfaction.

She'll probably be fine in a hoodie. Nobody ever got frostbite in 50 degree weather.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
And the Galleria is not within walking distance of the Rice campus.
Some folks take all the fun out of making a joke...
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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Sorry, I get Hawaian humor. I don't get Texas Hill Country humor unless it is marked as such. You can ride your bike from Rice to Neiman Marcus aka Needless Mark-up.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:08 PM   #11
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Nords, be sure you send her off with a gift card to Neiman-Marcus in the Galleria. It's within walking distance of the Rice campus.
This is the best advice, even though it isn't within walking distance.

Being (a) female, and (b) from Hawaii, I can tell you exactly what will happen if you make her buy things now that she doesn't want to buy. These items will stay in the closet and never be worn out of your presence. They will be clothes her parents MADE her buy, not the cool stuff, KWIM? Most girls would rather get frostbite than wear something like that.

Give her the gift card (OK, it could be to a less expensive store. ). Then she can get the "cool" looking winter clothes that her classmates are wearing.

Besides, winters in Houston vary in severity from year to year.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:28 PM   #12
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I'm sure she'll make friends with someone with a car. She'll find the target or mall. Or university apparel store/bookstore.

The classrooms will be 68 degrees air conditioning a-blasting during September and October, so if it drops to 50 at some point in the winter, she'll probably throw on a hoodie or university logoed sweatshirt. Maybe pants instead of shorts.

If she is like most college students, she'll buy whatever type of apparel and accessories are "in" at the time, not what is in right now. Doesn't have to cost a lot. Target will carry some version of it.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:36 PM   #13
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As a parent, it is difficult to know when to interfere or when to let your offspring learn it the hard way.

I have come up with a somewhat loose rule like this: It it is not a matter of life and death, I tend to let them make their own mistakes, after telling them once. I just got tired of nagging them to do the right thing. And I have also stopped telling them "I told you so". They do remember that you have told them before.

One thing about your daughter driving in the winter though, Nords. A few years ago, there was an accident involving a group of Texan college students driving through AZ during a freak storm. Being naive and never driving on icy roads before, they lost control and the accident proved fatal to all on board.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:40 PM   #14
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Houston weather all next week: In the low 70's.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:16 PM   #15
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Cabelas polar microfiber underwear will be on her list.

Also Grabbers foot warmers, hand warmers, body warmers, etc.

First she will have to experience numb feet and hands. Hopefully without losing any body parts to frostbite before admitting that "Mom was right".
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:27 AM   #16
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HA HA HA......

First, I don't know many people who actually shop in the Galleria... yes, go there to walk around and look every once in awhile... but shop

The temp today was in the 50s... and I am one who will go out with shorts and a medium jacket... yes, it can get very cold here, but that is usually a short time... and as my wife said, we use the car as a coat....


I would let her take what she has and let her buy what she needs at the local places here... either Wally World or Target... or even at the campus... they got sweater with Rice printed on them...

Glad to hear she is coming here... it is a very very good college from everything I hear... what is her major again

PS... my niece who made a 1590 twice on the SAT did not get in... and she had a LOT of things going for her... I think she just did not have it as her #1 school and did lousy on the interview or essay...
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:09 AM   #17
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Rice was right across the street from where I worked. I remember being sent home from the hospital because the temperature was going to go below freezing and I was non-essential. They didn't want us on the streets in case it froze. I videotaped it and sent it to my MIL in Montana. She is going to be fine with what she has. Otherwise, she can head to the Galleria as noted above.

When I lived there, I got by with a light jacket and I had to walk a quarter of a mile from the staff parking lot to the main building on Fannin. It wasn't so bad. Of course, the med center has a tunnel complex once you are inside. I don't remember it ever getting too cold beyond that, my bigger complaint was all the rain and showing up for work drenched. Thank goodness for scrubs.

On another note, I did Houston to Denver in about 17 hours with another driver. It is doable. It is a little over 1000 miles and we took breaks.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:37 AM   #18
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We had the opposite issue when DD went to Oahu for university, even though we had been there half a dozen times in November (nice, warm, thanksgiving holidays).

Congrats on your upcoming "empty-nester-hood". We really miss DD and DS, were sad when we went our separate ways after Christmas break, but there is something nice that I just can't quite describe about being an empty nester.

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Old 01-17-2010, 08:18 AM   #19
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32 degrees in Houston is nothing like 32 degrees in Illinois. It is so humid there--with so much water in the air--that when it hits 32 degrees in Houston the cold goes right down into your bones and is downright chilly. Trust me, she will want to find warm clothing from somewhere then. (32 degrees in Illinois is windbreaker or heavy sweater weather and relatively mild.)
And a little below 32 degrees, Houston freezes! And nobody knows how to drive on ice there at all it seems.

Houston, Nords, has tons of Marshalls and TJ Maxx stores. If nothing else, she can pick up cute things half off or less there. The closest to her would be in the Galleria, and I'm sure she will find the Galleria her first week there...cause she's a girl.

Houston is somewhat short on Salvation Armys and Goodwills, but they are there if you have a car to go to them from Rice.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:40 AM   #20
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Marshall's? I would think that Colonel Bubbie's was more the store to shop at: Military Surplus Clothing, gear and hard to find items from Col. Bubbie: Army Su
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