Rush is upset and what 14 year-old boy could blame him? Sade has gone
and picked out all of his school clothes at the various department stores around town. All Rush has to do is go in and they will fit him to the right size.
Being 14 years old, he feels he is too old for such stuff. Sade is afraid he would pick out crazy clothes.
Vic and Sade feel that Rush should just be happy his parents can afford clothes for him and not sulk.
MIS' CROWE SAYS:
Sade has selected Rush’s school clothes in advance and Rush is terribly unhappy about it.
Whenever Rush wants to do something grown up, Sade reminds him that he’s a “little boy.” Whenever Rush does something childish, Sade chides him for being a “big, monstrous, grown-up high school gentleman.” The poor guy just can’t win!
Sade is worried about Rush picking out “loud, crashy” clothing, but so what? He is a teenager, after all. But Sade has always been concerned about appearances. She badly wants to be accepted by her community, and she’s a little overly-conscious of what others will think. It extends to her husband, too — particularly in the area of headwear. She wants a good social standing among her friends and neighbors, and she isn’t going to let anything stand in the way of that.
Such customer service in those days, though! Sade’s request would be too extreme for most stores in today’s world (especially if she were shopping for school clothes at a big-box store, like most parents do nowadays). But it’s no trouble for the fine professionals at Yamilton’s, Kleeburger’s, and Emson’s.
SEE THE SCRIPT (transcribed by Lydia Crowe)
Rush is such a teenager in this episode. The potential for embarrassment is everywhere, his parents are unbelievably cruel and unfair, and everything is a gigantic disaster. He’s suitably overdramatic about the situation and Bill Idelson really gets to shine.
Not a very memorable episode. Rush is whiny and sulky and mad at Sade.
+ In a previous episode, Mis' Harris was not a member of the Thimble Club but in this episode, Rush relays a message from her to Sade, "That she will not be at the Thimble meeting."
+ Sade pre-bought Rush a blue serge suit, a pair of reddish brown shoes and a plaid cap.
+ At Yamilton's, Rush is to ask for Mr. Richards. At Kleeburgers, he is to ask for Mr. White (a young fellow with nose glasses) and at Emson's Shoes, he is to see Mr. Finn (he's bald and probably has an artificial leg).
+ Mr. Call is mentioned. We can assume this is Heinie Call's father.
TWO SIDES...JIMBO: This episode and a later one (42-08-24 Rush's New School Clothes) seems to show that Sade doesn't trust Rush when it comes to buying clothes. We also know she doesn't trust her husband when he buys clothes either (a suit and numerous hats.)
I say this is because Sade is all hung up on controlling the family but I have a feeling (from other conversations we have had and writings you have submitted) that you will say that Sade is only being prudent and that their clothes' selection reflect on her.
That might be, but why does Ruthie and the other ladies have to come along? Rush doesn't want to be embarrassed and she doesn't seem to care if he's put into that situation.
SARAH COLE: One of the keys to understanding the relationship between Sade and Rush is that Sade can't get used to the idea that Rush is nearly an adult. A mother can take a child shopping with her friends -- she had probably done it plenty of times when Rush was a little boy. Rush, however, is no longer a child. Although Sade may still think of him as the eight-year-old the Gooks adopted, he is approaching a man's estate, and expects to be treated with adult respect.
In Sade's defense, it has just occurred to me that she has probably never seen a healthy adult parent/child relationship modeled. She had left school to marry, her father was seldom (if ever) mentioned, and her mother died when she was still fairly young. The only behavior she has ever seen is that of adults governing their inexperienced offspring. Discovering that, eventually children expect to govern themselves is a disagreeable surprise to her.
The issue is not that Sade won't let Rush pick his own school clothes (for, no matter what he may think, he is inexperienced in the selection of smart, yet durable attire), but that she treats the process so casually that it is incidental to her real motivation: an afternoon socializing with her friends while shopping. Eventually, the social circle expands to the point where even Sade sees Rush's embarrassing position, though pride, perhaps, keeps her from altering her plans.
Another issue that would influence her decisions is the Depression. In 1939, the country was beginning to emerge from the second dip of the Great Depression (see Amity Shlaes' history of The Forgotten Man). Frugality had been a crucial virtue, and Sade is domestically virtuous! The fact that Vic presumably makes a good salary as head bookkeeper, and that the economy is starting to improve have not occurred to her. Even at the expense of Rush's self-respect, a sale is an opportunity not to be missed.
An ideal solution to the situations in both of these episodes would have been for Sade and Rush to go together to pick out his clothes, with Sade acting as adviser, rather It would have provided a fine opportunity for mother/son bonding. But Sade still has a lot to learn about being a mother; just as Rush has a lot to learn about being a son.
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