I was dropping off a package at the UPS store when I spotted a boy, perhaps 5, standing on the sidewalk and staring into space. He wore the look of unbearable suffering. This child clearly wished he had never been born. Twenty feet away, in front of the consignment store, a woman my age was flipping through a rack of clothes.
"Your mom shopping for jeans?" I asked.
He directed his forlorn gaze at me. He nodded. "It's brutal."
"I know. But when you get older, you can refuse to go."
He sighed as though he couldn't imagine living that long.
"Don't go along for swimsuit- or bra-shopping, either," I said, climbing into my car. "Even with a girlfriend, it's not remotely as fun as it sounds."
He'll thank me later.