Shopping with your friends is an enjoyable experience. It’s relaxed, it’s useful and it gives you time for much-needed catch up. It’s the very definition of retail therapy.

Shopping with your mother is an entire different deal. Your mother is like a drill sergeant when it comes to shopping and you are her helpless deputy.

1. She knows where all the sales are

I legitimately don’t know how she does this. Your mother could be traveling for two weeks, but she still functions like Google Maps for all things on sale. It’s like she can smell the prices dropping, and you can bet you’re going shopping soon.

2. The “dress comfortably” warning

Don’t even try to go shopping with uncomfortable shoes. Mama will not allow it. Add to that buttoned down shirts, hoodies, and anything else that isn’t easy and quick to change out of.

This isn’t some regular old shopping trip. This is a frantic hunt to find the perfect shirt to go with those shorts you bought three weeks ago. You must be prepared and diligent!

3. Fitting room fashion show

How would you ever know what looks good on you if your mother isn’t in the fitting room? You take all the clothes you’ve picked out (or, more likely, the ones she picked out for you) and you try them one-by-one. And you can be sure that she’s gotten all the shop attendants to keep those clothes coming to you, their hands poking into your cubicle from the space between the top of the door and the ceiling.

Anyone else know how awkward it feels when you’re done changing and your mom isn’t in the fitting room? So, you just have to wait till she gets there…

4. Sensible shopping

Simply, “No, albi, we’ll get it when there’s a sale, you’ll buy it for half its price.”

Really, no one else can talk that sense into you like your mother.

5. Absentee shopping

I’m not really a fan of shopping, so when my mom goes out to buy things for herself, and comes back with items for you, it’s pure bliss. Sometimes she won’t even tell you about. You’ll open your closet and they’ll be there, like an apparition. And they somehow almost all fit! It’s wonderful.

Moms are the best.

6. She insists on paying

This goes without saying, and it is simultaneously great and horrible. Great cause sometimes you’re broke, but you really want that piece of clothing. But really it’s very guilt-inducing.

Me: “No, mama, I can pay for this.”

Mama: “la2, you save your money for food.”

Me: “…I eat at home”

7. Extensive knowledge of outlet stores

I can’t recount the amount of times I was woken up early on a Saturday morning (weeps for lost hours of sleep) and whisked away to some faraway land of outlet malls and stores.

I need to know: is there some kind of mom newsletter that comes out every month about random outlet stores? My mother knows all of the ones in the UAE, Lebanon and Greece. I need to know.

8. The incomprehensible idea of closet space

If you buy one thing, your mom yells at you because you don’t have any closet space.

When she buys you many things, your closet space is magically available again.

9. Bribed to go shopping

There are some days, if you’re like me, when you don’t want to go shopping. You’ve had a long day at work, or you just don’t really need anything. For some reason, moms are almost always in the mood to go shopping.

Me: “No it’s okay, mom, I don’t really feel life going.”

Mama: “Bishtreelik Cinnabon”

Me: *puts on comfortable shoes*

10. Remaining impartial

Even if you’re on a shopping trip for your prom/party/wedding dress, your mom will not buy something for you and forgo buying something for your siblings, regardless of whether they’re there or not.

It doesn’t seem fair to a mom to see something so fitting (by searching thoroughly) for your brother/sister and not buying it for them. Haram, he/she would love it!