FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
You were never excited when your parents told you they had invited their friends over to your house. Even if their friends promised to bring along their child your age because they lived in a different town, and that kid didn't go to the same school or play in your same youth soccer league, you always regarded him with a wary side eye like he was some sort of Flat Stanley brought to life, a facsimile of a normal kid who'd been copied over one too many times.
As you grow up, you learn to accept that sometimes you have to spend time with people you don't particularly like as part of society's human behavior construct, but as a kid there was absolutely nothing worse than being pulled away from precious non-school, homework-free time just to nod, smile and answer asinine questions from your parents' friends.
"Are you learning anything new in science, Timmy?" they'll ask. Your internal monologue replies, "What I've really been trying to figure out lately, Mr. S., is if I could get my hands on enough baking soda and vinegar could I make your house blow up like a giant science project volcano so I never have to see you again?" Instead you mumble a polite reply, and remember your parents' prime directive for When Company Comes Over:
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT.
Every kid hates those six words. "What am I, a classically trained Broadway actor?" you ask yourself. "No, I'm a nine year old child who would rather be outside in the cold raking leaves than be forced to eat asparagus and make small talk with Susan, your friend from work, Dad."
Do parents actually believe that by accepting an invitation for dinner their adult-age friends agree to give a single shit about their children? Either way, if this other couple doesn't have kids of their own, or if they did have kids but they're old enough to stay home alone or have already flown the nest, these people have clearly come to a relationship verdict that they do not want to voluntarily spend more time with children: theirs, yours, whosever. More importantly, did your mom and dad really think that painting a Heath Ledger Joker-esque smile on your face was going to fool anyone in to thinking you were enjoying yourself?
This 'The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves' Hoodie from 032c would have been the perfect piece for you to wear during these involuntary, forced socializations. It's just too bad it doesn't come in kids' sizes.
Price: $135 ($95 on sale)
Why: Everyone needs at least a few hoodies in their rotation, especially ones that can pull double duty as both layering and statement pieces. Since 032c started off in 2001 as an underground German fashion and art magazine this sweatshirt comes prepackaged with street cred, and also gives off Rage Against the Machine vibes in both design and message. The bold pink color also means that even if your own morale is in the dumpster you might brighten someone else's day along the way.