Having a daughter is one of life’s great joys until, you are forced, against your will, to take her clothes shopping at the mall. I, naive fool that I am, thought that I had gotten through the worst of it. And by that I mean I haven’t darkened the door of a Justice clothing store for a couple of years.
For those of you lucky, lucky, mammals that have never had to cross the threshold of a Justice store it can best be described as a migraine machine. Loud, latest Disney boy band music blaring combined with garish clothes for elementary school girls that feature monkey motifs, scratch and sniff scented T-shirts and the always, classic, faux neon fur. Adding to the ambiance is a section of the store that sells accessories best suited for dressing up for a wedding at Chuck E Cheese. Don’t think I’m exaggerating when I tell you I did the happy dance the day my daughter aged out of cheetah skorts.
Last week, in anticipation of an impending cold front, my youngest announced that she needed new jeans. I did my maternal duty and suggested that all she needed to do was put them on wet and really try to stretch them out. That plan didn’t work. She was insistent that we should go to the “big mall.”
I shuddered. The “big mall” is where the mean stores are. The stores that hurt your feelings or cause you to weep from sensory assault. The stores no women over 25 and 130 pounds wants to go into. I’m talking about the axis of evil known as Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever 21 and Hollister. I pleaded, I begged, I bargained, but in the end she got her way (shocking not) and I found myself at the mall using a free “Youthberry” beverage sample from Teavana to throw back two, “just in case”, Advils, before I entered Forever 21.
The problem I have with Forever 21 is that there is just too much of everything. The store feel likes it’s merchandised by chimpanzees that instead of throwing poop at each other hurled clothes. There’s so much crap-a-doodle-doo to churn through that whenever I enter the store I feel as if it might swallow me whole, kind of, like a Florida sinkhole. I lasted about ten minutes before whimpering that I was having a panic attack and needed to leave.
Next, after fortifying myself with Wetzel’s Pretzel Bites (for medicinal purpose), I followed my daughter and shrieked when she began to venture into Abercrombie and Fitch. I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back. “You can’t do this,” I told her. “By entering that store you are a willing participant in a hate crime.”
“Oh no Mom, not this again,” she wailed.
“Oh yes, this again, my darling daughter. As a member of the ‘thighs rub together when I walk’ coalition I can’t let you do this.”
You see, the CEO of this horrible store is known for saying comments like (and these are the kinder ones) he only wants “good-looking people to wear his clothes” and that there is “no room for fat people” in his company. In that case, jerk face, there is no room in my wallet to buy anything from A&F.
Knowing there was zero room for negotiation on this my daughter capitulated and we set off for Hollister. Is it just me that thinks the outside of the store looks like the entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney Land? Sadly, the inside, shares the same lightening scheme, as say, being buried alive, and smells like it was carpet bombed with the world’s most gag inducing cologne. Screw Guantanamo, use Hollister as “detainee chambers” and see if that doesn’t get the prisoners spilling secrets.
Before I subjected myself to the ordeal I took a couple of deep cleansing breathes, put a Wetzel napkin over my nose and ventured in. My daughter, used to my Hollister survival skills, didn’t say a word. Mercifully, she was in and out in under five minutes.
She still hadn’t purchased any jeans, that by this time, I was calling “Denim Slacks” just to punish her for making me endure the mall. Not wanting to be persuaded to go to some store called Garage or please, dear Lord no, not Pac Sun, I called an audible with, “You know what store has really nice stuff, no music, no discernible smell of cologne, bright overhead lights that help you read the price tags and a snack bar? Target.”
My daughter shrugged and countered with, “Can I get a Starbucks?”
I gave her an enthusiastic yes and we both skipped out of the mall. Okay, it was more of a jog but inside I was skipping and singing. I was free, free at last.
**For more Snarky check out my book Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School.
Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.
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