With the holidays comes family, and with family comes after-Christmas-sales.
Well, at least with our family.
And so, a day or two after Christmas, I took Brian’s thirteen-year-old cousin, Jenny, shopping.
To say it’s been a long time since I shopped in a mall is an understatement. I haven’t really set foot in any store (other than department stores, craft stores, and Old Navy) since I was in high school. And clearly, shopping for teenage girls is much different now than it was back in the dark ages, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. (I.E. 1993).
Anyhoo, Jenny was out to spend some of the Christmas money burning a hole in her pocket, and I was looking forward to coming off as hip, fashion savvy, and fun. Our destination?
The first thing I noticed as we entered the hallowed halls of this teenage fashion mecca was a giant poster of a half-naked boy. Yes, boy. Because I don’t think he’s old enough to vote, folks.
I stood there for a moment, wondering if the model was trying to sell me a surf board, a diet plan, or clothing. By that time, Jenny had disappeared into the store.
And when I say ‘disappeared,’ I mean that literally.
Because the second thing I noticed when I followed her inside was the lighting. Or rather, lack thereof. How the heck am I supposed to read the price tags if there’s three spotlights in the entire store?
Oh. Right. I get it.
I squint my eyes and glance around in the darkness for Jenny. In normal situations, I would have just called her name. However, the music pumping into the store was so loud that when I shouted “JENNY!” the only thing I could hear was my voice reverberating around in my own brain. So, the usual “Marco Polo” strategy was out. Wishing for a flashlight, I went in search of the shopping teen.
It only takes me a second to locate Jenny and we spend the next thirty minutes perusing the wares for sale. At this point, I’m noticing two remarkable trends. The first? All of the clothes for sale were the bright neon pinks, greens, and oranges of my childhood. (IE: the eighties.) And second? Everything in this store, even the “Extra Larges,” are teeny tiny.
|Are these clothes for people? Or clothes for dolls? I’m confused.|
That’s when I notice all the “kids” working at the store are impossibly tall, impossibly thin, and impossibly good looking. Huh. Oh, and they’re all wearing “Hollister” brand clothing. In fact, the boy who offered to unlock the dressing room for us was wearing the same thing as a mannequin in the boy’s department.
|I’m only assuming this is what he said, because I really couldn’t hear him at all, and I suck
at lip-reading. However, the sign behind him TOTES said that, because I nearly
took a picture, but I was afraid my flash would scare the natives.
I will say this: the clothes Jenny chose were adorable. A cute green sweater, a sweet little black-knit top, and a t-shirt donned with vibrant green and pink stripes. We took her purchases up to the register, got in the shortest line, and waited. It was nearing closing time, so everyone was making the mass exodus at the same time. After about a ten minute wait in line, we finally got up to the registers. A beautiful young lady with flowing blonde hair smiled, took Jenny’s stack of clothes, and started ringing them up.
When I handed her my debit card, she looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t take debit cards at this register.”
Feeling like an idiot, I immediately started looking for the sign I missed. That’s when I realized there wasn’t one.
“You should really put up a sign that says something to that effect,” I said to her, frowning.
Which is why, when she said this:
…I got a little mad.
(And yes, she actually said the letters L, O, and L. She did not, in fact, “laugh out loud.”)
However, to her credit, she flagged over a store manager, who opened up the register next to hers and rang us up without forcing us to wait in the “Debit Cards Are Ok” line for another ten minutes. We paid for our purchases, the cute store manager (who maxed out the overall age bracket in the store at 17) handed Jenny her bag, and we headed back for the car.
I had such a terrific time talking clothes and fit and color with Jenny. And she looks fantastic in all the little tops we bought for her.
However, shopping at Hollister was definitely an eye-opening experience for this 30-something.
But it made Jenny happy. So it was worth it.
**I should mention that Jenny and I were accompanied by Brian’s other cousin, Shelby. The three of us spent an hour shopping together and had a wonderful time! Shelby is in her early 20s, and I’m sure felt much more comfortable in Hollister.**