Archive for June, 2011

Shopping at the Mall


2011
06.07

Last Friday, I had one of the most harrowing experiences that a mother can have: I took my two teenage daughters shopping at the mall in a store that we will call “Mall-isters”.  You probably know the store from your local mall, it is the store whose outside looks just like a surf shack off a certain California beach.

All the photos in this place are of very scantily clad young models; the images are all in that artsy-fartsy sepia color. I get shivers when I walk in there because all of them are nearly unclothed and I feel creepily over dressed.  Why are the models so naked in the pictures? Aren’t they selling clothes?  So, don’t wear clothing so that you can sell clothing?  This makes no sense at all to me.

It sorta reminds me of back in about 1977 when my friend’s grandma came to visit her family.  Nanny refused to sleep in my friend’s bedroom because there was a poster of a shirtless Peter Frampton hanging in there and she adamantly exclaimed, “I can’t sleep in there, there’s a nekked man on the wall!!”

I don’t know what it is about all these stores for teenagers.  Personally I think they make them as painful for the parents as possible. When you enter the store your nose is assaulted by the strong teenage Pheromones that they have heavily sprayed all over the clothes.  Perhaps this is somehow like marking the territory for teenagers.  They, like bloodhounds, single-mindedly pursue the scent all through the mall.  Conveniently, the kids don’t even need to use a directory to find Mall-isters, they just follow their instincts.

It’s dark; you can barely see the clothing in the shack.  If you stumble around in the darkness and actually buy something, they hand you your purchases in a bag with a rope handle.  A nekked man is graphically pictured on the side of the bag that you will be forced to schlep around  the mall.  (I think I know how Nanny must have felt).

If you happen to be carrying a little pink bag from Victoria’s Secret people will think that you are in heat.  Most people don’t notice the Mall-ister’s bag at first, it’s not actually bright enough in the store to see what you are getting yourself into.  Consider this your warning.

Additionally, the music plays so loudly in there that you are not able to form a coherent thought.  In my teenage years MY mother would have said to me, “It’s so loud in here that I can’t even hear myself THINK! “ Exactly!!  I finally know what she was talking about.

Today, my own reaction as a mother is, “Okay People, move it! Move it!  MOVE IT!”   I’m practical.  The longer that you are in there, the more likely that it is that you are exposed to the hazards.

I’m actually more like a drill sergeant than a mom when I am dragged to that store.  It’s like when those Navy Seals called on ole Osama bin Laden recently.  They dropped in very quickly, did their business, and got the heck out of there.  That’s how I feel shopping at Mall-isters should be.

If someone could actually whisk me out of there quickly in a Stealth Blackhawk helicopter, I might feel a little bit better about being exposed to all the dangers.   I’m guessing that those perky Mall-ister’s workers in their Daisy Dukes probably wouldn’t even have the opportunity to spray me with cologne.  There are always positives and negatives about those brief duration missions.

Anyway, recently a friend of mine took her daughter to Mall-isters and Little Miss Perky Pants clerk tried to tell her something over the throbbing beat of the store music.  My friend leaned across the counter, squinted (she is 48 and in the myopic years), and said, “What’s that?”

Her daughter was mortified because Perky Pants had said to her, and then dutifully repeated for the age and hearing challenged, “Be sure to check us out on Facebook!”  Humiliated, her daughter felt like this made her mother look like she doesn’t know what Facebook is, which of course, she does.  Well, sort of.

My friend is in that awkward age bracket of, “Technology Challenged But Will Attempt When Necessary” leaning to “No Clue in the World What She is Doing, Needs a Teenager (or an 8 year old) To Assist”.

I guess the truth be known is that I am a little jealous of having a store to shop in where you actually understand the age group and the clothing.   I mean, I know that I am no longer in the teeny-bopper crowd, but I don’t believe that Forever 21 is the place for me to shop.   I can’t be in those clothes Forever.  After the number three pregnancies did on my body I’m gonna need some support garments.   I need a store called “Fleetingly 45”.

Periodically you see adult women buying their clothing in Aeropostale, but you generally don’t see them buying their clothing in The Children’s Place.  I actually think some women would buy their clothing in The Children’s Place if they could.

They would just brag by insinuating to their friends that they are so small and petite that they have to buy their clothing there, it’s the only place where they can find clothing to fit.  This is part of a racket by women against women; this sham happens all the time.  Nobody ever brags that they have grown up so big that they now get to buy their clothes in say, Lane Bryant.

When you are in your forties, it’s hard to buy clothing that allows you to not feel like someone’s mother.  Which you are, but sometimes you want to forget.  You still want clothing to make you look sexy and hot, yet you want it to disguise whatever the childbearing years have done to your body.  The brutal crossroads, which are the forties, can be quite challenging.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but looking back on it I wish that I would have hired a surrogate.  It just seems so easy to have your eggs extracted and have them placed in some woman with a hospitable uterus.

I like the phrase “hospitable uterus”.  It sounds like a welcoming place, doesn’t it?

Anyway, let a surrogate incubate your egg in her darn hospitable uterus!!  She can then birth the kid; you would have no more than a wrinkle line on your face waiting for the kid to be delivered.  Movie stars do it all the time.  I don’t know where my mind was and why I didn’t think of that.  Maybe if I had used a surrogate she would want to take my girls to Mall-isters; I bet the surrogate would know what Facebook is and wouldn’t embarrass them by her ignorance, or lack of hearing.

I wasn’t one of those women who felt that their woman-ness came from being pregnant.  I could take it or really leave it, since it produced stretch marks, saggy boobs, elastic skin, weight gain, and hemorrhoids, not to mention the absolute continuing confusion that doesn’t allow me to think straight.

Maybe that confusion is why I get dragged into clothing stores where I am nasally assaulted, visually challenged, eustachianly irritated, not to mention financially raped.   I don’t mean to complain.  I truly hope that my girls enjoy Mall-isters, before they know what hit them they will be shopping at “Fleetingly 45”.