I am not skinny. I am 6 foot tall and wear a size 12.
I hate to shop. I especially hate to go to the mall.
Now that we have established that, the other day I went to the mall to go shopping.
At first I was horrified. After a coffee(magic in a paper cup), I became amused. We, as Americans (yes, I am going to clump you into this generalization) are obsessed with “skinny.” In our society, it’s a compliment to be skinny. I have curves. I thought all women had curves. But, we can’t have curves in the clothes being sold today. I know that this isn’t a scientific study, but I went to 3 retailers browsing around with my coffee in tow, looking at what styles were in today. All I saw were descriptors of clothes as “skinny,” “toothpick,” “pencil,” and my favorite…”destroyed.”
What? I can see the conversation now with a 16 year old to her mother…”can you stop at J.Crew to pick up a pair of destroyed pencil skinny jeans for me? Pleeeeezzzeeee…. Oh yeah, and a pair of toothpick destroyers in a size 0.”
First of all, if you wear a size 0, you are already skinny. You can’t get any smaller. Is there a negative 0? Certainly I wouldn’t know. Usually, sales people walk away from me or I have to flag them down to find my jumbo size in “the back.” Have you ever even seen “the back?” I have no idea what is there, but a lot of the time, even the salesperson is scared of it. You can tell it’s a nightmare there when they sigh and say,” oh, everything is out here” and turn to chew their gum, twirl their hair and carry on the conversation with another employee on how so and so did this or that.
If you want to smell like you made out with a used car salesman while being deaf from going out all night, take a stroll through Abercrombie & Fitch. You are greeted with a 10 X 15 foot black and white picture of a man reaching in his pants looking for something. What are we selling? Jeans, yeeeah…right… So, the music is loud, the stench comes at you before you get in and obviously by the looks of the 12 year old salesgirl (wearing a top no bigger than one you would put on a barbie), I greatly surpassed the age maximum to get in the store and for them to care. Doesn't matter what you need or want, the music level is loud enough they can pretend not to hear you. Anyway, they don’t have my size and there is no “back.” I had to laugh at the men’s jeans with holes all over it selling for $100. At $8 an hour, that kid has to work 12.5 hours + to buy those jeans. In this day and age, do you think kids think like that?
Why did I even go to the mall, you ask? I wasn’t going to say but I went through a drawer of postcards from Aveda offering free trial sizes of items if you bring the offer into the store. Needless to say, I haven’t been to the mall in years. I had about 10 postcards. The sweet salesman looked at the postcards, looked back up at me...smiled. He looked back at the postcards and then back at me. Under his breath, said, “um… wow, this is from 2002...we don’t even carry this product anymore… (Smile...nervous laughter), this is expired (as he ripped the postcard in 10 pieces), and then finally, “this I can do!” He said that just about when I was starting to walk away...whew...saved.
I scooped up my 3 samples and off I went.
Until next year…