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Tonight, I took the young 'uns to my least favorite place - the mall. Ish. I only like the mall if I'm going to Barnes and Noble, getting a Starbucks, reading and buying some books, and getting the hell out of there. Close parking, no gangbangers, no teens in a smoothie fight, no one verbally or physically abusing their kids.
However, I am a frugal mother, and so I have started my back to school shopping now, when the fall and winter stuff is on 50-75% off at Hollister, Abercrombie and American Eagle. I walk into Hollister and a breasty young co-ed is folding shirts.
HER: (looking through me) "Hey! How're ya doin'?"
ME: "Hey back at you. I'm nearly 42, so I have some acid reflux and I can't really hold my liquor anymore. I don't need to ask how you are doing because you are underage and a size 2."
At Hollister they want to be too cool to wait on you, so they don't say Welcome or any of that old people stuff. They just want you to know that they will hang with you if need be, maybe invite you to the bonfire where a guy wearing cutoffs is going to play guitar around the bonfire and pass around some beer they bought from their buyer. Of course, to be in the bonfire picture, you must be wearing Hollister clothing and look like a tanned waif. With boobs.
My son picks out a few t-shirts, and my daughter picks out a little sundress. She tries it on, and my son mutters, "Little short, don't you think?" BUZZ. That one is back on the rack. Crap. I'm late to pick up Youngest Daughter from dance. I try to call another mom to see if she can grab YD while she is there picking up her daughter, but the music in Hollister is so loud (but not as loud as Abercrombie) that I have to yell at my son, who is 8 inches away from my face, that I'm going outside the store to make a call.
I walk out, try to call the mom, no luck. We have to move it. I walk back into Hollister and a breasty young co-ed is folding shirts. HER: (looking through me) "Hey! How're ya doin'?"
We try to check out. The cashier chick is asking me things, but I can't hear her. "WHAT?!?" I say, my face all scrunched up, perfectly displaying my crows' feet. "I'm sorry?" She gets closer to me. "Have you signed up for our e-mails?" "YES." "Would you like to save $10 on our sales event for four hours on a weekday three weeks from today?" "NO." "Would you like to buy any of our Hollister fragrances?" "I'M ALREADY WEARING IT, IT SEEPED INTO MY PORES ABOUT 5 MINUTES INTO THE STORE."
I posted this on Facebook earlier, so stale joke alert, but the Hollister fragrance is pure youth - hope, dreams, lust, and fully functional knees. I found myself looking at the mannquins while Oldest Daughter changed, with their tan plastic bodies and their subtle yet defined muscle tone, no varicose veins or flex spending accounts, and I thought, "Bitches." So you don't have heads or personalities. You can wear a size 0 and go surfing with the headless hunks with the button-fly jeans. You drive a car that not only doesn't, but shouldn't, have a car seat. You don't have to worry about burning vacation days because EVERY DAY IS A VACATION.
I'm most likely turning 42 as you are reading this post, and honestly? Getting old is starting to be a bitch. I love my life, but I would probably love it a little bit more running on the engine of a 25-year-old. But I was dumber then, and a little bit crazy, so I guess we'll chalk one up to experience and say It's All Good.
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