The other problem with F21 is that when I'm in there, I feel less like a customer and more like a chaperone of the other customers. I see screeching, brace face 12 year old girls holding up dresses that wouldn't fit over half of my butt, and it takes all willpower to not yank it out of their hands and give them a mom lecture, "excuse me, young lady, but that is highly inappropriate. Go find yourself a turtleneck." I start to feel more like I signed up to babysit pro bono and less like I'm shopping for me. The longer I shop around kids twice my age, I start to question why I'm in there. I mean, should I be shopping at a store, admiring some of the same dresses as a girl who still doesn't have her driver's license yet? No. Probably not. But if there is one thing I've learned in my mid-twenties, it's that most girls my age all still shop there. I don't want the age-appropriate J Crew's cookie cutter clothes, and I certainly will never pay that much for a t shirt. At one point yesterday I reached for a tribal print sweater like oh, I can totally rock this, until the 15 year old 6' blonde wearing size -2 pants gave me the one eyebrow I'd like to see you try to pull that off look. Excuuuuse me! 24 year olds can he hip and happenin' too, ya know. Plus, I can totally drive, I don't have homework anymore, and I live with a boy. So there.
The age difference seemed even more prevalent yesterday. The only person older than me in the store was a middle-aged woman trying on clothes over her clothes in the middle of the store. I thought I had found another older person, until I realized the girl in question was just an employee who had purposely dyed her hair grey. I've just stopped wondering. It is truly a jungle in there. A jungle of black crop top shirts covered in gold studs and printed polyester prints that only the Fresh Prince himself could pull off.
Not only did the majority clothes make me mourn for society (except for the Batman leggings, which I still want), but the music. I already stick out like a sore thumb by being out of high school, so I might as well start wearing ear plugs to top off the look. After a sold 45-60 minute of sifting through the crap and silently judging the girls dancing to that horrendous Royals song, I walked to the dressing room, where I had the following thoughts:
+Would it be the end of the world to put a chair in here? Or to at least sweep the floor?
+This dress it too big on me!!??!! A F21 dress that's too big? SKINNY ALERT.
+This dress is the same size and way too small. FAT ALERT. Also, I think I'm stuck. No really. I can't move my arms HELP.
+A sweater is not supposed to look like this on a human being. Do they know girls have boobs? And hips?
+Wait...why are the buttons on the opposite side of this shirt? Why is this shirt actually long enough to be worn in public? Something is off here...THIS IS A MEN'S SHIRT. A men's shirt. But....would it be weird if I bought it....?
+This cardigan is perfect and overpriced and I'm buying it because I need to walk out of here with something for my troubles.
I walked out of the dressing room sweating and sore like I had just run two miles, clutching my two victorious sweaters like they were buried treasurer I had been searching for at the bottom of the sea. And James got to sit outside on a bench and read a book. In the end, we both won.