Back on topic.
SO! I don't like large crowds particularly if its brimming with the a fore mentioned stereotypes, thus effectively putting my H&M Utah plans on hold until after the holiday season. BUT, I suddenly had an internal conflict with this plan this weekend as I am ALSO a very good daughter. Didn't you know? And my mom came to visit me for some mother/daughter shopping, eating, and ballyhoo time and of course, OF COURSE, we had to go Fashion Place Mall - it easily becoming the best mall in the state with such additions as the afore mentioned H&M, Crate and Barrel, Anne Taylor Loft, Apple Store, and the usual bought of awesomeness: JCrew, Banana Republic, and Nordstrom. I think I just salivated all over my keyboard. Shoppy shoppy nom nom! Spendy Spendy!
Yep, you guessed it. Being a good daughter won out and we went to H&M, opening weekend, as Christmas approaches. Madness! We had to stand in line for about 15 minutes to get in the store. Have you ever had to do this? You know I haven't because of my crowd aversion and general avoidance of "hype." It was pretty amazing how people eyed each other - making snap judgements about your worthiness to have a presence at such a grand opening. At least I'm spending my own money, Princess. Oh snap. Presence we were granted and upon entering the store - we were assailed with Club/Techno/Whippersnapper music BLASTING our senses and shaking the walls. Why do they have to do that? Why? I don't understand why the shopping experience must be assailed with BOMP! BOMP! BOMP! the entire time. UN-PLEASANT!
But what WAS pleasant was the 15 pairs of new socks (I only have work out socks... and they get eaten by Zooey periodically), scarf, and ridiculously "me" (dahling) dress and blazer I purchased amongst the madness.
|You're asking yourself - what is that face you are making? It's a "did it take?" face. Phone cameras are sneaky little blighters!|
|Yes that's right. My dress is head to toe cats! And not just any head to toe cats - head to toe cats with BOW TIES! Cat-lady Andrea is well on her way!|
Though I did purchase a few choice items and it was cool to go into the new store - it was also somewhat disheartening to see this middle and upper class American line to get into a moderately priced retail store; stomping and cutting (in line...not flesh... but I can see how it would've come to that eventually) and bumping and shoving and eying each other for a $20 blazer or $10 stripped socks. I had women edging me out of looking at a shirt or leggings simply because they must have thought I would take the last one... when it was clear we wouldn't have even worn CLOSE to the same size anyway. The passive aggressiveness rating scale was off the chart. And for what? Apparently one's true character shines through when sweater tights are on the line.
Now, don't get me wrong - I really like shopping. I like it a lot and if it's a good deal - I'm a sucker for it. But I couldn't help but have a small existential moment realizing that in America, where we stand in line for H&M's or the newest IPhones or midnight showings of Vampire Love movies; acting like children and anxiously climbing over each other in angst - somewhere else in the world people are standing in line for their one meal a day, a crust of bread, or vaccines against diseases American children have enjoyed for decades. We reduce our character to shreds and curb our humanity for wool sweaters, or video games when fathers who have lost their jobs stand in unemployment lines and mothers go hungry again so their children will have enough to eat that night. And this doesn't happen in a country far far away - but in our own cities and neighborhoods.
To me, it's curious and even disappointing what we will stand in lines for sometimes. Is this really a good use of our time and resources? And for heavens sake, what happened to downright common decency? No, I don't think that standing in line for H&M makes someone a bad person. I don't think it's a bad thing to like to shop and enjoy some nice things if you can afford them. I just ask for a realistic amount of perspective and a polite "excuse me" now and again. I don't think waiting in line at an H&M provides justification for leaving your humanity at home so you can be the first one to use your stroller as a battering ram to the jeans section of a retail store. But maybe I don't get out enough.