Monday, November 14, 2011

H& M Brings Me One Step Closer to Perpetual Cat Ladyery (ladery?) and Puts a Few Things Into Stark Perspective

H&M opened this weekend at Fashion Place Mall (HURRAY!). Now, as a country bumpkin - I generally don't like large crowds; particularly if those large crowds consist of crazy eyed self-proclaimed fashionista's with huge strollers and nothing pressing them for time at 2:30 in the afternoon on a weekday. Stereotype so established. Thus, I wasn't planning on visiting my now very LOCAL H&M until several months after its "grand opening" to avoid such crowds (and reinforcing stereotypes ;)). In fact, I didn't even visit the Cheesecake Factory for easily a year AFTER it opened in SLC because the lines are atrocious and I couldn't understand "what the big deal was." Well, I'm so happy I found out because that place is freaking delicious! Lines? What LINES??? I will wait as long as it TAKES to pay $17 for the most delicious plate of garlic pasta I've ever EATEN!!!

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.


Anonymous said...

wow what a neat dress

Jaime Van Hoose Steele said...

1. LOVE the dress!! You're so lucky that the short dress trend fits you so good! I find so many cute dresses but feel a little scandalous in them cause they are so short on me.
2. I totally agree and the dreadful ear splitting music in clothing stores these days. Can't a girl shop in peace!?!
3. Crowds are terrible and people are terrible in crowds.

Misty said...

Funny, because I uncharacteristically went to the Fashion Place Mall on Saturday to stand in line to go shopping at H&M as well....I was going to call you, too! I actually had a book with me, so the waiting in line part was fine. Actually, I felt that the store wasn't too bad compared to a "regular" H&M. I just went in Boston a couple of weeks ago, and there's always a line to try clothes on and check out. I got a cute sweater and shirt....I'm happy! :)

Jessica said...

My head exploded when I saw the close-up of the dress. I might not even finish reading this post because all I can think now is "OMG CAT DRESS MUST HAVE NOW". I don't even LIKE cats.

(We tried to make the pilgrimage to H&M on Friday night, but the line was too intense. We settled for Nordstrom and Cheesecake Factory. Which, really, isn't settling at all, but I'm thinking you already know that. ALSO, I drive past the new Nordstrom they're building on West Temple (in City Creek) basically every day, and each day's progress has me afeeling a little happier)

Andrea Jolene said...

Ohhhh yes I am SO happy they are bringing Nordstrom back downtown. Bringing Nordstom Back... YAY! JT should write a song about it.

Marisa Jean said...

I've never actually been inside of an H&M, but I have plenty of their clothing items. I wanted to go, but thought the pushing and shoving with a toddler might produce some mama-bear craziness to come out and I don't know, I didn't want to maul someone. So I'll wait until after the holiday's and go during the day in hopes of not having to elbow to many fellow shoppers.

P.S. That blazer is gorgeous! *jealousy*