Off to The Mall…I Better Bring My Ear Plugs
I need to return a pair of jeans for my 14-year old daughter Melissa, who refused to try them on when we were in the actual store and insisted on buying them and bringing them home.
“It’s no big deal mom,” she reasoned. “If they don’t fit we’ll just return them.”
No big deal for her maybe, she’s not the one who has to make another trip during her precious and limited work lunch hour to the “Land of Wonder for Teenage Girls”. Or, as the old folks call it, “The Mall”.
I set foot inside “The Land of Wonder” and search the directory for a particular business establishment we’ll refer to as the “We’re Going to Encourage Teenage Girls to Use all of Their Senses in Their Decision to Purchase our Clothing” store.
Well, that is quite a long name. Let’s give it another alias. Hey, I know, how about: “The Store”. Yes, that has a nice ring to it.
The directory reveals a long list of shops dedicated to selling skimpy, tiny, small, and revealing shirts and jeans for their eager target market, namely, skimpy, tiny, small, and revealing teenage girls. I find “The Store” on the directory, but soon realize that the map really isn’t necessary, for I can smell “The Store” from three football fields away. My nose is greeted with a nauseating mix of perfume and suntan lotion which grows stronger the closer I get, while my ears are greeted with the “soothing” sounds of hip hop loud enough to please teenagers in "The Store", the mall, across the street, in the next state, throughout the country, in China, Australia, etc…
Outside “The Store”, two soft, cozy armchairs beckon potential shoppers to sit and relax, take in the nauseating fragrance, and listen to the “soothing” hip hop music.
I walk into “The Store” and I am immediately greeted by a salesgirl who looks like a recent kindergarten graduate.
“Hi, we __ hav__ a _sale if you buy __ you __ one __for half _ _ per __.”
“CAN YOU REPEAT THAT!” I shout over the din of the hip hop tunes.
“You can get ___ off __ of shirts and __ yes __thank __ so __need ___ help__ percent__ tomorrow__ok?”
“We are hav__ a __new __yes__today__jeans___tomor___ right? ___help ___see___ok?”
I give up.
I make my way to the register where the 12 year old manager is waiting on another aggravated looking mom and her excited teen. When it is my turn, I shout, “I NEED TO RETURN THESE JEANS!”
“Would _ like ___ put____store____American____credit___you?”
“CAN YOU REPEAT THAT PLEASE?”
By using an unknown ability to lip read, I manage to discern that he is asking if I want to put the refund on my credit card or if I want store credit.
Credit card = money for me
Store credit = clothes for Melissa
I choose me.
As he is pushing the beeping buttons on the register, I am overcome by a sudden desire to speak my mind.
“YOU KNOW, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU WANT TO PLAY LOUD MUSIC BECAUSE YOU ARE TRYING TO APPEAL TO YOUR TARGET MARKET, BUT DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PEOPLE WHO PAY FOR THESE CLOTHES ARE THE MOTHERS OF YOUR TARGET MARKET,” I explain, drawing on my years of marketing experience. “AND WE DON’T LIKE THE LOUD MUSIC!”
My mini-tirade is met with a blank stare.
He hands me back my credit card and I hustle out of the store, barely noticing that the kindergartener is saying, “Thank_ come__ two__ percent ___ see___ sale___tomorrow___ notice___you___bye.”
I rush back through the mall, longing to go into that bastion of fun for old fuddy duddy dames like me, “The Department Store”. But alas, my journey into “The Store” has taken all of my time. I must get back to work. Shopping for professional garb would have to wait.
Later that evening, Melissa grills me.
“Did you return my jeans?”
“Yes, I did,” I reply.
“Oh, thanks mom.” Pause. Pause. “Y’know, I still need to get new jeans. Can we go back to the mall on Saturday?”
“Only if you let me take some time to shop for shoes,” I demand.
She rolls her eyes and begrudgingly agrees.
Another trip to “The Store”.
I’d better get my ear plugs now.
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This made me lol! I say it all the time. And I will never understand it.ReplyDelete
I prefer to send my daughter to "the store" on her own while I sip a starbucks on the bench.
I like your strategic thinking Susan!Delete
I Love this!! I have a 13 year old daughter and can not only relate to your every word, but could not have done it nearly the justice you did!!! Such a great post. You really relayed that experience perfectly. Thanks for making my night!ReplyDelete
I figured every mom who has ever been in this "Store" could relate. Even my daughter had to admit the post was funny!Delete
That's why I hate going to the mall :)ReplyDelete
Yup, ear plugs are in order.
I agree! :-)Delete
The store I think you are talking about is not in our mall, but there is one just over the border and we go there once in a while. Wow, I cannot believe they are allowed to do that with all the scent allergies out there! It is crazy powerful and gives me a headache within metres of the outside of the store, and I don't even have scent allergies!ReplyDelete
We've just begun this world at our house--our poor daughters...I hate shopping.
I know, I totally agree!!Delete
You are braver than I am. When my daughter is a teenager, if she thinks she is going to the mall, she has another thing coming!ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing!
When my daughter was little she said she's never want to hang out at the mall....oh how things change!Delete
Lisa, this was too funny and I can so relate. My daughter would do the same. Too lazy to try it on in the store. Well, finally I'd had it. The next time, I said okay but if it doesn't fit you are going to return it yourself. Sure I had to drive her and I went inside, but she had to go to the counter and talk to the salesperson to return it. That was the last time, because, turns out, she hated having to return it. Oh, and "The Store." Yes, I know it very well. I HATE the music and the blank stares. OMG, give me Nordstrom's any day!ReplyDelete
Monica, that is a great strategy, I will try it next time!!!Delete
Oh dear. I really dislike shopping, so do not look forward to shopping with a teenage girl in a store like the one you've described! It's bad enough at the moment trying to teach her that she doesn't have to buy something every time we enter a shop:)ReplyDelete
(not) looking forward to the future you've just flashed in front of me,
PS. Hope you find some nice shoes, though :)
Okay, so you were at Hollister or Ambercrombie & Fitch. I feel the same way about them. It's bad marketing and not a fun trip for the parent.ReplyDelete
So funny! I feel so old when I go to the mall these days--I'm either in a toy store/kids clothing store, or avoiding the H&M/Forever 21. Good luck with the shoes!ReplyDelete
I agree, it is so rare when I can get the opportunity to just shop for myself!!Delete
I'm so glad my first is a boy!!! Reading this made me not only laugh out loud but also made me feel guilty for all the times I did this to my own mother!!! I agree with one of the other readers, give me Nordtroms any day! So much more civilized!! Great piece!!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much Kathy! I know that I was also horrible to my mother - I had no patience for shopping at all! Pay back's a you know what!Delete
Those stores are nothing but headaches. Having two teenagers are know just how you feel. My teens also love skinny jeans. I am there almost all the time complaining they should have music for the mothers instead. Great blog !!ReplyDelete
I know that you can relate Angelica!!!Delete
I can so feel you on that! That's why I stay far away from the mallReplyDelete
I hear ya!Delete
Lisa - you are such a good story teller. I honestly believe the employees who work there will have some serious hearing loss when they get older. Well good luck finding jeans! If it makes things easier on you, we could have our two daughters go shopping together. This way neither of us have to sit in those armchairs! LOLReplyDelete
And they can hide in the clothing racks instead of looking for dresses!! LOL!Delete
After raising three girls I've definitely worn out more than one pair of shoes walking through those endless corridors. Now if I never set foot in a mall again it will be too soon. You pegged "the store" perfectly. The worst one for me is Abercrombie and Bitch. Loud music...a bunch of young hot employees with collars up, hair spiked perfectly, girls with blonde ponytails swinging like tropical palms. Last time I was there I spotted a rack of shirts with saying written across the chest like "I see you've met the twins," "Good Girls Just Don't Get Caught," "Keep my Hand To Yourself," "Guys Make Great Accessories," "Better Make More Than I Can Spend"...and my personal favorite "Do What You Love--Love Who You Do." Decades of feminism and this is the fruits of our labor. Then I watched a mother with a stroller check out the shirts. She grabbed one and made her way to the cashier. Why should I be surprised? Her baby had a shirt on that said, "I'm abused." Man, what a world!ReplyDelete
It makes you want to burn those anti-women shirts doesn't it Annie!! Thanks for visiting my blog!ReplyDelete
I was just at Abercrombie and Fitch today, shopping for a friend's granddaughter. All boys/young men who work there, help you with a lace, ruffled tank top, and music soooo loud we are all just miming. I am officially old.ReplyDelete
Hi Courtney, I know, clothes shopping in these stores really does make you feel old! Thanks for visiting my blog!Delete
Oh man - I can so relate. I've really been appreciating online shopping...ReplyDelete
Hi Jessica, I know, online shopping is much quieter! Thanks for visiting my blog!Delete