I was cleaning files on my laptop and discovered a little piece I wrote for grins as an email to a few friends about 4 years ago. If I remember correctly, I titled the email “If I had a blog, this is what I’d post today” or something similar. Who knew?
I decided to share this because it’s the kind of story that reminds me in a snapshot of that particular season of motherhood. Years are composed of seemingly ordinary stories. I want to document them as a way of hanging on to time. Time that becomes more and more precious as we go. This story also serves as the cautionary tale for me as we head into round two of female adolescence with our youngest. Oh, me oh, my. Children’s Place, how I miss you.
WHAT”S UP WITH HOLLISTER?
For those of you without teenagers, Hollister is this “store” at the mall. It’s the one that looks like a pseudo surf shop: weathered wood exterior, fake palmish trees, the works. If this doesn’t give it away, the surly eyed teens lounging in leather club chairs that you have to climb over to even get into the store, may alert you. So OK, this store totally confuses me. In a scary sort of way.
Why do I always immediately feel I’m not dressed “cool” enough to even step foot in there?
Why is it so dark in there?
Why do those huge black and white photos of windblown, sun-kissed, freckle faced, half-naked teens creep me out so much?
Why is it so dark in there? Did I read the price tag on that hoodie right? Surely it was $7.90 and not $79.00?
Where do they hire those children who work there? They look like they’ve been teleported from California or Australia. They all wear shorts and flip-flops, even in the Kansas winter and have killer tans…
How does a store that markets surf magazines, bikinis, and tiny little 1 ounce t-shirts in the middle of winter, in a state that is 1500 MILES FROM THE NEAREST LARGE BODY OF WATER always have a 15 minute line to check out?
Seriously, this store confuses me. I was in one yesterday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Hollister obviously confuses my almost 15-year-old daughter as well. She thrust some clothing into my hand and slouched quickly away (I think it was her I saw retreat through the gloom…) I searched out an island of light against one wall and realized what it was she was hoping I’d purchase. Oh, no see honey, you THINK these are shorts, but they are called bloomers. Anything with an inseam from crotch to hem of less than 1/2 an inch you wear under cheer skirts or as a track uniform…Even she gets confused in this store.
In my muddled and uncool state, I finally find the check out through the fake palms and unisex fragrance (names like Jake and Ryder) squirting surfer girls. On each side of me is a huge flat screen TV televising in real-time the surf at Huntington Beach California. Maybe that is what makes this store so wildly popular. Dreams. Midwest farm kids shop here and believe that by wearing overpriced tiny little t-shirts they will be transported somehow surfside. Dreams. That mom just might buy me some bloomers. Dream on kids…you live far, far away from the ocean in a place where ice breaks power lines and certain dorky moms refuse to believe its a normal thing to pay $59.50 for bloomers masquerading as shorts. I finish my 15 minutes of wait time for Barbie and Ken to check out their customers, pay my $17.50 for one ounce of t-shirt dream for my daughter and light a signal flare to round up my children.
Thank you God for The Children’s Place. Thank you God that I still have at least one child who will wear 2 for $10 mid-thigh shorts.