Saturday, January 14, 2006

Mall Rat Day

I went to the mall today. For mascara, of course; thanks for all of your advice from the last post. I try to avoid the mall, but Mom & Pop mascara just hasn't been working out for me. (Blink, blink..bat-bat-bat.)

Today's observations:

The Limited had a BIG, BIG sale. Last week, the sale was 50% off. THIS week, the big big sale: Buy one, get one free.

Only they're selling the first one at the original price. So, instead of $18 for 1 sweater, they are now 2 for $36. Wow. What a bargain. Do they think we're stu--oh, wait, we ARE stupid consumers, and their job is to trick us into buying their product. Fine. Still... I want to boycott them just for their marketing department's lack of imagination. C'mon! Trick me!


It's that time of year when winter catches up with my dry skin, and I'm desperate for a good, heavy, gooey, oily moisturizer. I screwed up the gumption to step into The Bath & Body Works.

Fending off the clerks in this place is worse than ducking plaid-panted salesmen in your local used car lot. There are girls stationed every 4 feet to hand you a basket, offering their help, fluffing you with glitter powder, and ticking off the sales, which are anyway posted on signs in 30-inch intervals. It's just soap and lotion, how much help can I possibly need?!!

I have a suggestion that will cut down on this customer harassment: After I encounter the first clerk in the store, and listen to this week's sales, then she can slap a sticker on my forehead that says "she's just looking." Then let me shop in peace.

Today's promo: Buy $25 worth, get a canvas tote bag with sample products in it for only $15 more dollars. "A $125 value for only $15," the sign said.

$125 value?!! Look, if I'm to get a $125 value for only $15, you can keep your ugly canvas bag, and spot me any of these things: a small television with a built-in DVD player, a decent calphalon stock pot, 6 bottles of wine, my power bill, (for months other than December), the suede coat that I keep waiting to go on sale. I know! Just give me $125; hell, knock $25 off of that, I'm feeling generous.


My final observation:

I do not, for the record, consider myself a prudish sort, but I have to admit I raised my eyebrows more than once at little girls in high-heeled shoes, and make-up. I'm not talking about adolescent or "pre-teen" girls, I'm talking about LITTLE girls, girls that won't even be considering a training bra until the year 2011.

When I was purchasing mascara, a woman stopped with her little daughter and let her try on some eye shadow and lipstick. Ok, it's fun to do girly stuff, they were just playing. Cool. But I later spotted a little girl, 5 at the oldest, wearing high-heeled shoes, jeans with gold studs all over them, and a sequined gold shrug over a cropped top.

Another girl in front of me at Bath & Body, about 7 or 8 years old, had jeans tucked into knee-high platform boots that had heavy chains around the ankles. Big, heavy, biker-goth-style boots.

These are just 2 of many I noticed. Hmmmm...

I know it's fun to dress up your babies. I'm "guilty" of letting my son choose to get his ear pierced when he was only 10 years old, after properly educating him and warning him of possible judgment of some small-minded midwesterners. I took slack for that, and so did Brian, but he was prepared and unconcerned.

Is it a complete double standard then, that seeing little girls with lipstick, cropped tops, and high heels totally creeps me out? I want to approach the parents of these kids and say "what in the hell are you thinking? Haven't you seen Pretty Baby? It's your responsibility to decide at what age your daughter can start experimenting with this look, and...and...and...well, I say she's too young! She's SIX! She should have a milk mustache--not Revlon 8-hour China-Red--on her lips! Give her a ponytail and some keds!!!"

Lord, I'm turning into a sensible-shoed, old fart schoolmarm.


  1. I rarely go to the mall---and when I do it's usually the food court and the mall playground---but I agree with all your observations. About early elementary age girls dressed this way: parents send them to school like that (and church!) too. There's some kinders at Jack's preschool who wear high heels on the playground, which is basically a giant sandbox. And there's a few little girls in my own class (three year olds) who wear hip hugger jeans that show more crack than a sidewalk when they sit down. I think we can blame our consumer-oriented society: this is what manufacturers offer us. A few companies still produce "practical" children's clothing, but those parents who purchase such send their kids into the world looking like giant infants next to all the skanks- and thugs-in-training.

    It's not as rough for boys as it is for girls. Jack wears those baggy jeans with the back pockets practically to the knees, but he's not showing 6 inches of underwear above the waistband. And I've told him he can't get his first tattoo until he's in kindergarten.

    We're all getting older faster.

  2. I also avoid the mall. I dislike it on so many levels. (no pun intended) I feel lucky to have sons - so that style issue doesn't affect us much. Seeing little girls like that makes me nuts. I don't understand why the mothers would do this - it's not the kids asking at that age!

    My kids made a "store" in the basement with a big sign that says BUY ONE. GET ONE. I asked why they were having a sale already & they told me I misread the sign. You buy one & one is all you get. I laughed! Clearly, they understand retailing better than I thought.

  3. What mascara did you end up buying? Curious minds want to know.

  4. I think I'd be an old fart schoolmarm if I'd long solved all my worries and been married to a hunky dude for about fifteen years, and chance would be a fine, thing.
    There I hope that put the FJL smile back on your face x

  5. SS: Food court?!! For that free teriyaki chicken on a toothpick sample?! Remember when we dallied off to Sam's Club during the tornado, and the shopping cart stalls were flying across the parking lot?!!

    I'm not sure I want to know, people, but I'm going to ask anyway: They don't sell thongs in the children's dept., do they? Please, God. Amen.

    Wendy: "Buy One, Get One," I laughed so hard I got a stitch in my side. Shrewd boys you got there, I fell for it, and I would would have bought one.

  6. FJL: I'm trying to keep up, dahling, but am admittedly lost. Still watching the FLF soap though, and hope you come out the Big Winnah! Seriously, hope the drama end soon, and peace is restored.

    Wendy: Went for the Lancome! I'm sure I've tried and reject the pink tube, though I can't remember why. Maybe it made my eyes burn. Yves isn't available to try, unless I drive to Chicago, which does sound fun.

    Anyway, so far so pretty, although I haven't washed it off yet, and haven't waked/woken/wooked up tomorrow, to see how THAT goes.

  7. Sam's Club during a tornado... we're not in Kansas anymore!

    (yes, I remember it; thanks for sparking the memory)


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