Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Runaway and Time Fighters

I took Sabine with me to Forever 21 last week. An embarrassing admission: Me, a thirty nine year old shopping at a store called Forever 21. I have no interest in being forever twenty one years old or trying to look like I am. I see those women sometimes. They usually wear too much drugstore makeup, bad dye jobs and too-tight cheap clothing from a past decade they can't let go of (or ill-fitting current styles of a still-trying-to-fit-in nature). When I was around twenty five years old, I remember talking to a guy in a bar who called these women "time fighters." Are you there, God? It's me, Laura--puh-leeze do not ever let me turn into a time fighter.

BUT...Forever 21 now has a maternity line. Yep, that's right. Their jeans are perfect--and only around $20. I am not paying more than that for pregnancy jeans I will never wear again. And they have the softest racer-back tanks that are the perfect length, too. So perfect that I can't stop wearing them.

Anyway, I embarrassing made my way through racks upon racks of trendy clothing as the worst pop music I'd never heard blared at a decibel that threatened hearing loss and a constant ringing in my head and ears. As I trudged along, Sabine begged to be let out of her stroller. I gave in and let her loose--which turned out to be one of my greatest mistakes. That store is huge. I mean, gargantuan. And the minute I let her out, she took off and began hiding in clothing racks. I kept yelling her name but there's no way she could hear me above that makes-you-want-to shove-a-pencil-through-your-ear-socket music. I ran around the store, yelling as loud as I could and looking behind every mannequin, pillar and rack.

About twenty minutes later, just before I had a heart attack, I screamed my loudest and finally heard her respond from somewhere above me. I looked up and she was at the top of a steep marble staircase, on the second floor. She had a lavender tutu around her chest (she thought it was a dress), a brown faux-leather hobo bag around her neck, a pair of leopard-print neon pink underwear in one hand and a tube of lip gloss in the other. When I reached the top of the stairs I wanted to yell at her for not staying by my side. She could've been kidnapped or badly injured from tripping over her mismatched drag queen garb as she made her way up or down that death trap of a staircase. But all I could do was laugh hysterically and squeeze her. Because she had this smirk on her face and she kept patting her tutu as she looked up at me. She was so impressed with her findings and herself for putting them on. And it was clear that she thought I should be impressed, too.

So I went on and on about how great her outfit was as her smile grew bigger and more proud. I carried her down the stairs and strapped her into her stroller, drag queen gear and all and told her that next time she needs to stay close to mama. After all, how I can expect a two-year old not to get lost in endless rows of shiny, fluffy Skittle--colored fabric?

I guess that's exactly what happens to the time fighters in stores like these. And ultimately, if they feel as happy as Sabine looked after her shopping excursion, then there's something really beautiful about that--no matter how bright their makeup or tight their clothing.

via Observando


Nancy said...

LOL! Sabine is going to be a trend setter! I'm sure she looked adorable in that tutu!

I am proud to say that I LOOOVE Forever 21! I've scored some great designer like dresses from there for cheap! Their leggings are so great too. I wish they had a maternity line when I was preggers. I bought a pair of maternity jeans from Motherhood or Pea in a Pod...BIG MISTAKE. The back pockets were the size of Texas...as if one really needs to emphasize how big one's ass is already. I never wore it and just resorted to jeggings.

Laura Mauk said...

@Nancy, Happy to know you shop there, too...makes me not feel embarrassed. It's just the name! But yes, so chean AND they have really cute stuff right now. PS so funny about your Texas size pockets on a pregnant butt, which does NOT need accentuating.

Katherine said...

So so good Laura. Really nice and funny piece of writing. Glad you are back!

Laura Mauk said...

@Katherine, thank you. So flattering and nice to hear.


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