The other day, as in yesterday, I decided it was absolutely, 100% necessary to own a pair of mint green earrings. I’m not sure why, but recently I’ve found myself dreaming of all things mint: eye shadow, nail polish, accessories, handbags, shoes, and iPhone cases. So, I went to the mall to see what I could find. Charming Charlie, my new favorite place to recklessly spend $100, seemed to feel right. You know, the one-stop-accessory-super-store where you can buy the same ‘Made in China’ plastic bracelet in fifty shades of grey, purple, and shale? It’s like the Forever 21 of fashion jewelry, except unlike Forever 21, one size fits all.
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I breezed through the store’s fancy stone, granite, and glass entrance with the grace of a gazelle. There was an undeniable excitement pulsing through my veins. The idea of countless color coded accessories at dirt cheap prices nearly brought tears to my eyes and goose bumps to my skin. I could only imagine the possibilities in my near future.
I was just shy of the rose gold section when I was approached by a sales guy; a super adorable hipster who must have been all of nineteen. He was, without a doubt, way too cool to be working here. “Hi Ma’am! Welcome to Charming Charlie. Today everything is BOGO. Do you need a basket?” MA’AM?!?! Who was he calling ma’am? He’d clearly mistaken me for the older, way less cool version of my current self. I looked over my shoulder to imply he couldn’t possibly have been talking to me. “Are you looking for something special today? Perhaps a gift for your teenage daughter or niece?” Suddenly, I became self-conscious. The self-doubt, insecurity, and loathing was starting to set in. “Yes, a gift,” I lied. “Um… I’m looking for maybe something mint… earrings, maybe…or…um…,” I trailed off. “Ah yes. Mint. It’s what all the young ones are wearing these days. For you, I’d recommend either black or navy. Those colors are very age-versatile.” I choked in shock. I took a sideways glance in the display’s vanity mirror just to make sure I wasn’t like, a hundred. Who the heck did this hipster think he was in his adorable ensemble of nerd-chic, black rimmed glasses, fitted T, trendy striped cardigan, expensive skinny jeans, and index finger Tungsten ring? He was like the mean, male version of Zooey Deschanel, but less cute, and yet for some reason, it mattered what he thought. I wanted to say something devastatingly witty, something that would cut like a knife. But all my vintage brain could rally was, “Okay.”
I decided to push on, and selected several earrings, necklaces, and those stretchy bracelet thingies that look like plastic, but aren’t. I also picked out a few clothing items to check out in the dressing room, a questionable decision at best. As I tugged on the first dress over my head, I heard a slight rip, and stopped. I soon realized that not only was this dress a few sizes too small, I couldn’t even get it over my rib cage. I began to sweat, arms raised above my head. Oh boy, I knew this would not end well. Next, I tried on this super cute, mini polka-dotted bib tank. The verdict? I looked 8 months pregnant. Great. Last, I tried on a light pink, cami jersey dress with a low slung waist. After I yanked it on, I realized that I didn’t even have a waist to sling. For my own self-preservation, I convinced myself that these things only looked good on hangers and 12-year-old, little girl bodies. The hipster sales guy shouted through the door, “Do you need different sizes?” “They’re perfect!” I yelled back, fighting tears.
Next up was the jewelry. What could possibly go wrong? I pulled a tangled mess of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets from the mesh shopper bag. The mint earrings were no longer a pair; a single pathetic, pale green bow, hung from the backboard packaging. I looked all around. “Where is it?” I said too loudly for the audience of exactly no one. I flung open the door to the dressing room, and dashed to the cash register, my arms loaded with ill-fitting pretty things. “Ring me up,” I insisted. “It’s all perfect. Well, except these navy accessories. They’re hideous.” My hipster friend was all, “One of these is missing a… !” But before he could even finish his sentence, “RING. ME. UP!” I snapped.
As I signed the credit card receipt, and headed out the door, I calculated exactly how long it would take me to drive across town to the other Charming Charlie to return all this junk.
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