Monday, July 6, 2009

Shopping with Savannah

I went shopping with Savannah the other day. We went to a really big mall out in the suburbs of Chicago. With almost 300 stores, we were sure we'd be able to find some things that met our criteria -
A. that fit
B. that didn't require a second mortgage to afford them
C. that were "cool"
D. that weren't slutty (my criteria)

First off, let me say that I love shopping with Savannah. I really do. And I think she likes shopping with me too. Then again, Savannah's a smart kid. She knows if she goes with me, I'll buy her clothes and really, what's not to like about that. Hmmm, well, she may complain to her friends about how lame I am, but at least she pretends to enjoy shopping with me while we're out.

So we went to the mega-mall to look for a couple dresses that would be appropriate for church or other occasions that would require something nicer than flip flops and tank tops. Thankfully Savannah isn't big on name brands. She likes to look in Abercrombie (which is pronounced Abercrombie, not AMbercrombie. Get it right, people! If you can't say the name of the store, you shouldn't be shopping there. Just sayin'...) Anyway, she likes to look in the fancy schmancy, where-the-cool-kids shop kinda stores, but she's just as happy with a shirt from JCPenney or Target, thankfully.

We started our excursion at JCPenney where we found several a few one dress that didn't expose too much boobage. And it was on sale too! Score! Mission accomplished in my book. But we headed out into the mall to window shop and look for a shirt for me that did show too much boobage and talk about boys get some lunch.

As we passed a store called Hollister, Savannah asked, "Can we go in here and look?"
"Sure!" I answered good-naturedly. I was enjoying my time with Savannah and wasn't ready to head home quite yet. I looked at the store and realized it wasn't a store at all! It was club. I was pretty sure it was some sort of nightclub. Do you have these stores by you?



I swear I couldn't figure out how to get in. There was a door, but the entrance was completely blocked with a rack of clothes. Hmmm, maybe if I step up onto the this porch-like area? Nope, that's just a window. Hmmm, really where's the door? Well here's the deal folks, if you can't figure out where the door to a store is and you feel the need to ask the bouncer salesclerk how to get in, YOU ARE TOO OLD TO BE SHOPPING IN THAT STORE.

Savannah rolled her eyes at me, took my hand and dragged me through the secret portal into Hollister. It took 10 minutes for my eyes to adjust to the nightclub-like dimness in the store. Apparently keeping the store in the dark not only saves on their electric bill, but it keeps customers from seeing just how tiny their shorts are, how amazingly tight their shirts are, and just how many pictures of half-naked guys there are in the store. Oh, I was just informed that there are just as many pictures of half-naked girls too. I have no idea why I didn't notice them.

And stores like Hollister, Abercrombie, Aeropostale, Gap, etc are really quite smart when it comes to advertising. They print the store name all over all their clothing. Teens everywhere are advertising the stores for free. In fact, they're paying the store to advertise for them! Personally, if I'm going to pay that much for a sweatshirt, I want it to say "Dawn Meehan" or "Dawn rocks!" or "Dawn's the awesomest!" But that's just me.

Since I'll never be young enough and thin enough to wear their surfer clothes, I turned on my heel to leave the store when the most awesomely awesome thing caught my eye. They have a huge wall covered with a screen onto which a live webcam shows a beach in California. I want one of those for my house! This would be so amazing for those of us living in the frozen tundra Chicago in the winter. I want one!

OK, so after I had sufficiently embarrassed Savannah in a number of stores, we decided to go to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. Do you guys have these restaurants? I guess in California, they're probably just called Pizza Kitchens, huh? While we were there, I kinda, a little bit, sorta hit the person behind me in her head. Then I might have possibly flipped a knife off my plate, nearly drawing blood from a poor passerby. Yeah, remember the embarrassment at the store, Savannah? Doesn't seem so bad anymore, does it? I think it'll be awhile before she goes shopping with me again.

46 comments:

Sandy in Illinois said...

I firmly believe that one of a parent's main tasks is to embarrass their children. I told my son that he needs material to tell his therapist someday. If he doesn't get embarrassed by me, what will he have to talk about?

Camper Girl said...

No comment on the loud music in Hollister? The one here in Georgia that my daughters feel they "have to go to" plays music SOOOO loud that I can't hear a word they say for the next 2 weeks! It's horrible!

Jess jess said...

Fun fun fun!
I hope Savannah at least thanked you!

Jessica Sandoval said...

All Hollister stores look like that!! hehe!

Brandy said...

Too funny. You are right about that store being to dark. I do have to ask was the music loud enough for you? Oh and coming from someone that gets migraines could the scents in those stores be any stronger!!! And yes I know that made me sound old lol!!

Anonymous said...

I think Hollister deliberately keeps the store dark so that you can't see the prices on their clothes. Like $69.50 for skirt that doesn't cover very much! We stopped at an Abercrombie store the other week and my husband took the tour with my 8 year old. He pointed out everything that she is NOT allowed to wear when she gets old enough. Hey...makes my job easier....he can be the bad guy!

Cindy said...

OMG>..Hollister is a favorite, but my first time in there both my younger daughter and me about had a panic attack it was soooooooooo loud and dark!! Now we "tolerate" it briefly, and only table to buy off of is the sale table. I'm not sure how they can charge such high prices for such a little piece of material.

Jayne V. said...

Oh, my adventure to Hollister over Christmas ... the one by us doesn't even have the name on the outside of it, so I literally passed by it about three times before I realized that this little hut without a name was not a bar but a clothing store. (Again, if you're too old to not know it's a store, you shouldn't be shopping there, right?) Then it was so dark and loud that I kept losing my then three-year-old while trying to find sale-priced, modest shirts and sweats for my nieces.

danger girl said...

I absolutely hate Hollister. It's dark, loud, and crowded. And it stinks to high heaven (not just the normal heaven) from all the cologne they spray in there. Plus things are expensive. Not as expensive as the sister (brother? cousin?) store Abercrombie (with or without Fitch), but still much too much. No, I'm not paying $28.50 for a skin-tight ridiculously thin t-shirt. Not even if it says "Hollister" in gold.

Anonymous said...

Yeah its still California Pizza Kitchen here in CA. And my 11 yo niece lives in the city of Hollister. I've always wondered how popular their shirts are there...

Flea said...

I send my 16 year old daughter shopping with my husband (who's sure to enforce the "no slut clothes" rule), or with my mom (an even safer bet). I hate to shop.

Why would you need California pizza when you have perfectly good Chicago pizza?

Amy said...

I can't say anything about Hollister. Never been and now I won't. But I am definitely on to JC Penny. Went there with my 3 daughters recently and found TONS of stuff, all really cute and fashionable and it was all on sale! Of course it helps they are all so tiny they can wear just about anything...makes me sick, but seriously, next time I need something I'm heading over to Penny's.
Also, I scored big time when my daughters actually told me that I am so fun to shop with and that I have really good taste. AWW! They were really fun to shop with, too. Oh, and they know that I can't see "boobage" or the clothes go in the trash.

Michelle said...

That's so neat that you can still go shopping with her. Or at least could :) I'm not optimistic personally when it comes to Little Miss.

Have you ever tried Discovery Clothing? I think there's one near you and WOW are the clothes cheap and not horribly revealing. Not hugely well made either, but not terrible and considering how long they wear them before outgrowing....

PS So long as you weren't asked to leave, it's not as embarrassing as it COULD be - just keep reminding her of that!

Bridget said...

Wow, this was a HILARIOUS post!! =) They do actually leave the California in California Pizza Kitchen here in CA. We all call it CPK for short, do you guys do that too? And acronyms are all the rage these days especially with the young kids and their texting language which I will never get. The other day my mom wrote us kids an email and signed it "LOL, mom" and very puzzled we asked her about it and she thought it meant "Lots of Love". hehe. Too funny! Oh and my mom used to get corrected on numerous occasions for pronouncing the "M" in Abercrombie and of course she never learned the correct pronunciation to this day. Oh well.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this post! Glad you have fun shopping with Savannah! I never really liked to shop with my mom, especially when it was "that time" to start wearing training bras... I would love to hear your thoughts on that. It was embarrassing but that's just me. haha.

Anonymous said...

I always snicker when I walk by Hollister. Now I'll be laughing out loud. I could never put my finger on why it was so funny before; thanks for putting words to it!

Shelley said...

My 17 year-old daughter works at Hollister! And the music is way too loud, and the place gives me the creeps with the darkness. But I figure at least she's earning money in there, instead of spending it.

Debbie in Kansas said...

Yes, the Hollister here in Kansas looks like that. But, you didn't mention the LOUD music! AND you didn't mention all the holes the clothes have! I know I'm 41, but REALLY?? I get holes in my clothes that I have had for 10 years... I don't want to buy any with holes! CRAZY teens!

Jen said...

I live on the beach in CA. I just look out my window and see the same thing you saw on the TV screen on Hollister. The funny part though, is that is rarely over 70 here, even in the summer. I like to laugh at the idiots that drive from the inland areas all decked in their teeny bikinis as they freeze their tails off in the 65 degree, windy weather.

Julie Sturgeon said...

Hollister drives me crazy. Literally. I'm one of those adults that people stare at during stoplights because my music is too loud, and even I think the volume in that stupid store is ear-splittingly, headache-prone, vomit-inducing LOUD.

Between the sound and the darkness, I feel like I've wandered into a nightmare.

Amy said...

Oh My Gosh! That was such a fun read! I loved the part about not being about to find the door. Thanks for making me laugh.

Hoffman Family said...

What about the perfume they spray all over (you) in the store??

Krys72599 said...

I was sure I was going to be the first old f-rt to post about the loud music, but I see I'm in great company! Oh, wait, I'm not an old f-art, I'M.ONLY.48.
That's still young (relatively!), people! I swear! But Hollister? Too dark. Too loud. Too much cologne. And the girls at the regist never hit double digits when it comes to the size they wear. And yes, the only clothes in there that I'll look at are in the sale room in the back, past all the new, full-priced t-shirts and sweatshirts...
I was literally deaf when I walked out of there - my phone rang and I couldn't hear my sister-in-law tell me where to meet her for lunch in the mall!!!

Rebecca said...

I had that same problem with that stupid store! And felt the same way once I managed to find my way in, and then back out ... :)

Katie said...

Oh yes . . . my nephew's b-day was coming up so I went to Hollister and had the exact same experience! Me w/toddler in tow and a stroller I couldn't find the entrance. A young kid working there actually help me lift my stroller to get into the store, crazy! The music was quite loud. Funny funny.

Christine in NJ said...

Dawn... You are so funny and SOOOO right about Hollister! My first time into the store I went with a double stroller and 4 kids!!!! (I had to get to the BACK of the store to buy the perfume my neice wanted!)It took me 10 minutes and 2 sales people moving racks of clothes to get me there!They actually told me it would be easier to leave the stroller OUTSIDE the store!... hmmmm - and which one of you is offering to carry one of my infants AND make sure all the other kids don't wreak the place??? By the time I got out we all had a headache from the loud music, no lights and perfume! My second trip IN was even worse!... Also to buy a gift -- but this time I left everyone home and got to the store when it first opened. My thought being - quick, run in, buy, run out BEFORE the headache starts.... As I rounded the dark corner toward the check-out counter a sales person actually sprayed perfume directly into my face! I dropped to the floor screaming and coughing "MY EYES - MY LUNGS WHAT THE @^&#*&^@ DID YOU DO TO ME!". It was ugly. Needless to say - the Gift Card was never purchased!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,
When I lived in California we would go to California Pizza Kitchen all the time, though in Cali we call it CPK. Lazy Californians and abbreviating things.

As for all those, lets pay a million dollars for lack of clothing, I am pretty lucky. My daughter is afraid to go in those stores.

She asked if we could go in those stores one day (she was 4 at the time) and as we sat there and watched the people go in and out i told her that the people going in there are so skinny because they dont eat. I said they go in there because they like to eat little kids, its keeps them really skinny.

At nearly 7 she refuses to go in that store, thinking those skinny people will eat her and that the boggie monster lives in the stores. Its pretty cool, how long do you think this warped perspective will last?

Glad you spent time with your daughter, that is always good for her!!
**Lady**

Winona said...

Hollister drives me nuts, too - takes you five minutes to let your eyes adjust to the light and ten minutes after you leave for your ears to stop ringing. And definitely only buy off the sale table. At least it doesn't stink like a greasy mob guy like Abercrombie does - the one by me (Fox Valley Mall in Aurora) has a fog of horrid-cologne-stench in a 20-foot radius around the entrance. And no, I am not exaggerating. I should go out there and measure.

I will give a second nomination to Discovery - inexpensive clothes that are cute and decently priced (again, they're not the best-made, but the kid'll grow out of them soon enough - my mother swore she wouldn't buy me a pair of Guess? jeans until I stopped growing, and she stuck to her guns).

Martha in PA said...

I noticed the elaborate entrance to Hollister when we visited the local mall now that we are living back in PA. The chairs by the door looked so comfy, I wanted to pick up a book and read... I guess that is what they want us OLD folks to do!

We love CPK. We had one close in FL, but no so close here in PA!

rebecca said...

They have frozen California Pizza Kitchen at Walmart. The kids love it!
SSO: I have a 6 & 5 yo and it really bothers me that a lot of older kids(and a lot of adults too) now a days have no respect when adults and little kids are around and they are always cursing. I usually get up and leave with my kids but I'm sick of it. What do you usually do in these situations?

Ruth said...

So has Savannah always liked shopping with you? If not when did it start? My 10 year old DETESTS shopping unless we are going to the bookstore so we get most of her clothes online from Lands End. We did venture out to look for an Easter dress last spring and that was a fiasco! Since she is now too big for kids clothes we had to look in the juniors department. Did you know that most clothes in the juniors department belong in the wardrobe room of an X-rated movie studio? There was no way she was wearing most of what we saw. We ended up getting her a modest peasent top to go with a skort she already owned. The next few years are going to be very difficult, thank God for Lands End.

LauraLee said...

I'm laughing out loud. We have both Hollister and Cal. Pizza Kitchen at our big mall in town here in Columbus, Ohio. I haven't figured out how to get in that Hollister yet . . . but with my oldest being 8, it hasn't been an issue. It was more of a curious mom moment which suffice it to say, sounds like it's good we couldn't get in . . .

Mom Taxi Julie said...

It's still California Pizza Kitchen in California lol.

I've never been in Hollister. It scares me from the outside lol.

My teenager prefers me hitting the atm machine and then dropping her off at the mall.

pamkkm said...

Just wondering if we have the same daughter.. LOL!! Unfortunately her favorite store is also Hollister.. If I have my other kids with me, luckily they like to sit on the chairs in the middle of the store by the cash register while I steer my daughter into the clearance area and oversee everything she tries on.. LOL!

Kristin and Co. said...

I've never been in that store for the same reason - where the heck is the door? If you can't get in, can you get out? And the thumping music? And the darkness...it is a freakin nightclub at the mall. Instead of 10 jello shots, you pay 80 bucks per square inch of fabric!

Anonymous said...

The hollister store here looks the same and it also reeks of cologne - I can't even walk past it I get such a headache!!!!

DeeAnne said...

You want the beach thing? You get the screen and I will point my web cam out the window for you.

'Cause I like to share like that!

Chick Hatchers said...

Frozen tundra is SO right. It's July 8th and yesterday and today BOTH were in the mid-sixties just west of Chicago. What happened to summer? We have had a few good days at the pool and the rest is too cold. Of course, this is the year our village cut the pool season, so it will close 2 weeks BEFORE labor day. Just when really should be HOT. I really don't understand this weather. It was 80 in March or April for a week and now 60 when it should be 80. I'd love that picture of the beach just for the emotional factor right now. Maybe we'll head to the mall to "pretend it's warm enough for the beach!"

Feel free to stop by and visit my blog sometime. mychildsview.blogspot.com

mommeeof9 said...

The weather in Virginia has been really wierd this summer. In the mid 80's during the day, usually with a slight breeze, and upper 50's/lower 60's at night. I'm sure the hot and humid nasty weather will appear for at least part of the summer.

webay said...

Hollister drives me crazy.

Anonymous said...

California Pizza kitchen is amazing. I actually started off eating the frozen ones and thought that these are so great the actual resturant must be better! Believe it or not I prefer the frozen ones. Give em a try! Garlic Chicken..mmmm.

Nicky S said...

Hey! Did you go to Woodfield? Just being curiuos...

mrsarbogast said...

OMG. Hilarious! A friends teen dd dragged a bunch of us (old) ladies into a Hollister a couple of years ago on a soccer tournament trip. Yipes! haha, I don't think ONE of my legs could fit in a pair of shorts let alone both of them. And the smell. Ewwwww! I was spared the trip into one with my oldest dd. She dragged her dad in there. He almost had an allergy attack. Our friend (the father of the girl that originally dragged ME into that store) calls it the "worlds most expensive yard sale!" Haha. Thanks for the memories.

Shawna said...

Yes, being California, the weather is nice and they are just called "CPK". That's right, we have our own "KFC" minus the fried.
Actually, one of those stores, I forgot what it was called, actually caught on fire out here! It was hilarious (to me because I wasn't in the store at the time,) because I had made the comment when I first when in there, "Wow, with all these bright lights focused on the clothes and the loud music, a fire could start in the back, and you'd never know. And you'd be lucky to get out." Well, luckily, no one was hurt, except the poor Sephora store on the level below. The sprinkler system caused water damage to their store too!

Anonymous said...

I went to a Hollister store when I was 2 mos pregnant with my first son... thinking I was a 'hip' new mom and only sorta older than the teens in there... and I needed extra long tank tops that weren't massive maternity ones just yet for California weather. Well, I immediately realized I was 1) WAY older at 29 than the other shoppers at 16... when did that happen? 2) that I must be old because there were NO LIGHTS on in the damn store, seriously, no lights! 3) that I was way bigger than the average size XXS girls that fit into the tiniest stalls I've ever seen in changing room, because at having gained maybe a whopping 4lbs of baby weight at this point, I think I got stuck in the changing room for a good 12 minutes before I was set free by a size XXS 15 year old sales clerk with night-vision goggles.
Sigh.... and I had thought I was going to be such a 'hip' mom. :)

yanknrebel said...

I laughed until I cried with your description of Hollister store. WHile I have a 7 year old daughter and twins age 5, I also have 2 grown kids, a son 24 and a daughter 22. Well my daughter, 22 KNOWS all about Hollister, so I will have to ask her about the store here in Memphis. I have never been there as she is married now and has a child of her own. it is now her responsibility to shop there. Thankfully I have a few years before my other three smaller kids dictate what they want to wear. Oh wait!! My 7 year old already tells me that some of her Gymboree sets "Are not my favorite". So maybe it is not as far away as I think.

Anonymous said...

Hmm...I've always wanted to go to Hollister but my mom would never let me go because it's too "expensive." But now that it's too loud and dark there's another reason why I shouldn't go but I am still going to go someday.

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