“How will I
feel once I get there?” I could hear the fear and concern in my friend’s voice,
and it brought back stinging memories of my first time. She gripped her coffee
mug tighter, and I placed a comforting hand over hers, trying to soften the
blow of the answer that I was about to give her.
Overwhelmed. And broke as f*ck.”
talking about her first trip to Forever 21, of course.
it—if you’re the parent of a teenage girl, you’re going to spend a ridiculous
amount of time in this retail wonderland. You’ll while away hours, maybe days
at a time standing outside the dressing room, or on a hard bench outside the
store. You’ll be asked your opinion on jumpers and crop tops and skinny jeans, and sent to fetch 600 different sizes of short shorts. Over the course
of a few months you’ll spend enough cash within those brightly colored walls to
sustain a small country. Let me tell you, those $12 dresses really add up.
So for the
uninitiated, here are a few pointers for surviving the Forever 21 experience.
The more you know.
Resist the Urge to Shop for
point you’ll be standing among those racks and you’re going to think, “Hey,
these polka dot leggings would look really cute on me!” But why not make a
mental note of it and come back alone in order to avoid embarrassing your kid? I
have to confirm this story, but I hear one teen had a breakdown right there in
the aisle when her mom and the teen’s BFF emerged from the dressing room
wearing the same tankini.
Be Prepared to Wait ... and Wait
50,000 different styles of sundresses in stock and your teen determined
to try on every single one of them, you’re in for a wait. Sometimes they go
into that dressing room and they don’t come out for hours. Days, even. You’ll
be tempted to go in and check on them, maybe take them some rations and a cot,
but don’t—you’ll be sorry when they just ask you to get them a smaller size
in a different color.
That cute bikini might actually be a bandeau top and a pair of teeny Daisy Dukes.
Inspect Your Kid’s Haul Carefully
I know it’s easy to get caught up in the ridiculously low prices, so when your
daughter walks up and hands you 15 pieces of clothing and says, “I’m only
spending $40!” your first inclination is run, sprinting toward the cash
register with your credit card held high. After all, $40 can’t even get you a
pair of Spanx at Bloomingdales! But some of the styles here might not be
appropriate for your kid’s age, so go through it all carefully. That
thigh-length "top" might really be a dress. And that cute bikini might
actually be a bandeau top and a pair of teeny Daisy Dukes. Doesn’t make sense
to spend all that money if you’re only going to throw everything in the "Over
My Dead Body" pile when you get home.
Look Straight Ahead When Standing in
Line for the Cashier
clever folks have made it so that every cashier line snakes through an enticing
display of nail polish, makeup and useless trinkets. Sure, you think you’re
getting off easy by just getting in line with only a $5 miniskirt; but, if you’re
not careful, by the time you get to the cashier you’ll find your arms filled
with several shades of eye shadow, numerous small purses and a nail clipper
that looks like Hello Kitty.
yourself on the back—you made it out alive. Now that the kids are set and
will spend the rest of the day taking selfies in their new clothes, head out
for an evening of unbridled fun and debauchery with your friends. Now you know
why they call it Forever 21.