You know You're Old When....
Another thing I did last weekend was visit an Abercrombie and Fitch store. My friend Kathryn finds them outrageous because of an incident involving a woman with one arm who got a job there and then claimed that she was bullied out of her job. She refuses to let her husband go in, but she went in with me so we could have "a look". I think it was as close as I'll ever get to cheating with a married woman.
Once we had walked through the fake frontage which is designed to make you feel like you are entering an exclusive beach club in the Hamptons you are plunged into a disorienting world where all of your senses are simultaneously assaulted. First it is dark - very dark - nightclub dark. Let's just say that people with cataracts are not welcome. Then there is the blaring music which I (of course) didn't recognise because I am over the age of 21. And there is the smells. Once our eyes had adjusted to the gloom we made out a 14 year old shop assistant who was spraying everything with scent. She welcomed us by using an Americanism like "Hi ya'll" which sounded ill-fitting on her Geordie accent. My fella, who has to hurry past the ground floor of any department store with a hanky over his nose due to allergies, would have not been able to cope.
There were clothes for sale, but on the walls were pictures of young men who weren't wearing any clothes at all. It's like going to a supermarket and seeing pictures of empty plates everywhere.
We lasted about two minutes before it was too much. On the way out another 14 year old said goodbye in American-speak to us. We staggered out, squinting at the light and slightly deaf.
"You do realise that we were the oldest people in there," I said. "The assistants were probably laughing at us and calling us the pensioner couple and saying we smelled of Santogen."
I read today that Abercrombie and Fitch are closing down quite a few of their stores. Perhaps they might want to consider expanding their market to say, people under 25.