Trifecta at the Mall

There was a time when I loved the mall. Really loved it.

The problem is, this particular time in my life was about thirty years ago.

The mall has changed.

My daughter needed a few things last weekend: a pair of jeans, a birthday present for a friend, and a pair of shoes. Simple enough, I thought…we’ll just hit the mall.

First stop?


Where hard-earned money goes to die.

There are more types of makeup, brushes and facial cleansers in this store than there are ugly polyester pants at Sears. Products I’ve never even heard of before.

Clearly I am not their target market, with my Maybelline mascara and Wet and Wild concealer. The salesperson who dared to come up behind me and ask, “Have you ever used the BeneTint before?” was visibly shaken when I turned around and displayed my late-forties, barely-made-up face. She quickly made a beeline for the trophy wife who just entered the store.

Next stop?

Abercrombie & Fitch

Or my new name for it, Pornography & Fitch.

There are two Abercrombie stores at our mall: the kid one, and the adult one. This was one of the only times I have set foot into the adult store, and I was immediately attacked with display ad images I wanted to cover with my coat.

The worst offender was a full-sized perfume ad that showed a completely naked dude from the side (all the way down to his knees) against the back of a topless chick in the process of pulling off her jeans. Seriously, is the perfume that crappy that they need the porn to sell it? If I had those images on my computer, they would be considered porn. But life-sized in a store that caters to the 13 – 22 year old crowd, it’s fine. I am no prude by any means, but it really bothered me that my daughter would see that and think it was OK.

And don’t get me started on the lace shorts that looked suspiciously like underwear, but were being marketed as shorts. Um, no.

And for our third stop?


Also known as Life’s a Beach Every Stinkin’ Day of the Year in Here.

I’ve become a semi-regular at Hollister these past two years, now that my daughter is old enough to wear their clothes. I pretend to look at the cute sweaters and tanks, but it’s quite obvious to the staff I am only there to provide the credit card once the cute clothes are chosen.

I try and fade into the background, but one time this tactic resulted in me being squirted with that hideous fragrance they spray on the clothes. Yes, they spray it directly onto the clothes…I’ve seen them. The vibe in Hollister is so beachy I’m tempted to bring my towel and take a nap next time we shop.

I am never asked if I’m finding everything OK in Hollister because it’s painfully obvious I’m not the one doing the finding.

And their friendly greeting when you come in, “Hey, how’s it goin’?” is painful to respond to. I decided next time I will say, “Well, it’s goin’ pretty good except for that bunion I just had removed and the unexplained heartburn and gas I’ve been experiencing.”


I suppose the proper payback would be to drag my daughter to Chicos? Pretty sure they don’t have any soft porn ad campaigns.



  1. Yeah. About 5 yrs ago I promised myself no A & F.

    They’re pigs.

    No understatement, either. And a friend’s daughter told me — who used to work there –that the management had instructed all employees to “hit” on hot teens to apply to work there. And that IF a lesser in attractiveness person asked for a job application, they were instructed to tell that less attractive person that they were not accepting employment applications at that time.

    true story.

    How’s that for the dirt on A & F?

  2. I’m shuddering just thinking about this! I don’t understand the naked people thing at A&F…and the loud club music? What exactly goes on in that store? Hopefully they go out of business before Riley is old enough…

  3. Oh Sherri! Getting older just sux doesn’t it. Then again, being older I can afford to.sacrifice my money to the sephora god. And I do – so ha.

  4. OMG Hilarious!! My sister calls A & F the Sex Store and gives me hard time because my oldest two boys shop there. But, don’t worry…b’cuz my oldest has a nice figure however he has meaty thighs and a jLo butt so their slim fit/cut stuff won’t fit for long.

    I just wish they would turn down the #*$( music!! It is so incredibly loud in there I can’t find my money.

  5. Wow, my daughter is still young enough to be totally excited when I take her shopping at Kohl’s. I am not looking forward to her teen years.

  6. I stay away from them all. I typically can’t stand the loud music. It’s like I am 130 years old, not 30. Hehe.

  7. I’ve been worried for years that I’m too old to wear Cover Girl make-up.

    But they don’t make Cover Mom yet.
    Or Cover Middle-Aged Lady. (Cringe.)

    So. I steer clear of Sephora.
    And the mall in general.

    But my daughter’s twelve.
    I fear my days are numbered…

  8. Give me a Target any day!

  9. Wait. They sell clothes at A&F? Ooooh, OK. Because, when I went, there was a bouncer (no joke) outside, a velvet rope with a line of teens, music blasting and not enough light to see what the merchandise actually was.

    Yes, I believe an advance copy of my AARP card arrived later that day.

  10. I have vowed that I will never buy anything from abrocrmbie and fitch, after I saw they were marketing push up bikini tops to ten year olds. I honestly think the people in charge there are pedophiles, or just really bad people! Yuck!

  11. Ugh. None of this sounds like a good idea at all. Can someone send my kids the memo, please?

    (Also? “Where hard earned money goes to die.” Genius.)

  12. Aside from the horribly loud music and the fact that I need a clothespin on my nose to keep out the really really bad smells (not only the the smells of their bad cologne but also teenage rejection) I just can’t get my head around spending $90.00 for a sweater with A&F in big bold sewn on letters that looks as if it’s been through the wash and worn by a teenager the last year. I prefer my clothing logoless thankyouverymuch. Thank goodness there is an H&M in our mall 😀

  13. I’m with Katie, praying they go out of business before I have to go in with my little ones. Luckily Ashlyn isn’t to into fashion. Although if I could get a tan from heading in Hollister I would totally go.

  14. I hate A&F. Seriously, it’s wrong. Just wrong.

    I’m now terrified. Thanks.

  15. Ok so I just barley out of their age-market reach and I HATE THEM, ALL OF THEM. I literally get nauseous when I pass their stores because of all their perfume.

  16. Again good luck at the audition. This is exactly how I feel about malls. Where I live NY/NJ there are half naked models that stand outside Pornography and Fitch. It makes me want to sew my own clothes! My friend below blogged about her Mall experience. Thought you might like. Now following.

  17. Gah. I despise porno and fitch. I even switch sides of the mall so I don’t have to walk directly past it. Despise.

  18. I am not a fan of the mall either or really shopping of any kind.

    Oh, and I will never step foot in a Pornography & Fitch.


  19. I totally buy Mary Kay makeup from a friend. Then I never have to be seen being confused in any store.

    And the mall? ew. I only go to Old Navy, Macy’s, and new York and Company because I can get work appropriate clothes at those stores and NOT run into my students. And they are all on the same end of the mall, so I don’t have to be assaulted with loud music, too much perfume, and porn on the walls.

    Although truth be told, if I can get it at the Gap Outlet by my house? That is where I am.

    And I used to LOVE the mall too.

    ::shakes cane at mall and the young whipper snappers in it::

  20. I know I’m officially an old fart when I scowl as I pass A&F at the mall (and I still love the mall!). I’d be in there yelling at them to turn down that loud music, for one thing. I wouldn’t dare take my young kids in with me for fear they’d be at eye level with a glistening nipple as big as their heads. And don’t get me started on the olfactory nightmare that they must spray out of the HVAC vents in there *gag*.

    Where did I leave my walker, anyway?

  21. Pssssst…I like Chicos! The clothes actually cover up the jiggly parts. Of course they have their share of old lady wildly patterned garb, but if you are choosy there is some decent stuff!

    Every time I walk by Hollister I am overwhelmed by the teenage boy smelling cologne and want to pass out!

  22. Oh wow…one of my posts a couple weeks ago was the result of a shopping trip with my daughter. It is entitled “I Don’t Wear the Mrs. Roper Look Very Well.” I was shopping for myself and ended up mentally scarred. After 40, shopping isn’t for the weak.

  23. I stumbled upon your blog after starting to follow you on Twitter, and this is the first post I read, because, of course, it deals with the mall. I, too, am a 40-something mom with a just turned 16 and an about to turn 18 in the house.

    I hate the mall, as a retail general rule. I do some photography for the mall, and I don’t hate them, then, but I dread every time I have to walk into American Eagle or any of the other stores that carry clothes that I MIGHT be able to get one arm into.

    It was SO nice to read your blog, and the replies, because I now know that I am not alone in my discomfort. I’m too young to be old, but too old to be young. Must be why they all it, “Middle Age,” huh?