I do not simply go into Forever 21 casually. If I’m at the mall with my friends and pass its gleaming displays, but we’re only hanging out for an hour, I keep walking. Forever 21 is the island of lotus-eaters: you wander in innocently and exit after days. When I reach out for that first floral sundress, I am gone. I don’t know who I fucking am anymore. Oh yes, nothing matters except for the long, intense hunt for cute clothes. The cool music, dirt-cheap sales, and infinite racks? All part of the vortex that is Forever 21.
So basically, I put off visiting my favorite store all summer until a couple weeks ago, when I finally had enough motivation and spare time to properly dig in. This was my single shopping spree of the season, and it’s safe to say that I splurged.
My beautiful friend Kay and I enter the store. It’s like I’m squabbling around for ingredients of some massive potpourri as we begin the first sweep. I drape each item over my forearm and scurry around manically, but methodically, through about 75% of the store. As the first sweep begins to end, Kay clutches two dresses. I’m drowning in a mountain of shirts and complaining that malls should have shopping carts.
“How many items?” the staff member asks.
“Like, six?” I say. She counts eight and Kay sniggers.
“Are you really buying that many?” Kay asks me after we try on our selections.
“Of course not,” I said, now holding only three tops. “I’m just really bad at choosing clothes. My success rate is less than 50%, so I need a larger sample.”The second sweep is less frantic. Seeing your reflection wrapped in awkwardly-fitting clothes really dampens a shopping appetite. I finish the last quarter of the store, focusing in on the Sales section, and glance over everything one last time. Thinking ahead to fall and winter, I buy high-waisted pants and a long-sleeve shirt.