Looking Terrible at Twice the Price

It’s about damn time everyone realized how much Abercrombie & Fitch sucks.

Today, A&F announced sales declining and lower stock prices. The world is blaming this on statements made by CEO, the plastic faced Mike Jeffries, who only wants hot people wearing their clothes, which is why they don’t carry plus sizes.

Well, duh! My weight fluctuates, putting me in a size 6 to 8 depending on season, mood and alcohol consumption level. Regardless of my single digit size, I’ve never been into an Abercrombie & Fitch store. This is for several reasons, and none of them have anything to do with what some overly botoxed asshole says.

Reason one, despite my smaller than average size, nothing makes me feel like a fat cow more than walking past one of their stores. Seriously, they must be carrying negative sizes in there! Usually, I think I look pretty good. But nothing is a kick in my self esteem like walking past a mannequin whose waist is the same diameter as one of my wrists.

Next, their clothes are just plain ugly. Take a look at the below ‘look’ put together by the incredibly discerning fashion staff at A&F.

laundry outfit

For the low, low price of $217, you too can look like you just threw on whatever was laying on your floor. Seriously, this is not an outfit that I would spend $200 on. This is an outfit that I would wear on laundry day, if my maternity sweatpants were dirty.

Also, the smell. Here’s a tip A&F, if I can fucking taste your perfume, you’re wearing too damn much. For some reason, the marketers at A&F decided it was a good idea to spray down every inch of the store with cheap cologne. Every time I walk past the store, I have flashbacks to the time I was dating an Italian guy who thought using Ax Body Spray was an excuse not to shower. Again, I’ve never been into an A&F. This is what I smell when I’m walking past the store at the mall. I can only imagine how bad it is inside.

Next, the sales staff. They all have that creepy, heroin chic look that went out in the 90’s and most of them are half fucking naked! How does it make sense to have a half naked person selling clothes? That’s like having an anorexic chef or a blind eye doctor.

Again, I’ve never been into a store. However, if I did go into one, I imagine my conversation with the sales staff would go something like this.

Essa enters Abercrombie & Fitch and looks around nervously. She is immediately spotted by a 19 year old, shirtless Adonis and backs away towards the door, in case she is about to be shooed away for being too fat to shop.

Blond, Shirtless Adonis: (Tossed his hair and gives Essa a disdainful once over) Can I help you with something today?

Essa: (eyes are fixated on his chest) You’re not wearing a shirt.

Blonde Shirtless Adonis: That is correct. Perhaps I can show you something from our ‘Happening Homeless” collection.

Essa: (still completely unable to look up) Why aren’t you wearing a shirt? There are so many shirts here. Don’t you like them?

Blonde, Shirtless Adonis: It’s store policy.

Essa: (Shakes her head) Sorry, it’s just, usually when I’m confronted with a shirtless male, it’s because I’m slipping a $5 into his G String. (Essa averts her eyes) Can you put something on please? It’s very distracting.

Blonde, Shirtless Adonis: Sorry, but I have to stay this way. Our CEO is afraid that if women actually start paying attention to the clothes they buy here, they’ll realize how shitty they are.

Essa: (nods dumbly. The cologne and shirtless man are starting to get to her. The music is pounding and she’s starting to feel very, very stupid) Good point. I would like to spend a lot of money on something that looks like I got it at Goodwill. Do you guys sell anything like that?

Blonde, Shirtless Adonis: (He gives Essa another disdainful once over) Yes, but I have to warn you, we don’t sell plus sizes.

Abercrombie & Fitch had one thing going for them before this incident. Sensory overload. You would go into the store and be confronted with cloying cologne, loud pumping music, and freakishly beautiful people. With all these things combined, you were numbed enough to buy a piece of shit, torn shirt that cost 40 cents to make and $89.99 to buy.

The CEO made a mistake. Not just because he pissed off the plus sized, who make up the majority of the buying public, but because he shined a spotlight on the terrible clothes. Without the loud pumping music and distracting salespeople, most shoppers are noticing that many of Abercrombie & Fitch’s selections look dangerously similar to the Jacqueline Smith collection at WalMart.

I’ve noticed that for years, because I’ve always been on the outside looking in. But now, everyone else has noticed it as well and its only a matter of time before Abercrombie & Fitch becomes a distant, painful memory.

And I’ll be able to walk through the mall without having a damn allergy attack.


The Pretentious Asshole – A How To Guide

I’ve noticed I have a tendency to pick on the poorer sector in this world. The WalMart shoppers, grocery baggers, ex-cons and the ladies that love them. But I don’t usually make wealthy people a target.

Rest assured, that was an unintentional oversight and not some kind of wealth based bias. In fact, after spending yesterday driving around my middle/upper class community, I feel like I have a special knowledge of a specific type of wealthy individual.

Namely, pretentious assholes.

howells

Have you ever wanted to be one? There are many situations where being a pretentious asshole isn’t just recommended, it’s encouraged. Maybe you’re planning a visit to the British royal family. Maybe you’ll soon be attending a $500 a plate benefit for inner city youths. Maybe you just want to fit in when you shop at Whole Foods. Whatever the reason, anyone can be a pretentious asshole by following a few simple rules.

Essa’s Guide to Being a Pretentious Asshole

Rule #1. Never, under any circumstances, hang up your cell phone. You are the most important person in the world. You need show that by constantly reaching out to the world with the help of AT & T and Bluetooth. While constantly talking on your cell phone, you need to remember a few key points.

  • Talk loudly enough for everyone in the room to hear you. It’s not just important that the person on the other end hear you. Everyone, from the person in line in front of you, to the guy four aisles over at the store, needs to be able to hear every single word of your conversation.
  • Be sure to cut people off when driving, so they will also notice that you’re talking on your cell phone.
  • Take several calls at once and put people on hold. At any time, you should have at least 5 people waiting in your call waiting queue.

Rule #2. Be rude to any service person you encounter. The waiters at Red Lobster and the cashiers at 7-11 need to understand what a chore it is for you to lower yourself to talking to them. When forced to wait even a few seconds, make sure you sigh loudly and check your watch several times. A ‘do you know who I am?’ or ‘I’m good friends with the mayor’ is a great way to ensure you get priority service.

Rule #3. If you have an impressive profession, try to find a way to squeeze it in to any conversation.

Wrong;

Yes, I need to purchase some stamps.

Right;

I need to purchase some stamps so I can have my legal secretary at my law office mail letters to my law clients. I really shouldn’t have to do this at all, because I’m a lawyer, and this really is my assistant’s job. But I was going out anyway, on my way to a lawyer’s mediation. Did I mention I’m a lawyer?

Also, if you have a PhD in anything, even if it is a PhD in Origami Folding from the University of Nigeria, you need to make sure people address you as Doctor. When they fail to, correct them in the most patronizing way possible. “No, young man, it’s Doctor Smith. Doctor, understand? Doctor Smith, repeat it with me…Doctor Smith.”

Rule # 4. Develop a very slight English accent. Even if you’re from Mudwater, Mississippi, people should always get the impression that you’re actually from Kent or Cheshire. If you’re not sure how to do it, try talking through your nose. You’ll get there.

If you want to be a pretentious asshole, it’s pretty easy. The main thing you need to remember is that you are the most important person in the world and no one else matters. Soon, you too will have strangers gazing at you in open admiration as they exclaim “what a pretentious asshole!”

What a pretentious asshole indeed.


Holiday Thoughts, Stripper Glitter and What’s to Come

Every year around this time, I have a holiday tradition that I like to take part in. I like to wait until the last minute to go Christmas shopping because I am both cheap and disorganized. So every year,with only days left until Christmas, I take my son and I go shopping for my mother.

For those who don’t know, she’s a New Hampshire/Florida snowbird and for six months out of the year, she lives with me. She is the reason that I get mail from AARP and the scooter store. She and my dog have a lot in common. They’re both little, they both fall asleep several times a day, and they’re both fascinated with squirrels.

Anywho, I never know what to get her. She always asks for the crappiest presents.

Mom: Oh, you know what I need? Some more Borax.
Me: Mom, Borax isn’t a present.
Mom:  You sure?
Me: Yup.
Mom: Ok, I’ll think of another one then. (Tilts her head.) You know we’re running low on milk.
Me: (physically painful eyeroll) Gift card it is.

I mean Jesus. So every year, I drag my son to the mall and we do some seriously disorganized, half-hearted shopping. It’s hard to shop for the kind of person who thinks a grocery list qualifies as a present list. Logan and I always focus on two things. We get her a box of chocolates (that we are sure to eat on her behalf a few days after she opens them) and we get her lotion. We go to the Bath & Body works store where I drop $50 on some candles that say things like “Fresh Cotton”, but really smell like “Hippy Van”.

And I get some stripper glitter.

That’s a yearly tradition too. See, my white trash roots refuse me to turn down anything with glitter. So, for the month of January, 2013, I will be covered in a layer of stripper glitter that will be blinding to look at. No joke, I will be visible from space. It won’t fade until I stop caring about my looks again. That happens several times during the year. I fade into a haggard, sweatpants wearing beast of a thing. I consider it my cocoon period. I’m only resting until its time to burst out of my shell as a beautiful butterfly.

Covered in stripper glitter.

I’m looking forward to January. Not just because New Years Eve will be a place to wear my new stripper glitter, but because I know 2013 is going to be a good year. It’s the make it or break it period for me and I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it.

If so, you’re all invited to my strippers and coke party. Dress as your favorite literary figure for $5 off the cover. Date TBD. I’ll be the girl covered in stripper glitter.


How to Shop in The Grocery Store Without Being a Complete Prick

So today, after we finally had so little food left that my son got the delightful experience of eating chocolate pie for breakfast, I finally broke down and went grocery shopping.

I generally hate grocery shopping. As a mater of rule, I am an incredibly disorganized person. Because of this, I never make a list. I simply zip through the isles in no particular order, tossing things into my cart at random. Honestly, it’s always been a pretty decent system. I’ve discovered all kinds of new and interesting products, like jalapeño flavored Pringles and Depends (way better than tampons, once you get used to the bulkiness).

Anyway, today I ran into some issues while grocery shopping that could easily be fixed if people just adhered to a few simple rules.

  1. If your kid is an asshole, leave him in the car. Listen, I understand. Your little brat isn’t hyperactive because of anything you did wrong. He just has ADD, or ADHD or ADHD with a shot of PCP. Regardless of his medical disability, if he’s racing around the store, breaking shit and treating it like it’s his god damn playground, he is not yet fit to be around normal people. May I suggest electroshock therapy instead of Ritalin?
  2.  Grocery shopping is not a social experience. If you want to stop and chat with your friends, do it somewhere else. Not in the middle of the damn isle. Yeah, it’s super awesome that your 8 best friend showed up at Publix at the same time as you. Now move on to somewhere else to discuss this amazing fucking coincidence, and get out of the way of the Hamburger Helper.
  3. Unless you are a surgeon coaching someone through open heart surgery, get off your god damn cell phone. If you really need to conference in four of your friends to tell you if you should buy pinto beans or kidney beans, your not ready from grocery shopping yet. Come back when you’ve gotten your borderline personality disorder under control, and can make your own damn decisions.
  4. Lets make this clear right now. No, you may not cut in front of me. Seriously, who even asks this? WTF is wrong with people? I don’t care if you have one item or 47. I got here first and I have popsicles melting.
  5. Men twice my age, half my age, triple my weight or more than 4% alcohol by volume; I don’t care what the magazine tells you. The grocery store is NOT a great place to pick up chicks. We’re stressed out, trying to remember what we need and worrying that we left the stove on at home. We don’t need your lame ass attempts at flirtation to distract us further. This isn’t a night club. It’s a fucking war zone and the rule here is every man for himself. That means I will not hesitate to punch you in the throat if you get in the way of the peanut butter again.

If everyone would take note, I’d really appreciate it. Now, if your excuse me, I have to go unpack my mango, banana canned chicken livers…I’m almost positive we needed those for some reason.


A Very Sexy Halloween

I have been invited to a costume party. I will tell all of you straight off, costume parties just aren’t my thing. The last costume party I went to was a dismal failure. It was a theme party. The theme? Dress as your favorite historical figure. My friend Karen went as Mary Antoinette. My ex went as Earnest Hemingway.

I went as a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Most didn’t get the joke.

Anyway, as I am apparently the only girl on the planet who doesn’t use Halloween as an excuse to dress like a prostitute, I find costume shopping incredibly frustrating. Every women’s costume is required by law to have the word ‘sexy’ before it. Sexy angel, sexy devil, sexy witch, sexy … zombie? Are you fucking kidding me?

When I was a kid, my costume was always comprised of one thing. A cardboard box. See, we didn’t have a lot of money, but both my brother and my mother are pretty artistically gifted. So, whatever they could make a box into, that’s what I was. I was a dice, an alien, a television and one year when they got particularly creative, a box of popcorn. None of those costumes required the use of garters or fishnet panty hose.

But now that I am an adult, apparently, the cardboard box costumes of the past are no longer an option. So I headed over to one of the ‘Spirit of Halloween’s’ that pop up every year this time of year. The following is an actual transcript of what happened there.

Me: Hmmmm, (rustling through a rack of costumes). Sexy pumpkin? Sexy librarian? Sexy cop? Sexy chicken? Oh, look! This one comes with its own tube of anal bleach. (eye roll)

Helpful Sales Clerk: Can I help you with something?

Me: Yeah, where do you keep the regular costumes?

Helpful Sales Clerk: (clearly perplexed) Regular costumes?

Me: Well, yes. Apparently, I wandered into the section reserved for call girls whose clients have very erotic tastes, as all these outfits either display my breasts and/or vagina. Do you have anything that doesn’t prominently feature my clit?

Helpful Sales Clerk: (still clearly confused) Hmmm? Well, you could go as a pizza delivery girl. (she holds up an outfit the approximate size of a napkin).

Me: That’s just a bikini and a hat that says “Domino’s” on it.

Helpful Sales Clerk: It’s actually more of a sports bra with some lycra boy shorts. (she excitedly holds up a tube) It also includes anal bleach!

Me: I hate you.

Seriously, dudes get some pretty cool costumes. They get Batman, Spider man, Michael Myers. Hell, they can even be a keg of beer with the tap strategically placed over their penis! Hilarious! Me? I get a god damn lycra thong and nipple tassels. I picture the designers of these costumes as a large group of teenage boys with too much time on their hands.

Anyway, looks like just like in the good old days, I’m going to have to make my costume. So I am off to find a cardboard box and trying to come up with a good idea.

I’m thinking I’ll go as a sexy cardboard box. Thank god I have the anal bleach for it!


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