Today, I had an interesting experience. I had to go to the mecca of teen coolness, Abercrombie & Fitch. Our son got a pair of pants from there for xmas, and I needed to finally get them exchanged. It's one of those stores where everyone who works there is cooler, younger and better looking than you are. And the lighting is low and artistic. The music is loud, and bad.
The sales clerk looked at me like I was from Mars. And it took me 20 minutes to find something that our son would wear -- he does not like brand names splashed across his chest, or his ass, which limited the selection by a lot. I finally found a pair of pre-washed jeans in his size. For almost $80. No, that's not a typo. I ended up having to kick in $10 to effect the exchange.
And then they put my purchase in a store branded bag. If you haven't seen these, they are less than inconspicuous. The bag is a black and white photo of a chiselled, hairless, muscular young man's chest and groin. His pants are low enough in the photo that they had to airbrush out his pubes, and an inch more of photo would have been illegal. And I had to walk through the mall carrying this bag.
I felt like a pedophile, or a cougar. Who does this appeal to? My son would be mortified to be given a bag like that, and lots of teen boys shop there. And no, they didn't have a similar bag with an airbrushed young woman on the front.
I have rarely felt so like a dinosaur.