Thursday, January 12, 2006

Scenes From a Mall

At the new-and-improved "Grownup" Gap:

They appear in the corner of my eye and I doubt my vision. I look again. But soft! They are not a mirage. BUTTON TAB SHIRTS. I have no idea if that's what they're really called. But that's what I called them, at age 11, when I fell asleep each night fantasizing about owning one in every pastel shade, to tuck into size 1 Chemin de Fer jeans, which would drape over leather-laced Sperry Topsiders, in my fantasy world where I could cram my already capacious hips into cute, stick-figure clothes and I was the queen of my junior high. People, I have seen fads come and go, with varying degrees of incredulity. I was there for the return of mini-skirts and bell-bottoms, and was not amazed. I watched as grown women sported thigh-length kilts and knee socks, and did not blink. I stood by in the '90s as everyone began swishing about in the leopard print faux-fur and rhinestone sunglasses that I like to think I wore first. But readers! Button tab shirts! Cotton, pastel, front-placketed, with sleeves that shout "Long or short? Only you will know for sure!" The entire statement resting on a one-inch strip of fabric that flips up from under the sleeve and fastens to a button about three inches higher! And, Lord love them, I am still sorely tempted, after all these years. I never got my button tabs in sixth grade. People, this could be my big moment.

At Gymboree:

I am flipping through a sale rack of ponchos at bargain prices (but what were they thinking with the ponchos anyway?) when it begins to seep into my consciousness. The song. Oh, the pain of it.

We're gonna have marshmallow soup
Hooray! Hooray!
We're gonna have marshmallow soup
Oh gee! Oh yay!
Marhmallow soup for dinner
Marshmallow soup every day...

A little girl in a pint-sized chair is rocking dementedly from side to side. The chorus builds to a crescendo and fades out briefly as the dueting man and woman suggest additional menu items.

We're gonna have butterscotch sundaes
Hooray! Hooray!
We're gonna have liver and spinach
Hooray! Hooray!

I can't stop myself. I'm doing a little jig and maniacally swinging velour jackets on their hangers. I dosey-do to an imaginary partner. HELP! I flee from the store, but the song follows. It blossoms in my brain as I try to banish it with severe wood furnishings and scented candles. Alas, it is no use. We're gonna have marshmallow soup for dinner.

Hooray, hooray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kid-addled brain...
Get used to it! :)
Best, Gail