There is a classic scene in the final episode of Sex And The City in which Carrie falls on her face in Dior (the store, not the clothes, though it is possible she is wearing Dior, too). She is in Paris, it is raining, she is wearing very high heels, and she slips on the drops of water that have fallen from her umbrella and slides across the floor. It is very, very dramatic and very, very humiliating.
Well, the exact same thing happened to me on my recent overseas trip. Except that I was in Las Vegas, not Paris, and the store was Forever 21, not Dior. Oh, and I wasn’t wearing high heels and it wasn’t raining.
Apart from that, it was exactly the same.
It was the second last day of our trip and my husband had given me twenty minutes to shop on my own. Having been with three children 24/7 for the past two and a half weeks – children who, inexplicably, don’t regard shopping for clothes for me as a valid recreational activity – this was a precious gift indeed. I had to use the time wisely, and decided to spend it at Forever 21.
Forever 21, for those of you who haven’t been to the United States, is very similar to Dior, with just a couple of slight differences. Firstly, everything at Forever 21 is priced below $25, as opposed to above $2,000 at Dior. Secondly, the Forever 21 stores are the size of small cities, instead of the elegant boutiques of Dior.
Forever 21 has a lot of great clothes, hidden between racks and racks of junk. The joy of Forever 21 is that you can browse the shelves for hours, picking out the occasional gems you like, and buy them without so much as a second thought because they’re so ridiculously cheap. I imagine it’s just how Paris Hilton must feel when she’s shopping anywhere. Including Dior.
I wanted to make the most of my twenty minutes leave pass, and so worked as quickly as I could. I rushed from shelf to shelf and rack to rack, searching frantically through the scores of different outfits and grabbing whatever seemed wearable. Eighteen minutes in, and still with two full corners to cover, I noticed a fabulous loose knit top hung high above a display unit.
I couldn’t reach the top, but couldn’t let it go. I’d noticed sales assistants walking around with long, hooked poles with which to remove high garments, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t catch their eye, and I simply didn’t have time to cross the huge store and grab one. So I placed my bag and my armful of clothes on the floor, climbed unsteadily onto the display, and reached for the top.
BAM. Down I fell, smack on my bum, in front of an amused – and slightly appalled – group of customers. And then BAM, down fell half of the display, on top of me and my bag.
It was very, very dramatic and very, very humiliating. Still, like Carrie I managed to reclaim my dignity. I hobbled to the checkout, bought a whole lot of clothes, and limped out to meet my family.
The out-of-reach loose top, though? That stayed in the store. I tried it on and guess what? Turned out it wasn’t so fabulous after all.