essays

Speed Up the Aging Process at H&M

H&M windowIf you wanted to age yourself five years, which I know is an absolutely insane concept, you couldn’t do it any more efficiently than to stand in an H&M clothing store while your wife tries on sundresses.

Standing in a forest of candy colored lingerie just off the dressing room area, you can survey the sights and sounds of youth culture, but you don’t get any younger by watching it. Quite the opposite. Every five minutes you’re there, you age one more year.

Upscaled lingerie stores are very pleasant places for baby boomers to hang while their significants purchase something they hope they will get to see again very soon. The H&M lingerie department, on the other hand, H&M lingerielooks like someone spilled out hundreds of those silly heart candies they give out for Valentines Day. It almost looks edible – who knows – maybe it is. As far as the eye can see there are orange day glow, lime green, Barney purple, and Spider Man red bras and panties. It makes sense when you think about it. The 18 to 24 demographic sports underwear that is visible more often than not, so it might as well be colorful.

Walking into the dressing area to see if wife was making any progress, I soon realize that everyone that works at H&M is speaking a language unique from my own. There are a few English words that pop out every now and then, but mostly it’s some sort of rapid fire patois that H&M windowremains a mystery even if you try really hard to decipher it.

A parade of customers streams in and out of the dressing rooms and it doesn’t take long to notice that very very short dresses or very very tight pants can be worn by anyone. It doesn’t matter for example, if you are on the --  let’s call it chunky side, you can still wear pants that are so tight they reveal not only the camel toe but the humps and the back molars as well.

Do any of these revelations themselves make you feel older in an H&M store? Amazed? Yes. Behind the times? Yes. But old? That doesn’t happen until you accidentally see yourself standing there in one of the gigantic mirrors. There’s a guy there with gray hair and his gut is a little bigger than he remembers it. And maybe going out in those shorts was not a good idea. Before you know it, you’re five years older and looking for the exit. What were you thinking going in there in the first place? You might as well expose yourself to spent fuel rods!

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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