My younger sister Hayley has never failed to tell it like it is.
Case in point, a shopping trip earlier this evening.
I’m in Seattle for work this week, which means at least one or two major shopping trips with the sister in my free time. Living in Smalltown, Minnesota has its perks — but a variety of high fashion retailers certainly isn’t one of them. Returning to the Emerald City always includes devout pilgrimages to Lululemon, Antrhopologie, Free People, and the Holy Grail of all things retail, Nordstrom.
Tonight, I decided to add Madewell to the mandatory list of merchandisers.
You guys. Madewell.
That place is nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Sure, I’d been inside a couple of times before. I’ve also been known to stalk their cable knit sweaters online, never being fully able to commit to the $110 price point. But tonight? Tonight I dared to venture to a place I had never been before.
The dressing room.
With the passing of each year, my choices in fashion become less and less interesting. At twenty-two, a Tuesday morning would warrant a mini skirt, patterned blouse, and bejeweled wedges that perfectly matched one of the half-dozen purses in that month’s handbag rotation. Today I’m much more likely to gravitate towards skinny jeans, a soft t-shirt, and a comfy pair of boots or flats. As far as purses go, I (gasp!) carry the same one every day.
(Twenty-two-year-old Katrina would be rolling over in her
grave pink Gerbera daisy bedding at such a thought.)
Needless to say, I brought a few classic t-shirts with me into the Madewell dressing room. The verdict? Let’s just say it was love at first try-on. The fit, the feel, the fabric…I suddently realized the logic behind spending $45 on a plain grey tee.
Which is precisely how I found myself at the front counter, prepared to purchase $300 worth of t-shirts.
Uh…what a bargain?
(Insert my sister, rolling her eyes.)
As I stepped up to the register, I couldn’t help but notice a sign advertising a 15% discount for anyone who presented a student ID. My mind instantly went to the furthest corner of my wallet, where my graduate school identification card was safely tucked away. Sure, it bore my maiden name, was six years old and features a photograph of girl with hardly any wrinkles…but absolutely nowhere on that card does it show the year of issue.
I don’t want to actually admit to what happened next…but I’m pretty sure you can use your imagination.
As I exited the store, my shopping bags overflowing with the most glorious t-shirts ever known to man, Hayley confronted me.
Hayley: Did you just use your student ID to get that 15% discount?
Me: Yeah…I figured if I was purchasing $300 of t-shirts my bank account deserved a little bit of a break.
Hayley: I feel like the fact that you just purchased $300 of t-shirts makes it extremely obvious that you are not in fact a college student.
Me: Hey…they didn’t question it.
Hayley: I suppose they may have assumed you were a young, spoiled freshman using daddy’s credit card.
Me: Yeah…although I think if I’m being honest with myself, I look a little too rough to be mistaken for an 18-year-old freshman.
Hayley: True. You also look a little too rough to be one of those girls who goes shopping with their rich boyfriend’s AMEX.
Under normal circumstances I would have been upset by this glimmer of sisterly honesty…but I think we can all agree that I kind of deserved it.
(I think we can also agree that I should never get rid of my un-dated Syracuse University ID card. I mean…you never know when you’re going to need some new t-shirts!)