Clothes are a woman’s second skin. For many girls, it does not matter if we are pro-life or hanging out at our local Planned Parenthood passing out the morning after pill- we like to look good. Hillary and her sisterhood of traveling pantsuits. Sarah Palin sporting a sassy pair of heels during her VP debate against Joe Biden (those heels looked good buried in his ass by the way). Michelle Malkin, always the stylish conservative. So I am told, Condi Rice has a shoe collection to die for. And there is Michelle Obama who mixes organic arugula and J. Crew sensibility with liberal platitudes and $500 Lanvin tennis shoes.
The point I am making is that women like to shop. Clothes are clothes right? Vegans and environmentalists aside, you don’t have to be a stark raving libertarian to appreciate a beautiful women Bottega Veneta classic brown leather bag.
When it comes to shopping, girls check their political differences at the fitting room door.
Or so I thought.
On a recent visit to Manhattan, I made a stop at one of my favorite and most physically debilitating stores- Century 21. I was in pursuit of off season designer bargains. What I got instead was a nose full of dust and pathogens- possibly from the British tourists that sneezed in my face and a bruised shoulder.
The best thing about Century 21 is its endless plethora of cool stuff from clothes, to handbags, lingerie, hats, hosiery. The worse thing about Century 21 is its uncanny ability to demonstrate the worst behavior demonstrated by women since Seinfield’s Elaine had a meltdown over the Today Sponge.
To see women in our most primitive state, simply walk into the Century 21 on Cortlandt Street in NYC. The best seats in the house are on the third floor where the high end designer stuff lies in waiting to be grabbed, snagged, and bagged.
Because I have not lived in New York since 2007, I had to proceed carefully. Not that Chicago women lack the tenacity of New York’s top shopping barracudas. It is just that we tend not to kick a fellow woman’s ass over a once heavily sequined Dolce and Gabanna thong that has been tried on by hundreds of fat sweaty tourists. Chicago women reserve their energy for deflecting random bullets from drive by shootings and grabby corrupt politicians. After all, what good is a sequined thong in the dead of a Midwestern winter when the coroner must peel it off your rigor mortissed ass for any evidence of sexual assault? What a waste. Jockey cotton thongs are more practical and mass produced just for girls like us. Having said that, I now found my Jockey strapped butt in Century 21 after a two year absence.
Afrocity was somewhat afraid that she lost her bitchy spidey senses. However this was put to rest once I hit some Russian speaking woman in the face with my big shopping bag with the sharp corners…by accident of course. Somehow I just lose all sense of balance when I am standing next to a person that shoves all of the clothes on a rack to one side…WHILE I AM STILL LOOKING AT THEM. Sounds of screeching hangers give me the willies. I can’t be responsible for stomping my foot on the back of that white Chanel gown you meant to try on later and possibly wear tonight…Yes TONIGHT.
…So many clothes so little time and money. Speaking of money, the sound of foreign language in the store expressed one of my concerns about the declining American dollar. The Euro shoppers were clobbering us Betsy Ross dwellers. Every time I picked up something I liked , I had to look at the price tag first, subtract it from my checking account, and decided if I loved the item enough to starve to death until payday and use substandard non clumping cat litter. My kitties do not dig Johnny Cat no matter how cool their owner looks in the Jil Sander blouse. Afrocity for the sake of your cats, put the blouse down and walk away.
Within an hour, I was exhausted and walking around in circles with the same tunic and skinny jeans in my arms. Once I determined that my time was more valuable than clawing my way though piles of clothes arranged on the floor and atop the heads of stroller bound toddlers, my exit strategy went into effect. Try on, pay up and get out. However, I was about to have my hopes of an easy out dashed when the sound of quibbling stopped me dead in my tired from high heeled sandals foot tracks.
“Fuck you Bitch!” a very tall black women yelled at an Indian woman.
The Indian woman was with a girl who was possibly her daughter.
The site of the conflict was a pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans on sale for $10.99.
Let’s remember that the desires and motives of a fashionista goes beyond race, ethnicity or political ideology.
“You better take your hands off my fuckin’ jeans before you need a mosque up in this bitch.”
Laughter erupted from a small group of Southern tourists. I could tell they were from the South due to their accents and proclivity to grab all of the Lily Pulitzer items they could find. The “Arizona Rocks” tee shirt one was wearing was a dead give away that they were NOT LIBERALS. Which in New York City is a sin.
Eyes rolled at the Southern Belles. Oh shit. I feel a plane incoming.
I will pause from the action for a moment to mention that Century 21 is very close to Ground Zero in a number of ways in terms of both proximity and symbolically. Some of fashions greatest “final sale wars” have been fought here. Women have morally died on this sacred shopping ground. Strangely once you depart the store and step outside, Ground Zero is starring you in the face.
Century 21 store in Manhattan, near Ground Zero.
Mirroring the current debate over the building of a mosque near ground zero has nothing to do with fashion but in this case, the lust over a pair of jeans somehow was transformed into a political insult. Before I could say Tandoori Chicken and Junior’s Cheesecake, fuzz began to fly as the women grabbed at the jeans back and forth in a tug of war. Where is Solomon when you need him? Threaten to cut the damn jeans in half and see who loves them more.
“Don’t bring the mosque into it,” said a voice. My eyes scanned the clothing racks and it was some dowdy “I am waiting for my teenage kid to try on everything in this store type” -a back to school shopping causality among the Marc Jacobs new fall arrival section.
I gave her a mean look but somehow that did not register with the brawl groupie because she continued to say stupid things. “Who let in the Tea Party pro-life racists Sarah Palin’s over there?” the woman said gesturing towards the once laughing southerners.
And therein lies my problem with liberal women. The root of all evil begins and ends with Sarah Palin. The root of all conflict begins and ends with abortion. Make accusations and name call first, ask questions never.
Protect federal funds for education??? Can you say school vouchers?
Can someone explain to me why every so called feminist attempt to bring down Sarah Palin results in a murder-suicide for all womankind? Liberal women shoot Sarah Palin and conservative women. Liberal women in turn make all women look stupid and catty thus murdering our potential for political strength. Men will divide and conquer- always. Hillary Clinton’s race against Obama proved this. Sure some women were mad and did not like Obama as the presidential nominee but what happened? Katy Couric, the MSM used women against women. Sarah Palin, the liberal deemed CUNT was used to scare women back into the arms of Obama.
As women we all have vaginae ..right? That does not mean that we always have to agree on everything.
Anyway, the southern women may have been liberals who voted Obama yet their laughter over the mosque comment and Arizona Rocks tee shirt excluded them from any inclusion in the feminists girls club. You are like Sarah- the Mama grizzly Grinch who stole healthcare, mosques, abortion, and anything else that liberal feminists apparently stand for. Meanwhile the men stand around and watch our political cat fights. Laughing at us, laugh fight, demean and tear down each other.
Perhaps a birth control pill flavored smoothie is appropriate at this time. Stop the fighting. Feel the love and restricted reproduction. But alas, before we could break out the blender and soy milk, a male store manager arrived on the scene to pull the women apart.
Afrocity took one look at the line for the fitting room and sighed. Off went her clothes right in the middle of the store. Yep, I tried on the jeans in public. The mirror-less fitting room. This was my tiny contribution towards the dying sad sound of a woman’s dignity. Cellulite beginnings and all, Afrocity squeezed into the 29 waist skinny jeans only to feel like a sardine marinated in patriarchal snake oil. Fuck this.
I threw down the jeans and tunic, running down the escalator to my sanity, guarding the contents of my checking account like a momma grizzly bear. I will not spend one conservative dime in this feminist burial ground zero.
Autographed Letter Signed,