And Practically Have to Brawl for a Shopping Bag

So last weekend, I generously help my oldest daughter, The Graduate Student in costume construction, celebrate her 26th birthday. Which means escaping The Teens and vacuuming for the day, and pretty much consists of two chicks running around a college town, eating a lot and shopping. Good times, you betcha.

You’d Think I’ve Never Been to an Anthropologie Store

When The Graduate Student says she wants dessert from The Cheesecake Factory, I am on board like fleas on a raccoon, because we don’t have The Cheesecake Factory here.

When she adds there is an Anthropologie store on the way, I go all country mouse in the big city, and squeal, “OMG, we have got to go, because that stuff is all over the fashion blogs, only I’ve never seen a real live person under 30 wearing it.”

And when we get there, I don’t know where to look first. I am totally overstimulated, by the artsy colors, the fabulous construction, and heck yeah, the crazy price tags. But they have a sale room, where customers can step all over each other, shove hard, and then crawl around on their hands and knees among the less popular items from last season that no celebrity wore out in public, hung on practically ground level racks.We happily grovel for our sizes.

Eyes For You Jacket, $39.95

I score a t-shirt and a grandma jacket. Yes, you read that right. It’s a hot fashion trend right now, even though when you were a kid, and your grandmother wore hers to church, you did your best to sit in another pew. Now I know Grandma was channeling Coco Chanel, but back then she was just too darned buttoned up for a kid to relax, and all the Lifesavers in her purse were coconut-flavored and had lint on them.

You can do an awful lot with a single grandma jacket, shooting your sheath dresses, skirts, and yes, even your trouser jeans from Target, up to a whole new level of tailored, chic perfection. I am madly in love with this jacket. (All the inside seams are finished in complementary yellow fabric binding, which is so pretty I may wear it inside out.)

Do Ya Want a Bag with That?

So when I go up to the counter, clutching two sale items that cost less together than most Anthropologie customers spend on one blouse, I’m puzzled when the cashier asks me, “Do you want a bag with your purchase?”

For half a sec, I think they might be giving away free purses, too, but then I realize she is asking me if I want a shopping bag.

I say, “Well, yeah.” (Which comes out like, “Well, duh.”)

And she says, “But can’t you put your purchases in your purse?” She gives my two measly purchases sort of a “wow-these-are-measly-purchases-look,” and then gives my ginormous Vera Wang bag straight off the Kohl’s clearance rack last year an even more pitying look.

Not wishing to be correctly stereotyped as a poverty-stricken working class schmuck, I shoot back, “My purse is full. There is an iPad in here.” (Which is true, but terribly geeky to admit, and frankly, unimpressive to an Anthropologie clerk.)

So she exhales a giant huff, and begrudgingly shoves my measly purchases, including my grandma’s jacket, into an Anthropologie bag.

I am happy, and all is instantly forgiven, although as soon as I exit the store, I ask The Graduate Student why the logo isn’t even on the dang bag.

She looks at me pityingly and says, “Put on your reading glasses, Mom, it’s right there on the side.”

Oh, right, there it is in fine print. You can’t take this country chick anywhere, even if she is channeling Coco Chanel.

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