So you know that scene in the more recent version of The Women where Sylvia (Annette Bening) chastises Edie’s (Debra Messing) daughter for stridently declaring that she hates Saks 5th Avenue in the throws a of a adolescent outburst? In case you missed out, here’s a quick recap:
Edie’s 5-year-old (or so) daughter is visibly bored while following her mother and two other ladies through the handbag department. Her request to purchase what appears to be a lovely Jimmy Choo purse is brutally rebuffed…well not so brutal…but I could commiserate with the kid. Anyhow, upon the slighting of her appeal, she shouts (with due cause, I think), “I hate this store!” Sylvia coolly turns, bends down to meet the girl’s eyes, and calmly states, “Nobody hates Saks.” An important lesson every girl must learn.
Equally important is this lesson: “Many cannot afford Saks.” Present company included. Marital budgeting has only fostered Saks’ illustrious, unattainable ranks in my eyes. While I was not racking up credit card debt in my single days and did maintain a respectable savings account, I rarely turned down the opportunity to purchase a “reasonably” priced item from Saks. Or Nordstrom’s. Or Macy’s. Or (and this one is my personal favorite) Neiman Marcus! Did you see a ray of light burst through the clouds accompanied by angels singing right when I said Neiman Marcus? Yeah, it’s that good. It’s beginning to make sense why God moved me to Bryan/College Station after getting married; He was removing insurmountable temptation. No Saks, Nordstrom, or (sniff) Neiman’s around here. But the Lord gives and takes away, and as reparation for the Great Neiman’s Loss of 2009, He ensured that I was equipped with a very large Forever 21. I have had to learn to say the following phrase without dropping my head in shame: “I am, in fact, a bit older than 21, (a bit! a bit!) and I imagine that I’ll only continue to grow older than 21, but I don’t foresee a future in which I do not shop at Forever 21. Hence the ‘Forever’, right?” Along with the whole “not being 21” thing, I’ve also begun to realize that the bottom half of my body will most likely continue to grow larger than the pants and skirts available at Forever 21…not that it necessarily fit well when I was 21…those things are SMALL!
Regardless of these two strikes against the seemingly adolescent store, it does offer an array of fashion forward clothes at a super reasonable price. Granted, the price often reflects the quality, but I’ll admit to still owning a few shirts and sweaters from the store that are a couple of years old now and don’t appear to be weathered. In fact, I’ve managed to find a few pieces that actually look tailored. Here’s the thing: if you’re looking for a simple, cute cotton sweater and you can buy it for $10 at one store or $40 at another…I’m no mathematician or accountant here, but I’m going with $10. I’m not encouraging those of us over 21 to supply an entire wardrobe with selections from Forever 21. Please, don’t. We all need to invest in quality pieces such as jeans, trousers, coats, and so on that will stand the test of time. If at the last minute, though, you find yourself in desperate need of a party top, statement accessory, or staple sweater, I wouldn’t discourage you from checking out Forever 21. You’ll probably bump into me there as I'm sorting throuth the piles of "merchandised" clothing searching for this...