I Don't Belong Here.

a humor blog from the trenches of suburbia.

This afternoon before work, Min and the kids and I went to Tyson’s Corner mall. It was the first time I’d left the house in two days. I must have forgotten how to function outside my four walls, because I changed my shirt four times trying to find an outfit acceptable for public.

We exchanged Min’s slippers, which I messed up by getting the wrong size. It was a bad idea to go to the mall today; every other human in the county must have had the same idea, because it was packed.

The line at LL Bean was gigantic, but there were five cashiers, so it moved quickly. Most people were exchanging things, and the store was full of women finding things to spend their store credit on. Their husbands all sat on the couches in the women’s section while they shopped, looking miserable.

The woman ahead of us pushed an orange insulated jacket onto the counter. “I need to return this,” she said. “It makes me look like a pumpkin.” Her face was flushed and round, and her hair was short cropped, her bangs curled right over her eyebrows. I could totally see it. She had a hard enough time avoiding pumpkin comparisons without wearing a puffy orange jacket.

We had lunch at 5 Guys and then, on the way out, stopped at the American Girl store. We don’t have any at home, nor will we ever, but Jo likes looking at all the accessories whenever we go to Tyson’s.

What a miserable store. It’s full of excited girls running around with commerce-fueled adrenaline coursing through them while their fathers stand staring into space, wondering where their lives went wrong and what decisions they made to get them to this place.

I don’t know much about American Girl, but I know they’re expensive. I just never knew HOW expensive they actually are until I walked around the store while Jo played with an American Girl bowling alley — $150.

They had a floral doll dress that cost $35, and then right next to it, an identical dress for a human that cost $40. “Forty?” Min said. “Wow, that’s cheap. Usually they’re 65.”

Other Notes about the American Girl store:

— Joss is the new doll they introduced this year. Her naked body is $98. If you want to clothe her, it’s gonna cost you.

– Names of other dolls: Sage, Kitt, Camila, Ashlyn, Willa, Emerson, Kendall, Paisley. Excuse me while I swallow my vomit.

– Special services the store performs: Hairstyles and braidings – $25; ear piercing – $16

– There’s also a line called “TRULY ME” where you have a bunch of dolls that have variations of characteristics; eye color, hair style, etc. The idea is that you pick a doll that looks exactly like you, so you can play with her but also play with yourself in a sort of meta game of pretend.

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