The wife & I need new clothes. We're embarking on a new life, after all, and all our old clothes are worn out, stained, and/or spindled. So we went to some resale shops yesterday, in search of anything decent. One of the places we went to was called "Gently Worn Teen Styles." That was actually the name of the store. Okay, not actually, but that's what the sign out front says, in big bold Helvetica letters. GENTLY WORN TEEN STYLES. So that's what I call the place. Anyway, we went there and did okay. But then we went to this other store (I forget what it was called, but for now I'll just refer to it as ANNOYING PEOPLE WORK HERE) and struck pay dirt.
Pay dirt comes with a price, though. And in this case, the price was - as you may have guessed - the annoying people working there. They were all in their early twenties, in really tight clothes, and they all had salon-styled haircuts. All of which is fine, of course. But the fact that they were also annoying modified all the descriptors I just laid down, making them annoyingly young, in annoyingly tight clothes, and annoyingly hairstyled.
So basically, it was a cadre of mall scenesters who felt soooooo cool because they work in a resale store instead of a mall and, you know, resale stores are, like, so much more punk rock than the mall. In the same way that navy blue is the new black. Or whatever. So everybody was all attitude and super bitchy about the overall affect of my daughter, who was on ambulatory fire, running around ripping clothes off the hanger and teething on fake Versacci handbags while the Missus was in the fitting room and I was trying on various 1970's-whiteface-era-Dylanesque hats. Because let me tell you people, when I'm up in Iowa, writing my experimental fiction and teaching rhetoric to hungover, cornfed Iowa youth, I want to look like 1970's-era Bob Dylan. Dig?
So anyway, enter a snarky little managerial vixen in uber-tight jeans and a black-dyed Tony Hawk swoop of hair that hung down over her left eye like a crow's wing taped to her eyebrow: "Can you, like, control her?"
"Actually, no. No, I can't do that. But I can put a Great Kabuki choke hold her joie de vivre if she's bothering your scene."
I then noticed her facial stubble and realized that she was a he, which didn't make any difference to me, except that it made me weep for an entire generation, whose idea of edginess and rebellion is designer jeans and spray-on bitchy attitudes of entitlement that were invented in some suburban laboratory somewhere and appear to have leeched into the national water supply. Then again, my daughter was pure mayhem. I guess that makes her the most punk rock chica in the room.