January 7, 2013

10 Step Survival Guide To Flagship Tween Stores

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What is the issue?

1. Know your options. Do you have to go? Is there a really cute vest that is sold out online because the price has been drastically marked down? Is the vest so cute that you used the word “cute” to describe it, despite the fact that this is a grand departure from your normal vocabulary? Did you already call and determine that this flagship store/extreme survival challenge course is the only place on the earth you can find this item?

2. Pack sustenance: cans of tuna, peanut butter, and energy gel. You may be waiting on line to get into the store for 2-3 days. In addition you should bring: flares, a sharp knife, a windbreaker, and your wits. Seriously though, don’t skimp on the snacks — a handful of electrolytes could be the difference between success and passing out amongst boyfriend jeans and hand-beaded sleep shorts!

3. The entrance to the store will be guarded by beautiful half-naked models. Do not look directly at them unless you LIKE getting your sleeve caught in revolving doors. If you don’t have both sleeves anymore what is the point of buying this vest at all? Stay sharp — you’re in it for the 70% off vest, not the 50% off humans.

Emily Niland
Emily Niland

4. Once inside, don’t waste time mistaking a funky corporate art poster for the store map. There are no maps here, because this isn’t a place. It isn’t even a location. It’s a living breathing beast that you alone must tame.

5. You will immediately be attacked in the ears by powerful sonic violence called an “in store experience.” That is when you remove your windbreaker. Next wrap it around your upper face so it muffles your hearing like a protective headband. Improvisation is the key to survival.

6. Now that you’ve passed the first test, this will likely anger the flagship tween store. Don’t forget that unlike regular stores, flagship tween retail stores are sentient. You should move quickly through dark — and for some reason damp — environment. Like Mother Nature, the flagship tween store will begin testing your will to exist.

7. You might begin to feel fatigued. Take the time to build a shelter by throwing ten or eleven size medium hoodies over a clothing rack. You can rest underneath it. Using extra-large tween hoodies would be faster if those existed. Another option is to use your knife to cut open some pieces of outerwear that you’ve sewn together with your hair. Remove most of the feather down fill and crawl into the coat carcass for a short nap.

Emily Niland
Emily Niland

8. While the tween flagship store is a ruthless predator, most tweens themselves are pretty docile and intelligent. Some are even so adorable you’ll wish you could keep them as pets! Of course you can’t; this is strictly forbidden by state exotic animal laws and their parents. However, if you encounter any hostile tweens in the wilds of this retail store back away slowly in a zigzag fashion. Distract them by shooting off your flares or flood their phone with text messages.

9. Make sure not to rest for too long. You have to keep moving. Traversing the tween flagship store is perilous, so don’t dawdle. Your body will move slower than usual as it is not used to breathing the oxygen inside of this store because it is covered in provocative signature fragrance. Your lungs will need to adjust to that kind of flirty, fun, casually luxurious, and disturbingly spicy, air. While it’s undeniably confident, effortlessly feminine, and mysteriously sensual, it is also mostly toxic.

10. Once you’ve located the vest you came for, quickly move to the checkout line. The tween flagship store will make its last stand by hiding the cash registers in some kind of canoe, an alternative mailbox, or possibly a quirky phone booth.

Emily Niland
Emily Niland

Steel your determination and go forth to that pile of agrarian wooden crates and buckets concealing the cashier. One you’ve paid — and refused several offers for an edible tween flagship store credit card that is also a hair brush — you’re finished! You conquered the ultimate non-shoppers challenge. Revel in the glory and your new vest that will smell like this store for years despite frequent laundering. TC mark

Laura Jayne Martin

Laura Jayne Martin is a writer living in New York City. Her work has been featured in/on McSweeney’s Internet …

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