When I’m walking home from work, I run into Adrienne, a girl I know from way back. I’d just texted my housemate, Liza, to see if she wants to go to Salvo. She’s into stealing from the store in the stalls, but I’m not really into swiping used clothing. Something about Salvo creeps me out, maybe that a lot of the clothing is from people who died and had unsuccessful estate sales. The other thing is that most of the staff is comprised of ex-cons and people straight out of ‘hab who have to work minimum wage positions in the stores.
Adrienne’s got her hair in a low bun and is fresh from an interview. She looks pretty but distracted. Stressed, definitely stressed. I’m going to a party at her house and she tells me that she’s going to Urban to get something for it. I tell her I’d like to go even though I’d texted Liza to hit up Salvo. I hate Urban because it’s vintage for lazy people, but I am also guilty of being the kind of person who openly despises it yet secretly shops there. And the company’s stock just plummeted this quarter.
The only problem is that I always run into someone I know at Urban. I won’t tell if you won’t tell.
“I’m going to the ten dollar rack,” Adrienne says.
“Right on,” I tell her. “That’s my budget.”
“Well, you can afford it,” she laughs. She always laughs when she’s digging at you. Come on, I think, I like you.
“Um, sort of,” I hold up a sweater with a scoop neck that’s supposed to look like someone hacked out the neckline with scissors. Raggedy.
We both look at a sheer dress. “Ooh,” I gasp. “How much?”
“$110,” she sighs. “It kind of looks like ice cream.”
I laugh. She can be funny.
Adrienne’s flipping through jeans. “Oh, these high-waisted Ecote jeans are awesome. They sit over the hips and have these two braided rises along the side.”
“I need new jeans.”
“Ecote is my favorite brand from Urban.”
“Uck. All the fake Urban brands are so stupid. They just do that so people think it’s small vintage labels and not a big conglomerate clothing outfit.”
“No, Ecote’s a real designer.”
“Let me see a pair. I think I want them.”
I take the jeans and a button down top that I find and go try them on in the stalls. The décor in Urban is typically industrial. The doors are blue-gray with little square mirrors. The clerk sees me and writes the number of items I have on the mirror in permanent marker. I try them on but all I can look at are my feet. I never wear matching socks. I’m always caught off-guard whenever this is publicly exposed in fitting rooms or when I’m buying shoes. Always when I’m buying things.
I look at the top and know I’ve got it right. The clerk mumbles something to me that could either be “how did it work” or “have a nice day” but it doesn’t matter so I just mumble back “thank you.”
I go back to the sales racks. Adrienne’s saying that she’s going to look at the regular clothes. I tell her “okay” and “cool” and she says that they don’t cost that much more than the sales rack.
I go to pay and Adrienne heads out the door in a rush. I feel confused but I don’t know why. The clerk is a hipster boy with bad hair. He asks me for my zip code and brightens up because I’m not a nineteen year-old in a sorority buying glittery tights. All the sad hipsters work at Urban Outfitters.
“Thanks,” I say.