I knew I would succumb to the pressure.
Any member of the Gabby-Melanie-Carolyn trio would ask me throughout the last couple of days, “Do you wanna go shopping with us today?”
“No” had been my typical answer, but today I agreed. I don’t know what changed today. Maybe I didn’t want to go back to the hotel already after lounging around this morning, sleeping in after paying 10 euro last night to go on another mummy/ghost tour this morning – a decision, by the way, that turned out to be the best of the day because of the cloudy skies and rain. The second best decision of the day? Stopping in at Café Crepe for a three-cheese melt on ciabatta bread with hot chocolate. Anyway, I was accompanying three girls to a department store.
<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/adambockler/4650174251/” title=”O’Connell Street by adambockler, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4650174251_4ff2460256.jpg” width=”500″ height=”375″ alt=”O’Connell Street” /></a>
We wound up at Penneys, no apostrophe. What relationship it has to J.C. Penney in the United States, I have no idea.
I’ve never seen a store so crowded in all my life. It is located smack-dab in the middle of a tourist’s paradise, flanked by other department stores, theatres, the General Post Office, and a gambling shop called “Funland” that didn’t look so fun from the outside.
I felt in the way of a lot of people, mostly women, hurling clothes left and right, some landing on the floor. Right when I almost stepped on a pair of sunglasses, I was thankful that the Metamora IGA was never that hectic. In fact, a random Saturday afternoon in Penneys makes closing time on Christmas Eve at the grocery store look like a cakewalk. The place was a mess, and I’m just glad I didn’t have to face any of it.
While the girls stood in line to try on their new shirts, I went for a stroll. I noticed I was breathing faster so I wanted to try and walk off the feeling of being overwhelmed. Usually I don’t get too excited about being in a crowd, but I could feel myself getting tired just from watching all the people. The place wasn’t just one story – it was three. There was a downstairs that I didn’t get to because I didn’t really care to say kids’ clothes or homeware. I thought the second floor might be a men’s floor, but it was just more women’s stuff with only a tiny portion sectioned off for men.
In fact, I even left unannounced and walked across the street to another department store, Cleary’s. To my delight, they were playing “Filthy/Gorgeous” by the Scissor Sisters while I walked up to another floor. I wish the IGA played good music.
When I returned to Penneys, I wondered how many actually buy there versus how many just come in from the street and browse. It didn’t seem geared towards just one demographic amongst women because I saw pre-teens to older ladies in there. I’m guessing it was along the lines of J.C. Penney or Kohls, where there is something for everybody.
I didn’t even look for clothes, but I don’t want to shop again for a long time.