Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I needed to buy a new watch and somebody from work recommended the Fossil brand. I could have shopped online, but instead I sucked it up and went to the Fossil store at the International Plaza last Saturday.
Chris Rock was partially right when he said that every town has two malls; the one the white people go to and the one that white people used to go to. International Plaza is a third type of mall; the one where all The Right People go. It’s Tampa’s one-stop shopping destination for people who look like the models in the catalogs from the stores inside the mall. The faces of the stores as well as the shoppers themselves are all freshly scrubbed and peeled. You’ll see lots of ponytails pulled through the backs of khaki baseball caps in carefully choreographed displays of casualness. Many of its patrons are men named Howard and women who spent four years or more in college just so they could eventually marry men named Howard. Basically, if you want to pay $50 for a plastic case to carry your iPod in, this is the place for you. It’s just not the place for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things and I’m willing to pay for them when necessary but I’m (surprisingly) easily intimidated (sometimes) and I’m just not fond of putting myself in situations where dialogue like this can occur:
“May I help you?”
“Um, yeah, I’d like to make an appointment to look at some of these watches, please.”
“All right, why don’t you start filling out this application and the rest of these eligibility forms and we’ll get your request denied in a jiffy, ok?”

Anyway, I escaped without incident and am happy with my new watch. Too bad it didn’t come with a khaki baseball cap!

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