Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bonjour, Kettle. C'est moi, Pot.

Having children is so frigging expensive. Putting aside the obvious, like child care and enough diapers to outfit a small nation of naked-butted children, you really start to feel the pinch when it comes to travel. We’re going to North Carolina for Christmas, which means we will be flying. Right there, add one $500 ticket for Thing One (I will be balancing Thing Two in one hand and a $6 soothing alcoholic beverage in the other). Then there’s the need to rent a grandparently ride instead of the cheap compact car that would have been adequate When We Were Two. Add to that 2 rented car seats, and that’s an extra $300 for the car rental. What happens when the kids are old enough that we have to start renting those interconnected hotel rooms you don’t read about on nice hotel websites? Sigh. It’s enough to make me run out and buy a pair of Jimmy Choos in backlash.

Speaking of which, did you see that Jimmy Choo is doing a line with H&M? I won’t actually be taking advantage of my 10-minute time slot to check out the wares, however, because we don’t even have an H&M in Denver. That’s right – some strip mall near Dulles airport has one, but not the capital of the entire state of Colorado; no sir. No Trader Joe’s or Harris Teeter, either – sometimes this place seems like such a wasteland. Maybe THAT is my calling: to open Denver outposts of all my favorite shops from around the world. I’d need to buy up a whole block of property somewhere like Wash Park, and do it up UK high street style. Anchor tenants would be Marks & Spencer and Trader Joe’s, with cheerily lit branches of Waterstone’s booksellers, Prêt à Manger (the UK version, not the watered down NY version), all the high street favorites like Next and Oasis, a nice big Monoprix… ah. It sounds like a little bit of heaven to me, although who knows if I would still be as enamored of those places if they were filled with the same people as this:


Views like that tend to temper the experience a bit. The worst part is that many of the People of Walmart really do look like that. I don’t go to my local Walmart too often, because there’s nothing I want there that I couldn’t get in a more attractive version at Target and not risk being carjacked in the parking lot, but really it’s because I get overwhelmed by the clientele. The checkout lines are always so long, so I’m stuck for a good long time observing an aspect of America I’d rather not think about. And before you get a head of steam going to tell me about how poverty isn’t pretty and all that, I know. So I have a lot of guilt and conflicted feelings sandwiched in there with the revolted awe. But seriously, look at some of the pictures on that website. Does a low income have to translate into THAT? The answer is no. Not having much money might lead to little education about nutrition, which can translate into shopping carts full of Doritos and Mountain Dew, but it doesn’t have to lead to the results of those nutritional transgressions being mapped over with a crazy web of tattoos, jean shorts and a buzz cut. I mean, really; how many times have you been in line behind someone at Walmart where it takes you a good minute of staring before you decide that yes, she IS a woman? Don’t lie – a lot.

No, we're much classier around these parts:

No comments: