Who loves shopping in the dark?

Have you ever shopped in the dark? Would you think it’s a good idea? No I didn’t either, however I know a certain shop who think it’s a great idea. Are you familiar with them? They are a certain American fashion shop (featuring an A and an F in their title) who arrived in Ireland a couple of years ago causing much hoo haa, especially among the teenagers of the country.  Their flagship shop was opened in Dublin, so predictably enough a couple of my children kindly suggested I visit my mum, via this shop of course.

I resisted for a long time, as this store was no Penneys, however Christmas was coming so my friend and I decided a day out was called for. Off we went to visit my mum, armed with a shopping list. We made our way to the shopping centre and looked around for this photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28211982@N07/23623147091">Ai Weiwei - Tree</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>most special of shops. To our horror we saw a very large queue had formed outside it. We had never before seen such a thing, and like a couple of country hicks we tut tutted our annoyance.

Eventually we became part of the chosen few and in we went.

Well I think we went in, because we definitely moved from day light to darkness. Carried by the crowd we found ourselves swept along into the middle of the shop. I grabbed my friend and pulled her to the side.

“Jesus, I can’t see a thing, can you?” I hissed.

We began to feel our way around. “I think we are near the t-shirts’ I proudly announced. That was great because T-shirts were on our list, but try as we might we couldn’t see what colour they were. Holding them up to a barely lit bulb we speculated,photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/42221318@N00/8495145094">130220 - Dagje Amsterdam - 14.jpg</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">(license)</a>

“I think this one is blue.”

“Really? What about this one?”

“Oh maybe that one is blue, actually I think this one is black”

“What price is it?”

Locating the price tag we squinted, we opened our eyes wide, we held it up to the light and eventually activated the torch on our phone to discover the t-shirt was in fact the price of three of those we were wearing.

Once again we tutted.

“What about the hoodies? We’d better not go home without them”

So off we went to get the girls their hoodies, and once again we wondered “What colour do you think this is?” After more wondering we were fairly sure we had a white and two blue ones in our possession. At this moment my friend reminded me she needed to go to the men’s department. Really? The men’s was somewhere over there, in the distance. Rather her than me.

Like someone sending a loved one off to war, I wished her well and the best of luck, before watching her disappear into the darkness. I photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/16943730@N00/26108611230">Ranger Ethan guides inside Mammoth Cave</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>continued to wander the ladies area, unsure if I’d passed that way before. Smiling at a rather handsome looking gentleman standing between jeans and jackets I nodded wondering if he was working in the shop. I became slightly embarrassed, as disorientated I passed him a number of times. As we came face to face once more I thought it better to fess up, smiling I said, “I’m not stalking you.” No sooner had I spoken aloud than I knew this was no employee but a barely clothed statue! Enough was enough, time to go search for my friend. As I moved away I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Oh my God, come on, we have to leave now,” she whispered.

“What? Why? We have to pay for these.”

“No, you will have to pay for them, I have to leave. I’m mortified”.

“Why, what happened?”

Leading me with great urgency to a dark corner, she said, “I got lost! I was going into the men’s department and I swear it was even darker than here. I saw some tops so I picked them up and walked over to a light to see what size they were. Then a young fella tapped me on my arm and asked me was I alright.

I couldn’t help bug giggle. “Who was he?”

“One of the fellas who works here.  I’d got lost and I didn’t realise I was behind the tills. He had to lead me out. I’m mortified!”

Unable to hold back I burst out laughing.

“Come on, hurry up and pay. I’ll meet you outside.”

I joined the queue to pay when she reappeared with a boys hoodie. “Here will you take this as well, it’s that black hoodie I was looking for?”

When all were paid for I headed towards the exit, blinking rapidly as I readjusted to the bright lights and crowds. We’d had enough shopping for a while and decided the only cure for our trauma was lunch. Sitting happily enjoying a child free lunch we laughed at the thought of anyone watching the two of us on CCTV, tut tutted about the logic behind shopping for clothes in the dark and congratulated ourselves on successfully finding everything on the list.

We were yet to discover that that last minute purchased, large, black hoodie, was in fact a medium, dark green!

Disclosure…. The shop with A and F in the title didn’t ask us to do this review and apart from embarrassment, blindness and the purchase of clothing in the wrong size and colour we received nothing in return.

photo credit: 130220 – Dagje Amsterdam – 14.jpg via photopin (license)
photo credit: Ai Weiwei – Tree via photopin (license)
photo credit: Ranger Ethan guides inside Mammoth Cave via photopin (license)

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25 thoughts on “Who loves shopping in the dark?

  1. Oh you poor things! That store is at the top of my DO NOT ENTER mall list. Luckily, my daughters were in full-on I-only-buy-from-thrift-shops grunge-mode when their friends became AbercrombieGirls, so I was spared the horror, the expense, and the pink.

  2. Oh my, I’m almost embarrassed to admit it wasn’t until I read the comments that I realised what shop you were writing about! There goes what remained of my street cred of my daughter ever hears of this! But seriously, thank you so much for some most welcome hilarity. (If only I had the nerve to recount some of my stories…)

    1. I was wondering if people would know which shop it was, sadly it’ll always be difficult for my buddy and I to forget!
      Glad you enjoyed the read.

  3. The statue! what a plot twist haha.
    I agree, it’s such a weird strategy for a store. I cannot remember the last time I stepped into one (here in America).
    A fun read: a comic way of bringing all the illogical awkwardness of A&F to light 😉

  4. so funny. ) i tend to avoid it at the mall, as it wafts out strong men’s cologne, pumps out a loud thumping club beat, and is dark. not my cup of tea! )

      1. It is a blast to the senses. My son wanted to go shopping there. I sent him in and told him to find what he wanted while I stayed outside the store. When he found what he was looking for he would come and get me.
        I always had a hard time hearing the cashier.

  5. We don’t have a store like that near us, so I may try to recreate the experience this weekend by barrelling around the local supermarket with my eyes shut.

  6. ‘like a couple of country hicks we tut tutted our annoyance.’ I do that a lot lately;) Great post and cannot believe such a place actually exists though if they had the queues then the box is ticked, though I wonder how many people bought what they actually came in for and how many were just trying to escape?!

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