On laundry and bookstores

You know what I love best about The Simpsons? The main story line always starts as the result of a random inciting incident. This is kinda like that. Kinda.

The inciting incident in this case is laundry. When we bought our house, we were excited that it came with one of those fancy schmancy washing machines that lets you hand wash clothes without actually having to wash them by hand. Technology, right? I’d had a pile of such clothes stashed in the corner of my closet for, I don’t know, months? So yesterday, I grabbed them and tossed them in the washer, turned it on and that was that.

Until I discovered that somehow this dress had made it into the pile.

I don’t know why I’m standing like that. That’s an old picture I dug out of my computer. But anyway, the point is that now most of the clothes looked like this.

MOTHEREFFER.

But then I discovered the wonders of Rit color remover on a friend’s suggestion, and you guys. It works. It totally works.

The trade-off to having sparkly white clothes again was that my kitchen REEKED like Rit dye. Those of you who were around in the 80s probably remember what it was like to get a perm. Here, check out this bat mitzvah photo I knicked off Facebook. It’s from circa 1990. I’m in the front row, second from the left. You know, the chick with the orange poodle perm styled into a triangle? Go ahead and laugh. I don’t blame you.

And Rit color remover smells EXACTLY like perm solution, times 112. Long story short, I had to get out of my house.

The original plan was to take my daughter to the library and spend the afternoon reading children’s books, but apparently every other citizen of my town had the same plan (it’s unclear whether Rit color remover was involved), so we wound up at Barnes & Noble. Normally it drives me crazy when people treat bookstores like libraries (Buy the books, dammit!), but, you know, desperate times and all.

I grabbed a handful of board books and set up shop in the Teen section. In between reading books to my kid in a hushed whisper and trying to keep them out of her mouth, I watched. And learned. Some findings, if I may.

1. 100% of visitors to the Teen section were female. Several teenaged boys entered the store, but every single one of them beelined right past the Teen section.

2. There weren’t a lot of browsers. Nearly everyone who came to the Teen section knew exactly what she wanted. Which leads me to …

3. VAMPIRES VAMPIRES VAMPIRES. Industry peeps might be sick of them, but teenaged girls sure as heck aren’t.

The end.

P.S. My kitchen still smells faintly of Rit dye.

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8 Responses

  1. Angelica R. Jackson says:

    We were in Target the other day, and as we walked past the books, my husband said, "Hey, they have a separate young adult section."

    We went to take a closer look, and then he said, "They're all vampires."

    "Not all of them," I replied, "some are werewolves, fairies, or half-gods."

    But yes, it was 95% vampires of some sort. But there were also Shannon Hale's books, the Book Thief, and some other gems.

  2. A* says:

    A couple things:
    a) I bet all the teen boys went to the Magna section
    b) I would love a book that has nothing to do with vampires. Remember RL Stine & Christopher Whatshisbucket? Mysteries. Awesome.
    c) Who's Bat Mitzvah was this and why haven't I seen this picture?

  3. Meredith says:

    Angelica, the YA section of Target is the WORST! Way to not even care about getting a representative cross-section. Although I guess that is what's selling …

    A, Ramblewood Middle at its finest!!I forget whose bat mitzvah it is. I was tagged in the photo ages ago. Freaking hilarious, no? Oh, and Christopher Pike. πŸ™‚

  4. Phoebe says:

    Ha, guys, the YA section of Target is so much better than the YA section of Walmart. Which is pretty much 100% vampires (though at least they have my girl, LJ Smith).

  5. Horserider says:

    I'm a teenage girl that's sick of vampires. But I'm weird that way, I guess. I love our Borders YA section. It looks kind of like they file all the vampire books together in the back and then everything else is in the shelves around them so you can avoid the vampires. Most of them, anyway. I've never seen a guy in the YA section, but then again I only ever see a few people hanging out in there at all.

    I know exactly what I want, but I also browse. Which usually leads me to leaving with way too many books and none of them on my To Be Read list.

    Also, I love that dress.

  6. sagelikethespice says:

    Our Borders recently moved the YA section into a back room. On one hand this is too bad because people probably don't know where it is, but on the other, you can't help but notice it on the way to the genre books (and what's left of the music/DVD section). Since the YA section used to be this tiny corner next to the kids books, this is a big improvement. MG also has a real section now, which is cool

    And that dress is gorgeous

  7. A* says:

    GAH YES! Christopher Pike. Thank you! And you look adorable with your red hair!

    I do love that dress. πŸ™‚

  8. Angie says:

    In our local B&N they recently moved the YA section just off to the side of the kids section, which I don't think was a very good marketing move. It used to be all along the wall before you go into kids and so it was a good transition and everything was out in the open. Now it's all condensed and hard to find anything. As for vampire books, yeah all the ones that are facing front were vampire and all the ones that I'm interested in are facing so you can't see the cover and there's only maybe one copy. Bad move B&N. Bad.

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