Sunday, October 10, 2010

A True Story

I was at JC Penney with the fiancee yesterday afternoon, where she spent the better part of an hour trying on outfits and I stood awkwardly in the junior Miss department. Just to clarify: I'm not marrying a 15-year-old; it's just that the fiancee feels that younger clothes are more flattering and more fashionable.

She's right. The way most department stores are organized, women either dress like Miley Cyrus or Betty White. There's no in-between.

As I milled around the store on my own, passing 16-year-old girls and feeling out of place, I had a movie-related flashback. When I wrote primarily for, I had a full-time job that made traveling for screenings impossible, I usually reviewed garbage like "An American Haunting" and "Anacondas" on the day they were released. One movie I reviewed was "Just My Luck," a Lindsay Lohan vehicle that came out when she was still kind of a big deal. That meant the audience was brimming with teenage girls.

Teenage girls and me--a companionless 28-year-old with a notepad and scruffy beard.

As I settled in, I noticed a funny thing. Not a single person was sitting anywhere near me. My whole row was practically empty. No one was in front of me. Or behind me. I soon noticed that there was no one within five seats of me.

So that means that these girls took one look at the bearded weirdo with the notepad, assumed that my pockets were stuffed with cholorform-soaked rags and that my windowless van was running in the parking lot, and thought I was destined to appear on "To Catch a Preadator."

Can't say I blame them for feeling that way, especially since they had no idea why I was there. The good news is that I got to enjoy the movie in peace, which rarely happens with a movie theatre packed with teenagers. The bad news is that "Just My Luck" was awful.

The trip to JCP was better. "Jerry McGuire" was on in the dressing room area. No one gave me dirty looks for watching that.

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