WHAT is the story with Hollister and the lights? What's more, what's with all the beautiful people who work there, gliding like models through rows of folded hoodies and yoga shorts, seemingly oblivious to the perpetual blackout in which they dwell?
In fairness, it is a testimony to the beauty of these beings that even in the inky blackness, their good looks shine through.
I first came face to face with this phenomenon when, back in the day, I joined the pagan pilgrim trip to New York and stood in line on a frozen November day to get into Abercrombie (a sister store of Hollister). When finally I arrived at the mouth of the cave, two male bare-chested specimens of the uber-race were there to greet me. It was all quite unsettling. Apparently, the done thing was to have a photo taken with the two boyos and as my frozen hand was placed around the chiselled torso of one such Adonis, I resented how my expectations were being tampered with. How can I shop for a bulky sweatshirt after this? Had I got no further than the front door and your man, I would have left New York empty-handed, returned to the old mother country and died a contented old maid.
But I wasn't an old maid, I had a list the length of my arm as to what I had to buy in this black hole and had I dared to return without a full complement, I imagine the old mother country would have chewed me up, spat me out and dumped me in the mid-Atlantic. So I meandered, bumped and squinted my way through the place, darting from one spotlight to the next, pressing up against another poor misfortune, companionably sharing the weak glow of a tiny bulb as we endeavoured to decipher the sizes of our respective remit.
Nowadays, the route of the pagan pilgrim has changed with all roads leading to Dundrum Shopping Centre and the 'Hollister' store within. The same meandering, bumping and squinting goes on but I am getting better at identifying the ' bright' spots. Never has a 15 watt light bulb been so appreciated.
The gloom extends even to the dressing room so that blind buying is the only way to go. Putting your money down in Hollister is every bit a gamble as laying your money down on a Vegas poker table. You just can't see. And on exiting my changing cubicle it was hardly my fault - and I make no apology - when I dropped a heavy pile of clothes into the arms of an unsuspecting, disarmingly beautiful young customer waiting in line. It was just so dark. Still though, she would have to accept that she had her own part to play. She was far too good looking to be a mere customer and bad and all as I am, I don't need a 15 watt light bulb to know that that kind of beauty only belongs to the crew that work there!