I could tell you I don’t like Old Navy because of their questionably made adult clothing. I could tell you I don’t like Old Navy because of their campy commercials. I could tell you I don’t like Old Navy because they sell ghetto ass, rainbow-colored flip-flops for a dollar. I could tell you any these things.
But the reason I don’t like Old Navy? It’s because of the toys.
The toys, you say?
Now, if you’re the average adult, you’ve probably never even noticed toys in Old Navy. You probably sauntered in, with your jeggings and a borderline-modest layer of raspberry-flavored lip gloss, bought the same v-neck tee in twelve different colors, maybe one of those infinity scarves, and took off, on your merry way, back to your dorm room.
Perhaps you grabbed some cute boots with absolutely no arch support, or a pre-aged Superman t-shirt to wear under your snazzy button-down. But I reckon you’ve never walked out with toys.
Maybe they think they’re doing it right, helping you spend more time in the store, and ultimately more money (which is virtually impossible, because everything’s six bucks), but let me assure you, Old Navy, you’re not. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You’re causing a level of parenting anxiety normally reserved for pediatrician appointments and cross-country airline trips.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to measure a pair of pants against a child running between racks of clothing with a miniature soccer ball? Do you have any idea how hard it is to judge a pair of shoes on a kid wrestling some stranger kid for a half-chewed green crayon? Do you have any idea how bewitching those life-sized, faceless mannequins really are? My son especially likes riding the dog.
I’m surprised parents go there at all.
The last time I was in an Old Navy, I managed to grab five items off a clearance rack before losing a child to the sweet siren song of the bouncy-ball machine. And just for your information, no one carries quarters anymore. It’s 2014. Kids need quarters to work that machine, or they throw themselves on the dusty floor, screaming and kicking racks full of ballet flats.
You should be ashamed of yourselves.
But the crowning achievement of the Old Navy? The pièce de résistance of this discount juggernaut? It’s the literal Walk of Shame lining the checkout area. Not only does it offer a wide variety of useless toys, but it also has stuffed animals. And candy. Now, I know you’re all sitting there laughing, patting yourselves on the back, for a virtually foolproof point-of-sale strategy. Moms won’t want their kids to pitch fits in line with other people, so they’ll buy the goddamned wax soda bottles. Au contraire, my naïve friends. Au contraire.
Not only will I fight these items out of their hands, but I’ll also put them back, broken, and in the wrong spot. In addition, I’ll carry their screaming asses out the door football-style.Try me.
My resolve is far stronger than the gems in your Ring Pops.
The day I rang out those five fateful clearance items, my son must have picked up and put down fifty or sixty candy bars before I nearly braided his fingers together. What is this, K*Mart? Are you freaking kidding me? If I wanted torture, I’d take my kids to Chuck E. Cheese’s.
And to top it all off, the cashier handed out balloons when we left, you know, so they could bonk each other over the head and cry about it for the rest of the afternoon. It was awesome. Especially when the balloons broke off the sticks.
Stores like Wal*Mart, they don’t pull any punches, but Old Navy, hiding baskets full of toys under the racks? That’s cold. It really is.
Some stores are pleasant to shop in with children. Some are not. Old Navy, you are most certainly not.
And build a standing dog mannequin for next time, will you? It’d be much easier for my son to ride.