H&M at the Beverly Center!!!!!!!
So, a girlfriend from work and I took the day off to check out the madness of the opening of the new H&M at the Beverly Center in West Hollywood. A woman's only store opened in Pasadena about a month ago but this is the first H&M with men's clothes to open in Southern California. I haven't been to H&M in years and was very excited. Not excited enough to camp out overnight on Beverly Blvd., though. The first two hundred people got gift certificates but we didn't bother trying for that.
So I got there about 11:30 and the store was opening at noon. The announcement had all these crazy instructions like waiting in line on Beverly Blvd. prior to 7:00 a.m. and on the fifth level of the parking garage after that. I decided to just go up to the store to see what was going on. I saw some people leaving the center with H&M bags when I was arriving so I think they must have let in the 200 people with gift certificates early. Anyway, when I got up there it was madness, with lines snaking all around the top floor (apparently the lines had extended down to the floor below.) It was so loud and the employees appeared to be leading cheers at the entrance to the store. I told my friend she missed a live performance by the Red Hot Chili Peppers but I was lying. There were really cool looking guys in Black suits and glasses all over the place. They seemed to be crowd control but some looked like Prada models.
I was thinking it was a lost cause and we would never get in today but then there was a count down, cheers erupted from the throngs of people, and the line started moving pretty quickly. We decided to go to lunch and then come back and see how long the line was and if there was any merchandise left.
On our way to lunch I managed to injure myself twice. The Beverly Center is modeled after the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, with the escalators stuck on to the outside of the building. I liked it but apparently they decided it needed to be updated so they've sheathed the entire side of the building in glass and, while I find it a desecration, it is very pretty. And as I was looking down over the side of the escalator, WHACK, right in the side of the head! There are glass panels sticking out from the main surface of the window that I didn't notice. I probably won't forget about them now. It nearly knocked my glasses off, and that would have been a long way down. I can see the news reports now: "There was a temporary pause in the festivities at the Beverly Center today when an unidentified man was decapitated on the escalator." That would be so embarrassing. Anyway, I survived. A slight concussion was not going to stop me from shopping. I then proceeded to cut my finger trying to open the door to the new Old Navy store at the Beverly Connection. I'm a mess.
"So Eric, how's your head?"
I haven't had any complaints.
Anyway, after lunch we went back up to H&M, stood in line for about 5 or 10 minutes and we were in! We made it! We were expecting all the shelves to be emptied and piles of clothes on the floor but it was actually remarkably organized. Stores at Christmas are more crowded and messy than this was. Actually I've been to H&Ms that have been open for years and they've been disasters but this was actually a very pleasant experience. I really give them credit for planning. I have to admit we did not use the dressing rooms, for which there was a long line. There were a few hot guys taking off their pants in the middle of the store, like it was the Barney's sale. The checkout line was long but not terrible. and it moved quickly. My friend and I were being total morons, texting and calling each other from other sides of the store: "I'm in line for the fitting room but I think I'll just get out and take a chance. Where are you?" So sad.
So, the store is nice and bigger than I would have thought, given it's location in the mall. They still have cheap crap but they also have some nicer stuff that is more expensive than I remember. There appears to be a separate little room for Viktor & Rolf and I think there was even someone interested in buying the $300 wedding dress. There were some really cute women's dresses that could be $20 to $100. And the women's sizing is really strange: if you normally wear a 2 you may need an 8. Yeah, a little off. When I've been to H&M before I've just gotten shirts and underwear so I looked at some other stuff this time and it turns out that's really all I can get there. They don't have size 28 pants (don't hate me because I'm skinny) and the size 36 jackets were also too big on me. So here's the damage: 2 T-shirts, a beautiful chartreuse dress shirts (if you've been reading, you know that's my favorite color), a cotton sweater for Other Eric, a belt, and two pairs of supercute underwear: $117.
So you're probably asking, "If Other Eric is the only one who will see you with your pants off, why do you need supercute underwear?" Well, you just feel better when you are wearing supercute underwear, right? Plus, what if I'm in a car accident? Actually, that's probably a good reason not to wear supercute underwear. Let me explain. Although my organs can't technically be re-used because I'm a homo, I'm actually in perfect health and I have pretty nice organs, if I do say so myself, and it would be a terrible waste to cremate them with me when there are so many people who could use them; so I have an organ donor sticker on my driver's license anyway. But the problem is, the doctors will take one look at my supercute underwear and say, "This one's gay; we can't use his organs."