Tuesday, November 3, 2015

REI - The Boyfriend Your Mother Warned You About

REI is not good for me, yet I continue going there - spending countless hours drooling over bicycle equipment, looking at all the shiny and new gadgets and doodads I'm not even sure how to use, much less install. I've learned from experience that asking anyone who works there for useful help is pointless. If my questions involve anything more complex than pricing, I am met with blank stares.

I've come to the conclusion that REI is very much like the boyfriend mothers warn their daughters about - the bad boys with the shiny cars, cool clothes, the smooth talk, but the oh so bad behavior. Those boys, like REI, will satisfy you for short, glorious moments that make you hope and wish that this is how it can always be. Sure, you've heard stories - dirty tales whispered (and sometimes shouted on the web) in dark corners about how REI has treated people in the past - but surely it will be different with you. With you, REI will give you the respect you deserve.


You're no good for me, yet I crave you
REI, like bad boyfriends, will make you feel like the only girl in the world until they've had their way with you - made you spend your last dime on something you didn't really need. When I walk into the store, my heart flutters, my cheeks glows, and my eyes sparkle with excitement. My pulse quickens as I approach the bike department, the air is charged, electric sparks go off, the anticipation is almost too much to bear.

I'm flying high as I go from area to area, looking, touching, dreaming - then ultimately buying way more than I need. But then, when I return home to try the things that made me feel so good at the store, the magic is gone. Fooled again.


I visited my old mothership this weekend, Nordstrom, because I'm in need of winter shoes that aren't made of goretex or have cleats attached to them; winter shoes I can wear to a fancy affair. I know rules of what to wear doesn't really apply here in Seattle and that I can probably get away with wearing my bike shoes even at a black tie event, but still.

After trying on a few pairs I gave up. The shoes, unlike my bike shoes, were uncomfortable with their pointed toes and heels, so I left the store without shoes questioning whether I'm still a girl. What's happened to me? I used to love shopping for heels - the higher, the better - and my motto was "pain will pass, looking fabulous is forever". Now I can't even recall the last time I went to a store that sells anything else than bikes, tents, goretex jackets, and kayaks.

This used to be the shoes of choice

My future?

I think my addiction has changed from heels to cleats. I've gone from caring about aesthetics to functionality. What's next? Birkenstocks? Or much worse - sandals with socks? Oh god, I hope not. If you ever see me in public wearing sandals with socks, you have my permission to shoot me in the face and put me out of my misery.

Not sure where this new road is taking me, but I'm along for the ride. After all, it could be worse.

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