I wait in a line long enough to give me time to find a way to somehow justify my purchase of the two items that I have collected during my forty-five minutes of shopping. You’d think I have magnets for hands considering before I even entered this store I swore on my Twitter followers that I would not purchase one thing. Yet, here I am with two items of overly priced colored spandex so fluorescent you’d think I was a construction worker rather than a ramen noodle-eating college student.

I’ll have to skip buying groceries for a few weeks.

Yes, but you’ll have an amazing pair of pants that will make your butt look smaller!

If you’re a female between the ages of 11 and 67, you may have heard of the high-end workout store, Lululemon. It seems as if the little symbol with the upside-down miniature “u” has suddenly become a wardrobe staple for preteen girls and moms alike. If you’re not familiar with the brightly colored spandex brand, it won’t take long before you are – if not because the window displays at the mall cast their all-too-enticing spell on you, then because (I apologize in advance) this rant suddenly made you painfully aware that the upside down “u” is everywhere.

Back in the olden days, or 2005, it was cool to workout in running shorts and a t-shirt, maybe even a Nike tank if you were feeling fancy. However, as we find ourselves in the age of overly-priced spandex, dry-fits, and gym-selfies, those old familiar running trails seem to resemble a fashion runway more than a track.

Walk into a Lululemon store and prepare for a rainbow of colored spandex and yoga mats. If the fluorescence doesn’t overwhelm your senses then the preteens doused in Abercrombie perfume scurrying to find their yoga pant size will. Don’t be surprised if it takes a moment for an employee to take notice of you standing there in bewilderment, they’re just waiting for the side effects of the store to affect your better judgment. You practically reek of “newbie.” Stand your ground in this moment or it won’t take long before you find yourself in a dressing room wriggling into a fabric so tight they may as well call it a second-skin. Oh wait – they do.

Every time I venture to the mall with my little sister I debate even entering the black hole of Lululemon. The truth is, I’d like to think of myself as the one with the better judgment, the one with a skinny wallet but fat amounts of street smarts, but when it comes down to it, I am just as susceptible to brand popularity as my Lululemon-loving adolescent sister. I could go on and on about how she and her friends spend money they don’t have on pants (can I even call them pants?), but I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t mention that I have ignored my better sense one too many times and pulled on a pair of those God-forsaken pants, thus falling prey to the meticulously arranged spandex and brightly colored tanks a few more times than my bank account would appreciate.

The brand’s motto preaches health, passion, and adventure, and the greatest adventure many of the customers experience while wearing the coveted spandex pants is the perilous walk from the couch to the refrigerator. If Lululemon is what it says it is – free-spirited, passionate, spontaneous, then I guess it costs $98 to possess these qualities. Forget about that canoe trip with your friends or that scuba-diving class, just bop on down to the nearest Lululemon and try to avoid the soccer moms who can’t seem to find the right spandex to match their new Nikes – an experience sure to get your blood pumping.

As I previously mentioned, I have sold my soul once or twice for the spandex pants with the upside down “u”. I have no way to justify my actions or to re-establish my credibility as a realistic and sensible college student. The only explanation I can come up with is that I simply wanted my derierre to appear smaller. Or that I just wanted a fighting chance at keeping up with the Kardashians. I could find the very same pants at T.J. Maxx for half of the price. Actually, I could find similar pants, but they would not have the little upside down “u” and I wouldn’t resemble a traffic cone. What fun would that be? The truth is, Lululemon has a hold on me about as tight as the spandex they worship.

As I sit on my couch trying to find a way to finish this essay in a way that doesn’t make me sound like a smug, holier-than-thou older sister, I realize that I’m hungry and that the salsa in the refrigerator is calling my name. I hastily dip a tortilla chip into the fresh and colorful bowl only to drop it onto my lap. I look down to see that a large chunk of salsa now covers the bottom of my pant leg. I peer a bit closer to see the little upside-down u buried beneath a jalapeno pepper and red sauce. Perhaps the walk from the couch to refrigerator is a dangerous journey after all.

 

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Erin Jones is the P.R. coordinator at GirlmeetsGeek. She is a recent graduate from the College of Saint Benedict – Saint John’s University with degrees in both English and Hispanic Studies. Follow Erin’s blog here: http://coldcoffeeandwarmhearts.wordpress.com