Do you know this clothing chain? It’s all over the US, and according to its website, Singapore, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, and other countries in which being 21 is evidently something you’d like to prolong indefinitely.

In order to do this, you wear things that are emblematic of how glorious it is to be young and free and quite possibly as hot as you will ever be.

You can look like this:3224572604_bf632874ba.jpg

I don’t know about you, but 21 was not my crowning year. Things kind of sucked. I was about to graduate college, scared shitless, eating disordered, anxious, in debt and jobless.

Yes, I was hot. And yes, I could better pull off Spandex leggings and heels than I can now (which is to say, I can no longer do that at all–see previous post on heels.)

But at the time that hotness didn’t feel important or enjoyable enough to make up for the rest of it. I felt, as I had in high school and throughout my early 20s, that other people my age knew something I didn’t about being wild and unencumbered. They all seemed to be laughing louder than I was, and if they’d just let me in on their secret I could mispend my youth properly, in that enjoy-it-while-you’re-young kind of way everyone talks about when they get old. The fact that others might be feeling that way didn’t occur to me.

I’m glad I’m not 21 anymore. 41 is much happier, concern about jiggly upper arms notwithstanding. And the one thing I ever bought at Forever 21  (I was maybe 33 at the time), an olive-colored tank top with little brass studs, sprouted little holes in the seams after two washings.

Maybe that’s the next project: Forever 41. The real question is, what would it sell? Oooh, I know!! Ass bras. (See previous post on descending derrieres.)

Photo by: Shawna Branham, CC Licensed