Friday, January 12, 2007

Mall Scrawl

Redstar and Weboy have both commented on THE MALL, where we often find ourselves this time of year either shopping for crap on sale or returning crap that you won at the office grab bag.

For me, the mall is not seasonal. I spent my whole childhood in a city that is considered the mall capital of the world, and I now find myself living in a city without any real malls. I miss them desperately. When vacationing recently, we had our choice of upscale waterside shops, home to lighted fountains, Prada, Chanel and Escada, or the mall filled with Cinnabon, Sunglass Hut, Macy's and massage table kiosks. We chose the latter.

There is something about the smell of the mall - the combination of shoe leather, perfume and grease. The crowds bustling with limitless enthusiasm. The children (especially mine) running amok. You eat things that you rarely do anywhere else. You fight with strangers over who was first on the always too long fitting room line. You get makeovers without having to buy a thing (but you do anyway), free gifts with purchase, fried chicken samples and impromptu teen fashion shows. What's not to love?

But the mall makes me miss my mother. She is the best shopping partner I have ever had. Hours melt away, sale racks are turned upside down, and unnecessary items are always purchased. She likes the chicken salad at Nordstrom, and I can always convince her into a frozen yogurt. These days, both of our husbands call when we are shopping together, wondering where the hell we are.

The mall also makes me miss my friend T. We did the mall run in Jersey on a regular basis as teenagers. One of our mothers would drop us off and we would circle aimlessly in search of a new skirt or shade of Clinique lip gloss. One of our last teenage trips was prom shopping, when a less mall - experienced friend who came along literally lay down on the ground in submission, declaring that she could not go on after the hours that T and I dragged her around.

My husband tries to be a good mall buddy, but he hates shopping with a passion and has limited patience for the art of the browse. So I have already cultivated a shopper in Chloe, who makes a bee line for the closets of friends and tears through their hangers, shouting "Ooooh, Ooooh!" She loves to try on shoes and knows to hand over a credit card and accept a receipt. It may not be the most important skill I will cultivate in her, but I'll need someone to wheel me around for the mall's senior specials.


At 8:02 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the mall so much! Mall makes me miss A too!

- T


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