Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mall Madness

I am not a regular visitor to the mall. In fact, I find it to be an alien and hostile place rife with dangerous impulse buys and foreign life forms clearly not of my species (ie. teenagers, the elderly and rent-a-cops). It is just one of those creatures that made my necessary but almost wholly unbearable trip to the world of Stepford sameness even more unsettling. I hadn't even gotten through the inner door of the mall vestibule before I saw it - a mall cop on a Segway. Holy Paul Blart Batman! When did this disgusting development occur?

I know that I am not being charitable here, but nerds on wheels make me queasy. To see them rolling about in their ill-fitting polyester pants and bike helmets triggers a scary combination of pity and humor plus just a little sick-up at the back of my throat. What exactly is the addition of wheelage supposed to gain these fellows?

They certainly don't move faster than I could on foot. All I can tell from this recent visit is that it gives them the ability cruise by Abercrombie and Fitch slowly enough to truly appreciate the gay porn that adorns the entrance way. And while I am on the subject of A&F, allow me to say - Really, people? Enough with the pictures of carefully waxed man-boys . This week's A&F mural features a black and white picture of a male from navel to crotch, abs all hairless and rippling, shoving his hand into the waistband of unbuttoned jeans. I have no issue with using sex as a sly and compelling way to entice buyers. But unless your shelves are actually stocked from floor to ceiling with man-nuggets, you might want to consider a more subtle approach to your advertising.

So there I was, a stranger in a strange land. Lost amidst the motor city nerdmen and the tween mecca that was to be my final destination. I must have been oozing my lack of comfort as I walked through the hellish war-zone of retail because the booth hawkers and bathroom remodlers that generally descend upon me like vultures averted their gazes. Had I grown a third eye or was I just looking that unamused. I can tell you that I wasn't smiling and well, now that I think back, I might have been gritting my teeth and mumbling angrily to myself about "losing IQ points" after I passed A&F. Just as well, because my goal was to exchange a pair of jeans for my daughter at Justice and be outie.

The cruel irony here is that once I walked into the shiny and colorful world of Justice I got sucked in, big time. Somehow my simple exchange for size turned into a manic shopping fiesta that lasted longer than I care to recall. And as I walked out of Justice's mom-friendly doors, weighted down with colorful packages of tween goodness, I floated past the Blarts and the waxed nakedness without so much as a glance. Retail therapy 1 - Diary of a mad bathroom 0.

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