Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shop Until You Drop

I had to drive my husband to the airport and also was asked to babysit the two grandchildren over the weekend. This left me 1.5 free days in between to myself to spend in the 'magic mall.' The 'magic mall' has one of those tremendously large consumption arenas where you can walk for almost a mile before getting to each store and can spend as much money as you want on stuff, things, junk and treasures which will eventually fill a landfill across the ocean.

I only go to the mall when I absolutely have to shop for something, and since my retirement, that is maybe once every three or four months. The holidays are fast approaching and as somethings abhor a vacuum, I abhor volumes of people rummaging through piles of crap looking for that one good bargain. Thus this time before Thanksgiving and "Black Friday" as it is know in the U.S.---the shoppers best sales day---I decided to enter the arena and purchase a few items and browse for some ideas.

If you have never been in a major city mall, the decadence of variety and the stupidity of junk will amaze you. You can buy any tiny crystal thing to spend your life dusting, any exotic lacy boulder holder to truly reveal your age or recent surgery, any latest facial cream to pretend that you do not have wrinkles, any number of fuzzy wuzzies to keep your feet and hands warm long before the first snowfall, any number of electronic devices that vibrate (not that kind!), beep, blink and talk to you, and any number of ball gowns, if perhaps, you are attending one or more of the Presidential Balls. There was an entire store devoted to ties, another devoted to cell phones and a third walk-in store that sold only pictures...really ugly those of Elvis singing. In addition there are pretzel palaces and coffee corners to satiate your hunger and thirst needs forever. Interestingly enough, there are very few clothing stores for anyone over the age of 25.

It is not unusual to forget where you entered the mall and where you parked at the end of the day---I now write this location down when I leave my car.

Some new things that I noticed were an abundance of very helpful sales people. I had one woman offer to give me a free make-up session OR a free facial at least three times while in one store. She accosted me in the sweater section, the shoe section and the men's pajama section---this last a little unnerving. Another 18-year-old male offered me a paper cup of face cream as I passed his kiosk. I clearly do not have a memorable face, or on the other hand, perhaps I really need some help with my face!

This mall is in a rich area of the city and had quite a few shoppers who did not appear to be affected by this recession or the pouring rain. BUT the prices were being slashed almost everywhere. Some stores had 20% to 30% off on everything in the store while others had racks with 50% to 75% off on items. It is sort of sad that in this time of my life when I don't need anything and want even less, there are so many bargains. Such is life.

I did manage to get a few gifts purchased, downed a latte and croissant, and did some people watching which is a favorite sport AND found my car at the end of the day.


  1. That's about my speed: When it's time to get something, I no longer want it. So it goes.

  2. Anonymous11:19 PM

    It's so overwhelming! And while there is a lot of crap it also feels limited, like this is the cookie cutter stuff you can have now. That's why I like thrift shops (for clothes mostly) because the styles can go back for decades not just one season.

    I don't like to shop without a list I can refer to when I wonder what in the world I'm doing there.

  3. i HATE large shopping malls and probably have not been in one in 4 years! i shop in boutiques, stand alone stores, and local specialty shops instead. i will go into "tuesday morning" (but not on tuesday when the sales bring huge crowds!), browse the bookstores, plant and nature shops and nurseries, and hike around CostCo from time to time, but hubby usually makes that run for us. i love browsing asian import furniture stores in seattle, shopping in pier one or world market, or picking up items at bed, bath and beyond. there is a wonderful "crate and barrel" in the university district here which is part of an open air design shopping area that i like to visit. that makes it easy to target the store you are interested in and leave the others out of the mix. thank god for UPS and on-line shopping when any of the usual mall stores must enter our lives.

  4. We have many malls around here, and I deplore all of them. I can't believe I used to go to the malls at least twice a week.

  5. Living in the sticks my choices are Walmart or online. I'd love to go to a mall once a year, like an amusement park. :)

  6. I only go to the mall when forced to do it. I feel -- especially this time of here -- as if they're transmitting on a just-below-audible frequency the message "CONSUME CONSUME CONSUME".

    And most don't seem to go out of their way to make it a pleasurable experience. They need, for starters, staff to carry bags, coats, get the car, etc. I'd pay for that. Not LOTS, but some.

  7. I can't remember the last time I went to a mall. I do almost all of my shopping on line now and only go the the stores for something like carpeting that I don't want to buy on line.

  8. Shopping at the mall ended when my daughter left home. Our greatest adventures together happened at the mall. Sometimes my son would drag along but only if we were going to take in a movie too. Now I shop online and don't even know where the nearest mall is.

  9. Ugh. I'm dreading it. I also like to watch people, because I can do it sitting down while resting my sore feet.

    Your post reminded me that I need batteries. Ah ha! LOL! ;-)


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