In the inaugural post of a new segment here at AbS, I will now write about one of the many ways I know I'm getting old: the mall.
It used to be that I loved going to the mall. In high school, it was a cool place to hang out and be seen. I could go an try on all these clothes my parents would never be able to afford and dream about being incredibly wealthy one day and buying the entire stock of clothes at Wet Seal (this is true). PW and I would go all the way to Bridgewater Mall, even though the fabulously fancy and ridiculously overpriced Short Hills Mall was mere steps away from our town, because there was a Dippin' Dots cart in the center of the mall, at one of those mini-kiosk things. Being 17, driving to a far off mall, and eating freeze-dried ice cream was one of the best things ever.
In college, I even WORKED at the mall for a bit, at Abercrombie ("pretty good folder" - thanks Andy Bernard!), in fact, which is even more troubling than it sounds. Working there was seriously the most degenerate job ever - the sole job requirements were that you a) looked good in Abercrombie clothes and b) could stand around doing nothing for 8 hours, then power-through cleaning up the store once the mall closed. I'd spend my days either window shopping when I wasn't at work or cleaning up after all the degenerate shoppers when I was. I had no problem spending whole DAYS at the mall, hanging out, cleaning, shopping, window shopping, whatever.
Even after I graduated, me and my roommate liked nothing more on a Saturday, then to get up late, have a delicious diner breakfast, then hit up the mall for some unnecessary shopping. Being that I worked in a lab at the time (well, I still do, but a different lab), I bought mostly t-shirts and jeans, probably from Delia's or American Eagle, but would still spend hours at the mall.
How it took me HOURS to pick out three t-shirts with Hello Kitty on them, I have no idea.
But, ever since, well, I don't really know when, but within the past year or so, going to the mall has become a chore. No, worse. A punishment. It F-ing sucks. No, F that - IT FUCKING SUCKS!!!! No matter what store I go to, the clothes don't fit properly. Everyone's getting fat and the clothes are getting bigger, yet, inexplicably, the sizes are getting smaller. What the hell? I used to be able to go to regular stores and buy clothes, but now, everything sags off of me inappropriately and makes it look like I'm a twelve year-old girl playing dress-up in her mom's closet. It's pathetic. I'm almost 30. Where in the hell am I supposed to buy legitimate work clothes (you know, for when I have a legitimate job, one where I'm not allowed to wear jeans and a "I Heart Nerds" t-shirt everyday).
But, beyond the exhausting and frustrating lack of well-fitting clothing options, I'm disturbed by the people at the mall. Like the little, old women who would curse at us teenagers when we were young, hanging out at the mall, I too, curse at teenagers in the hallways and in stores. Why must they yell so loudly and run around in a Red Bull-fueled, ADD-fit? Why must the guys wear hats with flat brims, cocked jauntily to the left? Why must the girls all wear next-to-nothing, then complain about it being too cold? In the afternoon, why are there only young moms in sweatpants with strollers full of kids? Why do these same young moms buy clothing for themselves ad also for their children at the same ridiculously expensive store? Does an eight year-old really need an LV bag? Why do I even care? Why is this taking up space in my mind? Why do I even know the difference between Coach and Prada? Why do I care what degeneracies other people engage in? Why am I so angry that I'm ending my sentences with prepositions? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!?
Ahem. Sorry. Moving on - this whole rant was brought on by a trip to the mall today to buy new glasses. I went to LensCrafters, which will make your glasses in an hour, so I figured I could easily kill an hour in the mall. I mean, it's an hour, there are a bunch of stores...how hard could that be? Apparently very hard (TWSS), because seriously, 20 minutes later, I wanted to kill myself. How I spent the next 40 minutes, I have no idea, but it involved mistakenly buying Hi-C from Wendy's and buying some tea from Teavana. I also tried to look at bathing suits, but got annoyed by the puce color that seems to be so popular these days (which, if worn by me, would make me appear to have advanced liver disease) so I abandoned that search and chose to leer angrily at the kiosk people who were trying to get me to a) curl my hair, b) buy some stuff to shrink the giant zit on my forehead, and c) buy a Dell (little do they know I already own one, and will never buy one again). The last 15 or so minutes were definitely spent checking Drudge on my Blackberry and reading an article about how "The Office" sucks now. I need to start carrying a book with me at all times.
Bottom line, malls are made for teenagers, moms, people who fit into normal-sized clothing, and the elderly, who get up early and power-walk around the mall before it opens. Apparently the next time I can go to the mall will be after I retire. Until then, I'm only shopping online.