Wednesday, October 20, 2004


There is a local shopping mall that I usually avoid at all costs, mostly because of the immense crowds and severe parking shortage there. However, I broke my self-imposed ban, because I had to visit a store that can only be found in that mall, and made my way over there rather early, to beat the crowds.

I made my way toward an empty parking space, only to find out as I was pulling in that the car parked in the adjacent space had pulled way too far forward, making it impossible to fit even a small car in the other space. At first I thought to myself, what a poor parking job. But after finding another spot further down the aisle, I walked passed that portion of a space, and realized that the person had parked half in one space, and half in the other, and it was SUCH a poor parking job that one might only conclude that it was done purposefully.

Even though I found a space, and walking a few extra paces down the aisle isn't exactly going to kill me, I confess to you that I became incredibly irritated by the thoughtlessness of this person. This mall is notorious for its parking problems, and here this asshat thought nothing of taking two spaces, for whatever selfish reasons. This kind of "more for me!" attitude seems to be in fashion, and I find it immensely distasteful.

Since I am a rather infrequent visitor to shopping malls, they are a place of mystery and wonder to me, full of delights and horrors. Some of my experiences and thoughts from that day:

  • The Nordstrom's purse section is chock full of both the most beautiful and the most ugly purses currently available for large chunks of money. One of the things that Nordstrom (large upscale department store) sales clerks must have been told is that you cannot judge a book by its cover, and even though I came in there in my Saturday Worst - Just Got Done At The Recycling Center wear, the sales girls couldn't have been nicer to me, especially in the Juicy couture section. The combination of all the smiles and the shiny and colorful beadwork almost lulled me into the fantasy that I could actually afford to plunk down $135 for a purse that is smaller than a pint of milk, but I quickly recovered. Oh, but that little purple beaded one called out to me even as I stepped away from the counter.

  • Why do the people at the kiosks in the center of the malls try to lure you over by saying, "Miss, can I ask you something?" or something even more personal, like the one who asked me, "Are those your real nails?" I fell for the "can I ask you something" once, and as soon as I realized that it was a sales pitch, I switched off my Good Neighbor mode and went into Caution, Sales Pitch Ahead! mode. [Insert big sigh here.] It's hopelessly naive, I know, but I long a bit for the good old days, when I spent more time in the former mode than the latter.

  • There are so many treats available in the mall - things I've never even heard of before. There's this swirly soft vanilla ice cream that comes with a ribbon of flavor in it, and it makes a pretty colored pattern in the cone. The sign said that it came in all of these exotic flavors, the only one I'm remembering now is mango. Since I wasn't hungry at the time, I abstained, but now I'm longing for one of those swirly cones. Or a cinnabon. Damn you, Cinnabon, evil wrapped up in cinnamon swirl sheep's clothing with icing.

  • Bath and Body Works has the most delicious soaps and creams in Warm Vanilla Sugar scent, that I treated myself to 2 bars of that soap. Whenever I use the lotion, men tell me that I smell good. I love the smell of those products myself, and knowing that I smell pleasant after using them is just a nice side effect.

  • Christmas stuff, already? Can we please get through Halloween before the Christmas stuff comes out?

  • This isn't a note for the mall I was in, but I just remembered this from another shopping occasion, and I'm chucking it into this list, because I can. Hey you, Miss Sales Clerk, yes, you with the gum and the bored expression. When you work in a store where people are supposed to create stuffed animals and buy little outfits for them, it's generally a bad idea to play hardcore music at ear bleed levels throughout the store. Oh, and the "motherfucker" lyrics were a nice touch, especially for that grandmotherly woman who is hovering in the doorway, afraid to come in. I'm just sayin'.

  • The birds that have made their way into the food court area of this airplane hanger they call a mall amaze me. They perch on lighting poles, waiting for a dropped crumb, and stealthily swoop down and get their snack. I love to watch them fly around way above the crowds, nearly blending in with the girders and wires above. Part of me is also saddened that they have to spend their lives trapped in this artificial environment, but I suppose that they could be trapped in worse places. As long as they don't have to listen to the motherfucker music in the teddy bear store, they should be okay.

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