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Can We Go To The Mall?

On Sunday (the Lord’s Day, mind you), my daughter twisted my arm – (the one that is already crooked from when I broke it 35 years ago) and talked me into going to the mall. I just have to say, the mall is a complete and utter mystery to me. Where do they get all that stuff, and how on earth are they going to sell it all? Who has any money, anyway?

I was not always such a curmudgeon. In college, I sometimes skipped class to go to the mall with my friend, Joanna. We’d get free makeovers at the Estee Lauder counter and spend all day once a year shopping for homecoming dresses and jewelry. We spent a lot of money we didn’t have. I’m not sure how one does that, but somehow we figured it out. In fact, we were really good at it.

So, I admit, I am not a complete drip. I do like to check things out at Pottery Barn for Kids from time to time, and at one time tested the strength of my American Express at Gymboree. Nevertheless, I find the mall completely ridiculous. There are three kiosks at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City that sell nothing but cell phone covers. I know this because the whole reason we went to the mall was to find something called a “skin”  for a Kyrocera Wild Card.

Sadly, *some* kiosk workers (I think they’re all related) are actually starting to act like the carnies that call out to me on the fairway at the State Fair of Oklahoma. (God bless them, we’re all trying to make a buck, I guess.) They chase me down and try to file my nails and put lotion on me. You can even get a back rub at the mall these days. It’s just WEIRD. And, kinda desperate. When we passed the Coach store, I asked my daughter, “WHAT are all those people doing in that store?” She looked at me like I had lost my mind. “They’re shopping, mommy.”


Sometime between Joanna and I shopping for that infamous yellow Homecoming dress and today, I changed. Shopping isn’t fun anymore. I think it’s all these garage sales and thrift stores I’ve been going to over the years. They’ve ruined it for me. Now, I walk into American Eagle and there are 25 copies of the same green shirt selling for $30 each.

THIRTY DOLLARS? Are you kidding me? I could buy, like 30 shirts on 99 cent day at the thrift store.

Looking back, I can’t believe I ever had a Dillard’s credit card. How stupid. And, seriously, when I worked as a spokesperson for the government and had to be interviewed on TV from time to time, I literally walked blindly into Macy’s four times a year. I bought whatever Tahari suit was on the rack in my size – usually in some boring color like black, taupe, beige or navy – and walked out the door. It took me 15 minutes four times a year to shop for my summer, spring, winter, and fall wardrobes. I hate shopping.

Friday night, Robert and I went out on a real date. He wanted me to get fixed up, so I put on what he considered a sexy dress and the sexy tall (new) boots I found at the garage sale. I did this even though it’s August and I looked like a complete idiot who didn’t know any better than to wear tall boots in the dreadful heat of an Oklahoma summer. (He owes me big time.)

We had a nice dinner and then we tried to go to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, but it was closed. We then tried to go to two different art galleries – JRB and IAO. They were also closed. We then decided to go to Full Circle Bookstore. I skimmed two magazines – UTNE and Native Peoples and caught some great music by “Dr. Pants”, a trio singing memorable lyrics and playing acoustic guitar. There were all of 10 people there. I always wanted to be in a band…

Meanwhile, the mall was packed. So, I guess this is the cultural reality of my city, my world, huh? Everyone would rather shop than see art or listen to live music. I guess I should be grateful. If the majority were of the same persuasion, there’d be no 99 cent Abercrombie shirts at the thrift store for me to buy and later brag, I mean, blog about.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Jennifer K

    I, too, love fashion and shopping, but going to the mall can be really distressing. The shops seem to have two demographics-slutty teenager and frumpy grandma. I do not want to dress like a Pussycat Doll nor do I want to dress like a member of the Red Hat Society. H & M has some stylish basics that are very affordable. And I love Target. Isaac Mizrahi’s last line for Target is fabulous-very “Mad Men.”

    And it helps to have a good friend who is a fashion designer. My friend Isabel has made me some cute outfits.

  2. Anonymous

    i do love shopping, but i HATE the mall!


  3. Brandon

    A woman who doesn’t want to go to the mall? BLASPHEMY!

  4. neill

    Someone must be buying all that crap at the mall. I’ve never had the patience to stick around and find out who those people are.

  5. Just like me ...

    One of my favourite cities in the world only has one mall ….

    Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand has over 100 000 people and only one mall … it was orginally settled by the scots and we all know how legendarily tight they are with cash …

    Bless the city fathers and mothers (they had a female mayor for years)who have kept the city heart alive and well with strip shops – no not strip joints – but strips of shops with real front doors onto the pavement and street.

    The mix of outlets is fab, antiques next to kids wear, book shops and funky cafes and cheap eats, gallery in the centre of town and live preformance space…

    We have a suburban mall now in Brisbane that is so big it has become useless – you would actually have to move the car to a new park to get from one end to the other – nuts !

    My current fav shoppping venue – the church fete … last one I went to I found shorts for boys at $0.50 each, gift for a little girl for $1.00 – hand made braclet and yummy fudge to keep a mummy going all day 🙂

  6. Daddy Forever

    I hate shopping, but I don’t mind Target. I like to wait for the clearance sales and see what bargins I can snag.

    In regards to your question, sadly yes, I am old enough to be part of generation x.

  7. JenX67

    Wow. I hope you post a picture of the bird!

  8. Lorrie Veasey

    I so thought of you this weekend when I hit a garage sale out of town and got a beautiful craved wooden bluebird for all of two dollars. Carpe Bargain, Baby. It has also ruined me for full price shopping.

    We have only a single “mini mall” in Manhattan-which you guys would not really deem a mall at all: it’s basically a Sunglass Hut next door to Aeropostal and Victoria’s Secret.

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