I Shop Therefore I am Please Save The Malls!

shopping

I Shop Therefore I am

Please Save The Malls!

There is a point when things get out of hand. When lines are crossed and deeds done that can’t be undone.

This damn virus has now placed all ten toes across my damn line!

Death, suffering, sickness, house arrest, not being able to see my children and grandchildren up close and personal, people losing everything they have, no parties, movies, events, concerts and Lord knows all the sacrifices we’ve all had to make for this curse from the east, but now I find out malls want us to pull up and curbside pick up. What?

The stores that will be left standing and I can’t even speak about such icons of the retail world as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus going under, the pain is too great, but curbside pick up?

I heard other malls are toying with the idea of giving out numbers in the parking lot to tell you when you can enter the stores. In the meantime coffee shops and restaurants will call you in your car to offer you food while you’re waiting.

Now men may be fine with this brave new shopping world because most don’t like to shop anyway, (have you ever tried to get your husband away from the football game to shop for new shirts?) but women? Listen up retailers. Women must use their shopping gene or it will damage our psyche.

Okay universe you’ve had your fun, now honestly stop threatening to close malls. My heart can’t take anymore.

Amazon is fine when you’re bored, in quarantine, need something in a hurry, lazy or can’t find what you’re looking for in the stores.

It’s a perfect shopping distraction when you’re on the phone listening to someone bore your ass off, but is it a substitute for actual shopping? I think not.

Women need retail therapy. It’s like the air we breathe. Feeling clothing, trying on shoes until you make a shoe salesperson cry, these are rites of passage for a female. Age, race, economic circumstances, career woman or mom, size, education, married or single, it matters not. Shopping is the great equalizer for my gender. It’s like Spanx because every woman can find a size to fit her.

Racks of blouses, jeans, dresses or sweats are not just fabric to us; they are mother’s milk, endearing and special. We need to see these choices up close and become one with them. Their fabric and prints call to us and we bond.

We crave a sale sign that says 50% off. This is serious stuff here, these experiences comfort and soothe us.

There are consequences for a woman when she is unable to walk through a store, reject the perfume sprayer and salivate over the shoe department. We could develop terrible diseases like high blood pressure, anxiety or even have a mental collapse. We’re built to shop and if we can’t it’s a shock to our nervous systems.

There is a special feeling when the Mac girl offers to do your make up and that new eye shadow is simply perfect. Or Benefits opens an eyebrow bar and you finally find a color that doesn’t make you look like Groucho Marx.

Does any man understand what it does to a woman’s blood pressure when she spies that fabulous black cashmere sweater she has been salivating over at half off?

Yoga is fine to relieve stress but a 75% off sale adds years back to a woman’s life.

For women shopping is therapy.

Only at the mall can a woman pick up a pound of chocolate covered gummy bears and find the leather jacket of her dreams in one place. Plus, there’s always a place to sit and calm down after a session of trying on bathing suits.

Malls are healing and they make us happy after the world has collapsed. When your mother in law has spent the weekend visiting…a new sweater.

When your husband refuses to clean the garage after six months of begging…new shoes. Your boss asks you to make him coffee…a new handbag. When your perfect angel uses your freshly painted walls as a canvas for his latest Picasso… another pound of chocolate gummies, please.

I have a theory that Stonehenge is actually the remnants of a parking structure for the first mall in England.

Women meet at the mall to shop, eat lunch, play cards or maj jong and hunt for the perfect new piece for their wardrobe. Can you check out online how your ass looks in those skinny jeans?

It’s serious to a woman and a need that can’t be filled by any parking lot waiting, curbside picking up or online perusing. These are all nice sides to the meal but the real star of dinner is the filet mignon…the mall!

We shop, we forget. We seek, we relax, we hunt, we feel pride, we score a bargain, and we brag to every friend who will listen.

You can’t take shopping away from a woman and not cause severe psychological damage. Like backing up in a parking lot and blowing out your tires.

Shopping is calming and soothes the savage breast to bring us to an enlightened state. Does any woman not know the joy of unearthing that perfect accessory to complete an outfit?

We share the experience with friends, “Deb, this black blouse is perfect for that wedding in January. Randi, you so need this rhinestone encrusted sweater to go with those new jeans. Guys is this not the perfect jacket to go with my new pants?” “Janet, get out of your comfort zone and try on this blouse. Karen, you need to return ten pairs of those shoes you ordered!”

We don’t just shop for ourselves, but for all women, it’s a bonding experience, we pursue, we track, we discover, then we celebrate.

Women share coupons. It’s not just important for us to save on that new outfit, but for our friends as well.

Would a man reach into his purse at the cashier and say, “Here take this 20% off coupon, I don’t need it?”

Oh some may mock and point fingers, but has anyone ever gone home empty handed from a Tupperware party?

Malls are group think, a herd mentality when the thrill of the hunt is heightened by the sheer fact there is competition for the prize. We need to get to those shoes on the sale rack before that woman eyeing them on my left.

You may think I’m exaggerating a bit, but think of how much you’ve missed the mall. After your hairdresser and manicurist, it’s our first stop.

Don’t take away our malls; women need a place to escape to when overloaded by our busy lives and empty closets. Men have sports, we have shopping.

Small or large, strip or giant they are one part of our lives we need to fight to protect. Otherwise we will turn around one day and just like our youth, they will we gone.

 

 

 

 

 

Maj at the Mall

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Maj Jong at the Mall

Every week five friends play maj jong at the mall. The first question from those who hear of our location is, “Where at the mall?”

I answer, “In the food court of course,” and they shake their head nodding it makes sense.

And it does. Aside from the fact it takes Karen ten minutes to find a table that doesn’t wobble, or text us to, then disinfect it we have found the perfect location.

Maj is a total snacks game. There are usually nuts of some kind, m and ms, chocolate gummy bears, (we should never have discovered those), chips, cut up veggies for the diet conscious, drinks, coffee and for the more adventurous even lunch.

So it always falls to the hostess to plan the eats and it can be tedious and a great deal of work.

Problem solved at the mall.

Everyone can eat what they want, drink the best coffees and of course we still sneak in chocolates for those of us with absolutely no self-control.

(I’m raising my hand here but you can’t see it of course.)

Even if I begin the day with a healthy mindset vowing not to eat junk food, a lot can happen to change my resolve before I sit down in front of those tiles. Perhaps the son of a bitch who cut me off in traffic created the need for a handful of m and ms to calm me down. Yes, I’m a chocoholic and I admit it freely.

Yes, it’s well known that will power is not an absolute. One’s need for chocolate can change in a millisecond depending on circumstances. Is this a good hair day or are my locks determined to have a mind of their own? Why does my make up look like I just turned into a raccoon? I know these damn jeans fit yesterday what’s going on here with this muffin top situation?

Get me the damn Sees Candy! Where once Shakespeare advised Ophelia, “Get thee to a nunnery,” I say get thee to Godiva.

The real fun about the mall is the little community that assembles there, and they are quite a cast of characters.

There are always other tables of maj players as well. Now there is even a table of rummicubers.

Next to our usual table is a group of older men from Israel. There are probably ten of them and they eat, talk, tell stories and love to flirt with us. Sometimes they bring baked goods and offer them up to us.

The security guard always stops by to say hello and ask who’s winning then stays to chat.

Of course there is also the assortment of customers that come and go with their various dishes and sometimes screaming children.

Another group comes in after five to have dinner. Among the five o’clockers are Virginia, now 99 and Francis, now 92 along with their male friends that make sure they have what they need. Virginia’s boyfriend bought her a gorgeous watch for Christmas.

The same people show up every week and if someone isn’t there everyone else notices.

After the maj game is over Randi, Deb and I shop for a while and Janet buys dinner to take home. Karen meets her husband Mark for dinner and after shopping we stop by to chat with Virginia and her friends to show off our new purchases before we leave.

It’s rare that we go through a day without a friend of one of ours walking up to the table to say hello. Or people stopping by to ask, what is that game you’re playing.

Obviously we don’t play as many games as we would were we at someone’s home. Nor is it as quiet.

So you ask, if you’re serious maj players why do you play at the mall with all the distractions?

That’s the point. We love the distractions. Okay occasionally it can get a bit raucous at the retired men’s table and yes the screaming kids bother some more than others.

Our maj game has become a highlight of our week. We have not only all become great friends, but we have added so many interesting people to our lives.

We all can’t wait to get there on Fridays to see everyone and hear about one another’s week. What’s the latest news or just saying hello and meeting and greeting everyone?

So thank you for bearing with me because I do have a point here. Malls are dying and that is terribly sad.

In a world where people are watching a techie toy more than each other, the mall is one of the last bastions of community left.

It’s not just that we all enjoy ourselves it’s also about the kids. You see them hanging out, having lunch, talking laughing and interacting with one another. If the mall goes away will kids ever look at anything ever again besides Instagram or have any sense of what if feels like to be part of a community?

Man was not created to be alone. Just like wolves we travel in packs and are happier to do so. Even the Romans gathered together in the coliseum to feed the lions.

The mall offers a place that is completely inter generational and a safe place to gather and share happy moments.

The sad part of what’s occurring is that malls are closing because the stores can’t compete with online business. Yet a mall is so much more and the loss would be incredibly damaging to social interaction.

The day Amazon can provide me with interesting people to meet, greet and play maj with will be a cold day in California. I have to believe that for now maj at the mall will be a safe haven for everyone, for a long time to come.