Skip to comments.Op-Ed: Christmas at the mall has a whole ‘nuther vibe
Posted on 12/10/2013 9:32:57 AM PST by John David Powell
Its been awhile since Ive been to the local neighborhood mall, or any mall for that matter. Malls are the one-stop shopping spots for people jonesing for a retail fix.
Kinda like the sex strip or drug alley found everywhere from small towns to megatropolises. Just like malls. Economic circumstances kept me from engaging in the type of quick and dirty retail therapy you can score only at a mall. A couple of years of unemployment in the Obamaconomy required pinching pennies until Old Abe cried uncle.
The details that led me to the mall on a recent afternoon are inconsequential. But there I was, on a weekday, a work day, using my first vacation day of the year, standing in front of a kiosk that displayed obvious knock-offs of designer watches, trying to avoid looking at the young female of uncertain Asian descent pretending not to look at me as her fingers danced over the keys of her cell phone, glancing up every few seconds to see if I showed an interest in exchanging currency for a watch that probably would stop faster than an economic upturn during an Obamaconomy.
I turned to continue my walk and came face-to-smile with a pleasant looking older woman whose harmless, grandmotherly demeanor was just a front for a pitch.
Hi. Can I tell you about (blah, blah) for Earth?
Good God! A liberal warm-earther plying her trade between a bored teenage girl selling fake designer watches and a purveyor of wood-carved crucifixes and mangers, all parked at the cross-roads of Lego and Williams-Sonoma. My eyelids twitched at this unnatural confluence. Unnatural, maybe, but there they were.
I muttered a no, thanks, and walked on, trying to look like a man on a mission, wishing I had a notebook or clipboard like some of my former university colleagues carry when they leave their offices, trying to make people think they are headed to an important meeting when theyre really trying to get as far as possible from their office phones and emails and still be on campus.
The vibe of this mall had changed in my absence. There seemed to be more people wandering in packs like blind or rabid hyenas, oblivious to others trying to get around them, and then snarling when asked to move over. On second thought, thats pretty much the way its always been, but these people were more clueless than I remembered, more like riff-raff coming in out of the cold and rain and of an economic status that seemed to favor the end-to-end kiosks of cheap sunglasses, fake watches, and cell phones.
Online shopping may be hurting the mall stores, especially during the holiday-shopping season. Its easier to go online at YourFavoriteStore-dot-com or Amazon to browse the merchandise without getting stepped on, sneezed on, or asked for just a moment of your time by a person barely speaking English who wants you to sample an unrecognizable product sold at his kiosk.
And a really weird thing is that you can go to one of those cell-phone kiosks and buy a phone that will allow you to go online and shop and then instantly share your purchases with all of your friends wandering around the mall like blind or rabid hyenas.
And heres another really weird thing. One of those hip stores catering to the torn t-shirt, pierced tongue, and tatted ta-ta clientele has a sex shop in the back. I found it by accident as I made a hard left to avoid an approaching pack of hyenas. Nothing in the store was remarkably different from a half-dozen other stores in the mall, some of which have been around for a long time, from when we used to take our kids to the mall, stand in line for fast food and toilet privileges, spend outrageous amounts of money needlessly, and return home tired, miserable, and vowing never to do that again.
I had a few minutes to kill, so I did the circuit of the store. Thats how I ended up in front of the must-have Christmas gift, just the thing for Christmas Eve so the relatives can celebrate the birth of Jesus: a beer bong with the business end of a man at the business end of the hose, and in the red, white, and green colors of Christmas. What, your guests dont drink beer? Alcohol-free eggnog will work just as well. Maybe a little too well, so forget that.
Another really weird sight greeted me when I walked out with a sack full of stocking stuffers guaranteed to delight everyone joining us for Christmas at my mother-in-laws house. What should my wondering eyes see but a long line of children waiting for Santas knee.
Nothing says Christmas like moms, dads, and kids waiting to see a shopping mall Santa sitting outside a sex toy store. And thats a whole nuther vibe.
My favorite is the people that stop at the top of the escalator and gawk around, as if there wasn’t a stream of people coming up behind them.
When you say “excuse me” they look shocked, like “how dare you interrupt my stupidity?”
It has been a few months since I went to a mall, distance is the biggest factor. But so is the trash they sell.
I loath going at CHRISTmas, because there is NO CHRISTmas, just happy holiday what ever that means, to me it means NOTHING. CHRISTmas means I am celebrating my Savior’s Birth.
And all those self righteous people who call themselves ministers of Christ who are objecting to a Merry Christmas sign, well I have news for them, come Judgement Day, GOD will say to them I do NOT KNOW YOU. You did not heed my command to spread the truth of my SON, instead you used your positions to try and wipe out the belief in HIM, Gabe, open that fire pit beneath their feet!
In one fell swoop all of them will be in hell where they belong. They are not the sowers of truth, which we who except Christ are told to do.
What is this “mall” of which the OP speaks?
Does it have a URL? Must one interact with *shudder* human beings to transact a simple purchase?
I do remember when I was a youngster going into a “bank” to deposit my paycheck. I am pretty sure I have not had to interact with a human being in the bank for 25+ years.
Is the OP suggesting humans actually operate retail stores?
If you live in an area with minority populations you’ll find their young gangs have taken over the mall.
and you’ll love the new “game” they are playing, particularly if you have a new health plan sponsored by the state.
Not the same mall in my neighborhood.
That one has JC Penney at one end, Sears at the other, and thousands upon thousands of square feet of empty store space in-between.
Malls ain’t the happening place they were in the 80’s. Particularly not in the Obama Economy. Young people now hang-out online and not in the Food Court.
“Malls aint the happening place they were in the 80s. Particularly not in the Obama Economy. Young people now hang-out online and not in the Food Court.”
You’re right; in my area they are filled with foreigners (not the tourist types, but the illegal-working-for-cash types). I watched one working-for-cash-with-a-student-visa type try on sneakers without socks (he was wearing sandals); just disgusting...
Gangs like to also hang out in malls.
I haven’t been to the malls around me in years; one in Jersey City probably has that problem, while one further west in the hills didn’t seem to have an unusual number of young people. We used to go there a lot for the arcade, but I don’t even know if they have those anymore.
Last year, I saw a lot of open stealing from such groups.
This year, they allow concealed carry in the mall, and things are different.