Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Oooops! I forgot to censor my little tush in the last post, so, there you go, all better now =)
Yesterday was a beautiful day. It POURED for hours. I know that in some climates, summer rain is normal, but not here. The clouds with the strong sun hiding behind them made for ethereal, ephemeral, epidural {?} light {I needed three e-words}. I just sat and watched for a bit.
Then I went to the mall. I'll be the first to recognize the mall as definitely not a bastion of culture and critical thought, but I still love it, as much as a fabulous museum even. If you think about malls, they are museums, but more like anthropological museums than art or hands-on science ones. To me there seem to be all sorts of people in a shopping center, even depending on the time of day one goes. 
I think I love the morning crowd the most. I notice many mothers of babes in strollers with toddlers in tow. In my imagination they are just dying to get out of the house and go somewhere different. Perhaps they have a rotation every week; the mall, the library, a certain playground, a grandparent's house.
There are older folk in the mornings as well. They make me think of a different generation that did things according to rules. If you need something new, go to appropriate Macy's department. I love that they take advantage of the less crowded AM hours; I so don't blame them.
The people who work at the mall make up the backdrop, getting displays ready and chatting amongst themselves. I've always been fascinated by the community they form, knowing who works where, getting deals from the food court, being privy to the back hallways and exits that comprise the behind-the-scenes scene.
The afternoon and evening hours belong to them, those who are associated with the mall in countless movies and those who also so often help to keep the mall running with their labor, those who roam in groups and really go for the socializing and maybe the cuisine, but definitely not for the shopping; the teenagers. This is where anthropology comes into play considering the intricate group dynamics this crowd is involved in and which I will not be focusing on today, considering that it could fill several tomes. Or Teen Beats.
As I mentioned briefly in an earlier post, the mall is kind of like suburban comfort food. I actually stole this phrase from a friend a while back (you know who you are!) and it perfectly named the way I feel about those places. It's nice to know that there is so much, practically anything you ever needed, under one roof. It's nice to know that you can just go and walk around, get a snack, do some people watching or find an obscure corner to make out in (for the teens, duh). 
I think it also makes me think of the department store of yore where one could REALLY get everything necessary. I have a few memories of these behemoths and I'm talking about the department store that would have everything under the sun inside, kind of like Sears but on a grander scale. There are some relics of this way of shopping left over here and there; Macy's has their food court (in certain bigger stores) and furniture department and the aforementioned Sears has appliances and tools. Chicago's old Marshall Field's which is now Macy's is the best example that I can think of that I've been to recently, with a candy department and toy store, but then again, I've never been to NYC and I'm sure things are even more amazing there. 
These old stores would have a grocery department, a toy section, a fishing/hunting area, an electronics department, a pet store, a book store, a cafeteria to eat in, a nicer restaurant to eat in on nicer days and experts in their area tucked away behind each counter (or so I imagine)...when my grandmother took me to England, I was ten and we would go to the shops everyday. One of the best was Harrods, obviously, but a cheaper locale we favored was Marks & Spencer because we could get food for dinner as well as some new socks since we hadn't brought enough. We also favored this heavenly place, seven stories of toys and candy, and went to Liberty a few times for good measure. I digress for sure, but how in the heck can I remember these things? I can hardly recall last night's dinner.
I love the idea that one could get all one needed in one place. It's not the most logical idea presently and I think that most people shop around for deals and different styles. With the internet it's possible to get practically anything our minds can dream up, especially with sites like Etsy where custom-made is merely one of thousands of choices. Choosing from the five available styles, colors or options that the old department store had, though, simplified things(at least I like to think it did) and maybe my life would feel less cluttered I weren't able to order whatever type of two-and-a-half person couch with Micronesian baby down feather stuffing and hand woven twine threading.
Waxing poetic on malls and shopping centers is certainly not a high point in my life, but something does need to be said for them and my accompanying thoughts.
xoxo, natty ♥


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