This week docweasel.com presents the another great essay on modern culture from our resident sophistocate,
The mall experience cannot be discussed without the pure essence of the art of shopping with the crowds, people watching, how men can never understand the woman’s way of shopping, mall employees, and the classic mall-goers that must be classified. Simply sitting on a bench, sipping a white chocolate mocha with a friend can open the eyes of the innocent at heart, for here is the true America, chock-full of maxed-out credit cards, whining girlfriends, the chronically chunky stuffing their faces with greasy, second rate food.
The most aggravating of all mall customers are those who do not understand the concept of leaving room for those who actually would like to walk faster than the pace of a 70 year old man with his personal oxygen tank. There is no way around these people, since they are always in groups of at least four or five and they can never decide whether to stop or go, enter Victoria’s Secret to shove their asses into teddies they really shouldn’t be wearing or hit up the latest sale at the classy department store known as Sears, or stop at the mall kiosk selling the cinnamon glazed almonds or the rainbow writing art tools for the kiddies.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are the teenage girls with attitude, the clique that believes that the rest of you are assholes and there’s nothing wrong with standing their ground and practically knocking you off your feet with their bony shoulders as they smash straight into you since you’re in their walkway. The satisfying response is to finally walk through the middle of the group and shove two anorexic mallrats at a time out of your fucking way because after all, they’re the ones in your way.
The style of male shopping completely perplexes me. How can they know exactly what they want, head straight to the store at which the product will be kept, buy it, grab the bag and high-tail it out of there? It takes awhile to explain how women need time to browse, need to hold on to several items in order to decide to try on a multitude and decide whether you truly want them while the weight of the possible purchases are cutting off the circulation in your non-purse-adorned arm.
How are you to decide on whether to buy something if there you can’t look at it for at least twenty minutes? Then you hit the dressing room, decide whether it makes you look fat, then buy only one out of the twenty things you tried on. And on to the next store…
We really need to discuss the perfume pushers. You cannot spend thirty seconds in a department store without being overwhelmed by the extremely strange concoction of scents called Rapture, Pleasures, Delicious Feelings, and other scents that obviously must induce an orgasm upon each disgusting spray. In twenty years these perfectly dressed, caked-on makeup saleswomen are going to be suffering from asthma attacks and atrophy of the lung. I don’t care if the scent will induce a pleasure that can only be had in Bora Bora or your time spent as an Ibiza Hippie, but when it’s all mixed together it makes me want to wear a mask to both protect me from SARS and prevent projectile vomiting.
I’d like to spend the time to classify certain mall-goers that cannot go overlooked as the masses pass you by:
Cell phone junkies: You’ll notice them straight off the bat. They’re either alone in the mall, making a statement by being on the phone, letting the crowd know that, “Hey, I have friends. I don’t need to be at the mall by myself, but I choose to be that cool and go stag.” The most aggravating of the species are those who are with other people, yet all in the party are on their cell phones.
Example: Yesterday at the mall a mother and daughter were spending quality time together at the mall, yet both seemed to need to be on their cell phones at all times. Could they be on the phone with another mother and another daughter, both spending a great afternoon with each other? Or perhaps the daughter is making a coke deal while the mother discusses plans to meet the man she’s cheating with at the motel with hourly rates?
Personal Shopping Failures: These are those who have no idea what clothes to buy for their body type. Whether it be a skirt that cannot be held up by their non-existent ass, low riding linen pants that make their torso look five feet long and your boy-like waist disappear, men wearing Dockers with the high waist band complete with tucked-in, button-down shirt and loafers, or my own personal pet peeve: fat women in spandex pants with an oversized t-shirt.
Teenage princesses: You can spot these by checking both their current outfits and the names on their many shopping bags. Wet Seal, Abercrombie & Fitch, Rampage, and a bag from Saks that holds their new Kate Spade purse. Typically they will be wearing low-rider jeans, a belt with either grommets or rhinestones, and a too tight, too short t-shirt. A cell phone clipped to their jeans may also be a current accessory. Also another accessory may be used, those rope-type, mesh, whatever the fuck, tie-around ass scarves that make their look complete when tied on the side.
Ignorant parents: People who choose to have children should never consider the use of a leash as a possible solution to not losing their child in a mall. Those who use such leashes are completely oblivious to the fact that oftentimes their children are being dragged behind them at an ungodly rate and will possibly cause chaffing, bleeding, scarring, or permanent disfigurement of the wrist of their precious son or daughter. Those children who are also let to run rampant around the edge of the mall fountains have parents who really don’t give a shit what’s going on as long as their asses can sit down on a bench and breathe a sigh of relief as their wife/husband goes to by a personal massager at Brookstone.
Retail workers who earn commission: The smile that never quite reaches the eyes. The overly attentive offers of helping you look for something “specific.” The oh-so-subtle suggestions to add a purse, a pair of shoes, a 4 carat diamond ring to your purchase in order to complete your new look. Remember, the more commission they make, the more they can make use of their 50% discount and look like they actually have a job that pays. Appearances are the most important thing in life, never forget that lesson.
All in all, the mall is a place not for the faint of heart. Be careful as you enter, for the appealing décor of the exterior and entrances does not warn you of the evil that lurks just beneath the polished surface of self-indulgence.