The word that best describes the opposite of heaven for me has four letters and ends in double hockey sticks. That's right, M-A-L-L. There are few things I would rather do less than search for a parking space, fight through the crowds and over pay for stuff no one really needs anyway. However, Stephanie and I, being good Americans, ventured out to our local shopping center last Friday to do a little browsing and see a movie. It turned out the show we saw for free was more entertaining than anything Hollyweird could manufacture. Here are three simple observations about our visit to mall.
The first thing I noticed was the way people were checking out my wife. It was an interesting sociological study. Stephanie is tall, beautiful and 8 months pregnant. There were three basic groups of people checking her out.
I would watch men's eyes as we passed them. They would look first at Steph's face (which put a grin on theirs) then down at her expansive belly, then quickly look away.
2. Women who have not experienced the joy of child birth.
They would see the belly first, then raise their eyes to Steph's face, then look away in horror.
Ah, the wonderful secret society of women who understand that although children are a blessing from God, giving birth to them can feel like being tortured by the dark lord of mall! These women noticed the pregnant belly first, then looked up and held Stephanie's gaze with a knowing nod and caring eyes.
The second thing I noticed was a bit more shocking and disturbing. Let me preface this by confessing that I was a smart mouthed teenager who in my day, was capable of annoying adults with the best of them. I took special pleasure in my Jr. High School years at messing with mall security and doing silly things in public. And I fully realize I am now an old, crotchety, bitter person.
That said, you tell me if I'm making too much of this. At the back of the Brookstone
store by the check out counter stood a display of two mattresses (one double and one single). There were two teenage couples spooning on them! One boys pants were half way down his backside. The store was packed with people and there were plenty of employees walking around, but no one seemed to be bothered by this. What the mall was going on here?
We left that store only to return about 25 minutes later to find one of the couple's was still there! The boy who was losing his pants was now covered by a blanket and his girlfriend was sitting by him on the edge of the bed! I looked at the girlfriend, but she just shot back a "Go to mall" look. I said something to the clerk, but she played it off before realizing that I was serious as mall about my concerns. She then told a manager who went over, but did nothing.
Note to homeless people: Stay safe and warm this winter. Simply visit your local Brookstone
and sleep your days away!
Note to girl sitting on edge of bed with pantless boy: He's not worth it.
Note to self: Don't allow daughter to talk to boys until she is 30 and do everything you can to save her from mall.
The third thing I noticed is that there are A LOT of people in mall who are VERY concerned about my nails, my skin and my cell phone plan. They all seemed desperate to speak with me and tried to stop me, but I fled in fear.
Mall is a scary, if not interesting place to visit and I have no intentions of going back anytime soon. But you know what they say, the road to mall is paved with good intentions.