When I was younger, and growing up in Jersey, I loved the mall. A mom would drop a bunch of us girls off and we would roam for hours with nourishment stops at Orange Julius, McD’s or this stuff your potato store (was it called Create a Potato?) until another mom would pick us up at a designated spot and we would call it a day until the next mall outing on the next Saturday.
When I moved to Manhattan, I had to embrace the one store only shopping, and it was okay. I would happily spend a Saturday roaming through Bloomingdale’s and Urban Outfitters and Macy’s while I walked all day long.
Now that I live on Long Island I have access, just a few miles down the road, to the 10th largest mall in America. But I don’t go too often because I now get exhausted with aimless roaming, and crowds, and, there never seems to be time anyway. Earlier this week, however, I had a task at hand which warranted the trek to the mall. By task I mean that I had 2 stores I needed to visit. The plan was to hit the stores and get out.
My first stop was Gymboree. I’m not really a fan but I always seem to get sucked into the whole Gymbucks scam. Meaning, the one time a year I shop there, for baby gifts usually, I end up getting those Gymbucks that you redeem several weeks down the road. But in order for me to spend my 25 bucks I had to be buying merchandise with a minimum of 50 bucks. And then the kicker was that I couldn’t use my Gymboree store credit (I seem to have credit at every store, for a reason unknown to me.) so I still have another Gymboree visit in my future where I’m sure I will earn more Gymbucks so the vicious cycle will continue.
My next stop was SUPPOSED to be the Gap.
I have this thing where once in a while I buy a really great pair of jeans, often at the Gap. Then I go back and try to get the same pair and it never works.
So I took a photo at home of the jeans I really like. The purpose was to remind me to go to the Gap and to help me find the style I want. And remember I had only 2 stores I intended to visit.
But I left Gymboree and stumbled upon Urban Outfitters which compelled me to enter the store for the first time in at least a decade. By doing this the thought of the Gap vanished from my brain, sadly and permanently (until today when I saw the photo).
I entered Urban Outfitters with my large Gymboree sack and immediately felt out-of-place amongst the younger generation. First of all I sware I smelled pot smoke and I was running through all the scenarios of how someone could actually be smoking pot in a store in a mall. Then I realized I absolutely was the oldest person in the store, including the employees, by at least 15 years no joke. Once the store of my youth, where I dropped tons of bucks, I couldn’t find anything that appealed. Oh but then I spotted some books and I got excited…
Until the first book I picked up confirmed that yes indeed I was in the wrong place. Sigh.
I headed over to the beloved Nordstrom for a quick browse as a way of recovery from Urban Outfitters.
Something strange happened. I kept noticing the mannequins.
I became riveted and distracted at the same time by so much…the points for heads, the hands on the boobs, the disproportionate limbs…and the why…is it thought out or the quick decision of an overworked mannequin designer? And who makes the mannequins? And on and on and on. And they were everywhere! Do you see why I often question my mental health? Because I’m pretty sure that no one else in that store, in that mall, was ruminating about the life cycle of the Nordstrom mannequin.
Perhaps I’m also going through a life cycle of sorts, as it pertains to the mall :).