Great Escape: Mall Mania?

When you need a breathier and a place to escape, head to the nearest mall for a bit of retail therapy or people watching.

Have you ever just sat in a public place and watched the world go by? 

When I was in college I loved sitting on the quad with a sandwich and watching people.  Whether it was the frat boy trying to pick up a sorority girl, a couple canoodling way too much under a big oak, or the evangelical preacher promising fire and brimstone to the amorous pair, it was always fascinating to see people’s reactions.

Today people-watching is still a fun and free past time. The best local place is always the mall during the holidays. There you can get your shopping done and enjoy it.

If you have ever watched the kids fidgeting in line to see Santa, or the adult boyfriend afraid to go into Victoria’s Secret, you know their expressions are exactly the same: fear mixed with excitement. Kids say the funniest things to Santa, like asking for batteries so last year’s toys work. Young men give money to complete strangers to buy the item they see just feet inside the store.  Watching the exchange is on par with Comedy Central.

I highly recommend standing outside the Microsoft store to watch people make videos from the store computer video cams. It is priceless! I saw the chickendance done by bald corporate executives and a very cool rap by two teenage boys.  I am convinced both groups were playing “hookie.”

Outsideof Abercrombie and Fitch I have counted no less than 14 tween girls stare at the half-naked poster in their entrance. Their giggles were contagious.

Upstairs are video games for the non-shoppers. I saw a 5-year-old boy show grown men how to turn on the game and then beat them handily at Dance, Dance Revolution. The men’s reactions were somewhere between disbelief and denial. Apparently their 80s moves did not help them much, but they made me smile.

While walking to the food court I have decided that it never fails to amaze me how many noses are picked and undies are adjusted in the middle of a public venue. The only thing that is worse is the pack of teenage girls that have been to the perfume counter.  As they walk by their odor is an assault to my olfactory system.

In the food court I see “the dance of the bumblebee.” I watch a group of pre-teen boys buzz around a table of girls who are unaware of them as they open their Clinique bonus gifts.

Interestingly, I estimate nine out 10 people are holding their cell phone more tightly than their packages or children. Why don’t people just put their cell phones in their pockets or purses? I am not sure what that says about our society.

As I ponder that question while I walk back to the car, I see people standing inline for a free piece of See’s Candy, but only half buy anything.

A bunch of girls with decorated toilet seat protectors around their heads and goodiebags in their hands run pass me as I turn the corner. They are obviously on a scavenger hunt. To confirm my suspicion, I look back and see one girl ask a shopper for areceipt.  Yep! It’s another mall party.

As I get into my car I realize that the mall is a great place to relax for a little while. In this big, expensive world, today’s entertainment was worth the priceof admission.

Enjoy your holiday shopping this season and take a moment to look around. It might just make you smile.



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