Saturday, December 29, 2007


I'm getting old. I finally have absolute and irrefutable evidence of this fact.

In a word or two: shopping malls.

Shopping malls are direct evidence that I'm old.

Bee and I went out to White Flint Mall in not-so-tony, ugly-stepchild North Bethesda yesterday afternoon.

First of all, and as a total aside, could there be a cruddier mall in the D.C. area? (Oh yeah, I forgot. The one in downtown Silver Spring is pretty depressing, but I think there's hope for that one, because there's a ton of development going on over there.) Of course, I'm not exactly a mall expert. My mall experiences in the metro area are limited to Fair Oaks Mall, Tyson's Corner, the Premium Outlets in Leesburg, and the National Mall. That last one doesn't count, though, 'cause the shopping is lousy and it's really about the monuments, isn't it? You can only own so many 3-for-$10 t-shirts and $5 cherry blossom snow globes.

But getting back to the point: how shopping malls are direct evidence that I'm aging.

It's three days after Christmas and it's 2:30 in the afternoon, so I'm thinking, "Going to the mall won't be a big deal. It'll be quiet and shopping won't be a madhouse."


All I wanted to do was go to Bath & Body Works for some Warm Vanilla Sugar soap, to Borders for a birthday card (for a friend whose birthday was December 11 and I totally missed it) and a new crossword puzzle book, to some pen store that Bee wanted to browse in, and then to grab a bite to eat at P.F. Chang's or the Cheesecake Factory.

Sounds pretty plain and simple, right?

By the end of the whole three hours, I was done in. I'd been jostled and sneered at. I'd been walked through, like I was invisible. I'd had cashiers who moved slower than molasses in subzero temperatures. I ate food that was subpar at best. (And that's a whole other aside: how bad the food really is at the Cheesecake Factory and yet we still persist in consuming it.) I could go on and on, but I won't.

Suffice it to say, I am not a mall girl. At all. No after Christmas sale is worth all that hassle for so little reward. (And even then, one of the cashiers in one of the stores we went to didn't give me proper discounts on the stuff I bought. Did I go back and demand my measly $4.25? I did not. It just wasn't worth it.) Give me the good old internets any day.

Maybe what I really need is this.

Photo copyright: Google Images


LG said...

Oh, I hate malls. I can't remember the last time I've been to one. I prefer hole in the wall boutiques, but if I absolutely have to go (since I'm also a fan of the Warm Vanilla Sugar), I'll go to the place near here that is kind of an upscale outdoor shopping area. It's not as bad as the malls around here ...

Anonymous said...


Don't worry about the birthday card...just write me an email when you get the chance.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

LG: I hear you on malls. Yuck. I'd rather go to the dentist or the gyn.

Anon: I'm mulling one right now. But, I have to get a card, because I also have a gift that I bought for you back in September and have been holding onto for this occasion... I'm going to Pulp tomorrow to find something appropriate and meaningful. (As in, not Hallmark with their unoriginal and saccharine fluff.) xo

Anonymous said...

I've been traumatized by mall parking lots too often, so I avoid them now. Not sure it's an old lady thing -- more like a fed-up thing :)


J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Phoebe: I think you're right. It's a fed-up thing. Is it just me or are people ruder than they've ever been? That's what I'm tired of: lack of manners.

ME said...

I used to be a mall girl. Used to enjoy leisurely browsing, lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and bumping into people from grade school, church, etc.

Now I go only when I have to--most recently to use a gift card. The local mall has a respectable collection of stores, but it's Christmas-crowded ALL THE TIME.

It's close to the border, so a lot of Mexican nationals shop there. Shopping there isn't a leisure activity: it's a full body contact sport. And it helps to know how to say "pardon me" and "get out of my way" in Spanish if you're going to play the game.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

ME: Seriously, malls suck, huh?

And, if I tell the truth, White Flint wasn't that crowded. But the people who were there all seemed to be in a HUGE RUSH! It was insane. Bee and I were trying to be laid back about it all, since we don't care for malls, but the folks around us were having none of that. (I'm sure somewhere in Montgomery County, someone has written a blog about the two dumb chicks at the mall who wouldn't get a'movin'. That would be us.)

Either way, I've decided indoor malls: Yuck. Outdoor malls: bearable. Bottom line: no more malls for me.