Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mall Walking

My daughter's preschool is the next town over, which just happens to be the closest town with decent stores. When we picked up Girl's school shoes this month, they measured her foot which was a little over a 10. So they recommended a 10.5. Monday, I looked at her gym shoes and realized she was still wearing a 9.5.
Sizes are something I am really bad at noticing. Unless my kids specifically tell me their clothes or shoes are too tight or I randomly notice that they are too small (say the pajama shorts are starting to look like those things cheerleaders wear under their skirts), I just don't think about it, which is maybe how my son continued to wear 6-7 underpants when he was supposed to be wearing 12.
At any rate, I decided I'd stop at a Payless on my way home from taking Girl to preschool. I didn't expect the mall to be open yet so I wandered around town for an hour, window shopping mostly. Then at 9:30 I headed into the mall. The mall itself was open, however only a few stores were, so I settled on a bench and played Tetris on my phone.
All of a sudden, 50 old people with shopping carts came barrelling toward my bench, which was at the far end near JC Penny's, and when I say barrelling, I mean walking very slowly and purposefully pushing their carts, but still 50 at once was a little scary. I felt like they were all coming to get me and suck all of my remaining youth and vitality (hah!) like some kind of essence vampires.
When the first members of the pack got to my bench, however, they swung around behind me and started their creepy march up the other aisle back towards the Sears, and I knew who they were: Mall Walkers.
Now I know it's hot, but I think this is a little creepy for several reasons.
Reason 1) It's a nice day. It may get hot later, but it isn't hot right now, get you butt outside.
2) What is with the carts!?
3) I know that my readers who have never been to my mall are picturing a massive mall with loads of stores and pretty fountains and fake bird noises coming from the foliage set up in little flower boxes, but I live in Central Illinois. This "mall" has a small Sears on one end, a minuscule JC Penny's on the other and maybe 14 stores in between, at least four of which are closed. In the middle of the mall area (where most malls would have the fountains and foliage) are little flea-market-like stands where people peddle anything from thrift store quality goods to odd homemade crafts (often macrame and wood burnings), so why would you want to be in there?
4)I didn't know there were so many old people even in this town.

Also, by the way, I took forever buying the shoes. Apparently purple (the color I was ordered to buy) shoes are in short supply, unless I want to pay $30 for a pair of Sketchers. I didn't and ended up getting white and pink shoes. I am pretty sure I'll be forgiven though because not only do they have Disney Princesses, but they also light up. I am happy because they were only $10!


ChrisB said...

This is really strange because my hubby and I were only discussing Mall walkers last weekend when we were at our local Mall, which is a reasonable length on two levels. Actually my own mother used to find it good excercise to walk the length and there are seats if needed. She actually finds it easier to walk pushing a trolley.
It's always nice to get a bargain and $10 sounds incredibly cheap to me even for gym shoes.

Woodlandmama said...

I guess I get why they do it, it's just a little disconcerting when you're not expecting it and are suddenly surrounded by 50 or more of the 65+ crowd all pushing royal blue carts as if they were the tortise from "The Tortise and the Hare." I am very cheap when it comes to buying kids clothes because they grow out of them so fast. I try to not pay more than $10 if I can avoid it, and that would be a real bargin for those across the pond with the current exchange rate putting it at about 7.5 Euros.