Christmas shopping = bah humbug

Shopping mall

I’m slogging through the mall, dragging a shopping bag on the ground, and wondering when I turned into a one-hundred-year-old fuddy-duddy. I haven’t been to the mall in months, and I’m surprised to see that the mall has changed, and not for the better.

In my absence, my mall has been transformed into a theme park shopping palace, designed to delight any thirteen to twenty-two-year-old. And I’m clearly not one of them. The delighted ones. Stores I used to know and love I no longer recognize. Victoria’s Secret was once a store I could stroll into and buy an ordinary bra. No longer. Since my last trip to VS, the store has been enlarged into a superstore filled with scraps of lace formerly known as women’s undergarments. A stripper’s paradise. The Home Depot of lingerie. As I wander deeper and deeper into the stripper’s lair, a clearly bored, eighteen-year-old  clerk whips by saying, “Hi, how are you?” without even making eye contact, clearly not wanting to wait on someone as ancient as… her own mother.

Leaving that nightmare behind, I head to J.C. Penney, a store that formerly had clothes for people like me. But J.C. Penney has been transformed into JCP, a stylized combination of The Gap and Banana Republic, or in other words, any store that appeals to the thirteen to twenty-two-year-old demographic. But hope springs eternal, so I head to the men’s  jeans department, hoping to find jeans for Best Husband for Christmas. But this is not my momma’s jeans department, nor is it my husband’s either. The wall shelves of cubbies of sensible jeans has been replaced by an array of counters with every imaginable version of jeans spread out upon them, all of them with mysterious names, and most labeled “sits below waist.” A veritable cornucopia of jeans for skinny twenty-year-old guys. So  where were the jeans for ordinary men? What I wanted was something between the mom jeans that Obama wore in his first term, and the pre-worn-out, acid-washed, pre-wrinkled skinny low waists that populated the jeans counters. And what’s with the bar stools and counters anyway? “I’ll have a venti mom jean with a side of acid-washed boot cut please.”

I leave the jeans department shaken, but not stirred, and stop at the makeup counter on my way out. I just need a simple mascara, and maybe some eye

Bobbi Brown

shadow. I’m pretty sure they can’t have changed makeup enough that it no longer fits middle-aged women. But a rabid Christmas shopper with a fistful of coupons wriggles into my place in line. Turns out she wants to pay for a sweater, and circumvent the line in the clothing department. She makes the makeup counter clerk try each coupon until she finds the one with the best discount. By the time this transaction is completed, the makeup clerk and I have both clearly run out of patience.

Now, it’s back into the mall and back to my Sisyphean task of dragging my bag along the shiny tile floor. Word to the wise: if you’re short, don’t ever buy anything at a mall that requires a big bag, or you too will be forced to endure my fate, of dragging a bag along the floor while wondering when you became an anachronism.

© Huffygirl 2012


25 thoughts on “Christmas shopping = bah humbug

  1. Hilarious and my sentiments exactly. I hate shopping malls. I only go with my daughter, not to browse, but when we know we have something specific to get. She knows exactly where to park and can navigate the mall like a sailor in the dark. Don’t get me started on the makeup department– why do I need to be sprayed with overpowering perfumes and why pay that sort of money for the stuff that is cheaper and easier to buy in CVS, etc? Still unclear about the merits of high priced makeup.

  2. Grr. Actually, I haven’t set foot in a mall since sometime last summer. I’m a nearly-total convert to online shopping – I did go to a B&N for a few books, but other than that…

    Used to love Penneys, but they lost me when I bought a pair of pants from them last summer – come to think of it, that probably was my latest mall trip – and the waistband came off after only a month.

    Humbug. Bah. 😉

    • “the waistband came off…” shame on you Penneys, or JCP, if that IS your real name. If I just had to shop for myself, I could probably survive for the rest of my life with a few trips to Talbots, my downtown running store, and do the rest online, no problem. But then, I always do enjoy a good trip to Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn once in a while, but I think those places are fun, and definitely not just for fifteen-year-olds.

  3. Oh, Huffy, I can so relate. And that is why I do all my Christmas shopping online. I haven’t been in a mall in ages (except maybe during a hormonal week when I slipped in and out quickly for a Cinnabon with extra icing). Your comment about the bags made me laugh. What’s up with bags from the Gap. Even if you’re tall, those skinny drawstrings extend so much that not only is the bag on the floor, it’s several feet behind you. Am I supposed to wear it as a knapsack?? I’ve never figured it out.

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one dragging a bag around. I tried to do my shopping online, but had to go to the mall for a few things. At least it wasn’t everything. I consider online shopping a huge improvement, and no bags to drag around.

  4. My husband just went shopping in our downtown on Sunday, and he came back in a GREAT mood. He popped in and out of local shops and found interesting and fun items – and had REAL conversations! The mall is useful, for sure, but it sucks our souls! 🙂

    Thanks for linking to my post!

    • You are welcome. Glad to have found someone of similar mindset.

      I do agree with you on the local downtown shops. I enjoy wandering our downtown; my favorite store there is a local running/athletic gear store that I have become addicted to since I discovered Smartwool. We have other cute stores in out downtown too, but not clothing stores, so unfortunately I had to head to the killer of joy instead.

  5. I’m still smiling. I’ve not set foot in a mall in months either, and you’ve inspired me to keep away. How is it that the 13-22 group has all the money? Isn’t the economy supposed to be… well, bad?

    Merry Christmas, HG!

    • Thanks Sid, Merry Christmas to you!

      I hope you do stay away from the mall, as shopping in this teen theme park can definitely be a joy-killer. I don’t understand the part about the money either – we’re the ones with the money, but the mall markets to the teens instead. I don’t know where they get their money – not from me.

  6. If I’m unlucky, I go into the mall a couple times a year. But I still like JCP. I can find clothes in East 5th, Liz Claiborne, and sometimes even a.n.a. (still have a funky side). But the rest of the mall is just boring.

    • You are lucky to be able to find clothes at the mall. I think there are more options for people who are taller. And if you’d been carrying that bag, you wouldn’t have had to drag it on the floor I bet.

  7. Pingback: A Christmas tree for Scarface | Huffygirl's Blog

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