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 The wall shelves of cubbies of sensible jeans has been replaced by an array of counters with every imaginable version of jeans spread out upon them, all of them with mysterious names, and most labeled “sits below waist.”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