I started my day today by reading an article about the Mall by Andrew Michaels. If you've been wondering what's going on in Columbia's own cathedral of retail, I highly recommend it. It's thorough. I have to admit, this article probably told me more about the Mall than I needed to know.
"Too old?" You may wonder if I chose today's title because I think the Mall is too old, or that the concept of malls is too old. No, actually, I am wondering if I am just too old to appreciate the Mall. I just don't feel it calling me.
When the concept of in an indoor shopping mall was new and innovative, my hometown mall was Severance Center, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I was a small child and the mall was a new and gleaming cornucopia of experiences. It seemed like a retail embodiment of the Hot Shoppes cafeteria where my grandparents let me choose whatever I wanted for lunch, from row upon row of appealing choices.
As a teen I lived in an small Connecticut town that didn't have a mall. So I definitely missed out on that teenager/mall vibe. On the other hand, we could safely walk around town, visit shops on the Main Street and nearby shopping center, take the bus easily to where we wanted to go. Did I mention there was a Dairy Queen smack in the middle of town? But I digress.
When I was the parent of an infant or very young child in a stroller, going to the Mall was Getting Out of the House, in a climate-controlled environment. I can't underestimate its value as a sanity-saver during those years. Sometimes a meal out meant tag-teaming it at the Food Court, but that, my friends, was better than nothing.
But for some time now I have noticed a vague antipathy within myself when someone sugggests going to the Mall. "Do I have to?" I think.
Maybe I'm just too old. Maybe there's just no pleasing me. I don't know. Perhaps the ease of online shopping has neutralized any desire I once had to do the Mall thing. Don't get me wrong--I want the mall to be successful. I harbor no ill will. But if there's some magical lure for drawing me in, I may have become immune.
My husband still enjoys the Mall. My daughters both stop in there regularly. So clearly it's not to do with the Mall, it's me.
Maybe I'm just too old.