There is place that used to be near and dear to my heart. It was a place filled with endless opportunities and color and laughter and wonderful chocolate. It was THE MALL! Honestly, the first reason I fell in love with the place was because of the boys. In the ’80s it was the place to see and be seen. I rarely went there to actually shop because I rarely had any money. But that did not change my desire to go there. I could look and dream and laugh with friends.
Then I got old…….
There is not much that I like about the mall now. It is loud, has weird smells and terrible lighting, and is full of people who have no idea how to behave like civilized human beings. Basically, my family knows that if they want to get me to the mall they had better know what they want and where it is and have me in and out of there in about 15 minutes. I know there are a few things that contribute to this feeling….
~As I grow older I don’t like crowds – my dad didn’t either.
~Since 9/11 I honestly don’t like to go to big public spaces with lots of people.
~Since I have had the cubs, especially the older one, I don’t like to go where I can’t control the situation because that particular cub has always been easily distracted and wanders off.
~Since getting bifocals I get a headache from the lights
~I hate spending what little discretionary income I have on things that I feel don’t look good on me – and for so long that has included just about anything that I put on.
~I am totally incapable of putting together a decent looking outfit
Imagine the reaction I got from my cousin (who is a terrific shopper and can always find deals and is able to pull together outfits that look terrific) when I sent out the announcement for the annual children’s clothes sale that my church sponsors and included my desire to go to the mall to get some new clothes for me. I am sure she thought the computer had become possessed or she was seriously losing her mind.
But right now I am at a point in my pursuit of the real me where I need to support (and reward a bit) all the good changes I have been making. I need to show my cubs that while I am not prideful of my appearance, I do want to care for and honor the gifts that I have been given, be it physical appearance, creativity, or smarts. All of those things make up the total package of who I am. It has taken a long time for me to realize that I have been created as a unique and special individual. I don’t want the cubs to spend as much time learning that lesson. I want them to be comfortable in their own skin, their own abilities, their own very wonderful selves. So it is time for me to dress to show off how far I have come and nurture my ability to go further.
So, if in April you see a dazed looking, ready to pull her hair out, slightly panic-stricken woman wandering around the mall – please offer her some chocolate, a cold beverage and quiet place to sit!