I decided that the Chucks would be mine. I wasn’t going to screw around bargain hunting and cheaping out. I decided against online shopping and it’s attendant delivery stress and turned to self serve - The Mall.
Heaven or hell depending on the time of year and the condition of your account balance. It’s almost too late in the season to go to the mall. The decorations are blessedly not up yet but the drums are beating and the Christmas Store is open for business.
I tried to ignore the beating by repeating my mantra I Need Nothing But Chucks. I Am Here To Buy Nothing But Chucks and I did well until I went into the Christmas store. My mantra changed I Need Nothing But That Flamingo In a Kayak. I Am Here To Buy Nothing But That Coast Guard Themed Ornament. Nothing was marked down or on sale. Nothing had been pawed over or broken, everything was available and nothing was sold out yet. All the batteries still worked and no of the teeny springs had sprung. But. It’s September and there is only so excited I can get over tinsel encrusted blue whales when I still have sand in my shoes.
The mall was almost nice. It’s not too crowded yet, there was no artificial sense of urgency, they weren’t piping in carols yet and the staff was still pleasant. When I walked through the department store to get to the mall, the aisles in the store weren’t crowded with please-tip-me-over tables and absolutely nothing was on sale yet. I kind of liked it, it was obstacle free and everything was comfortingly out of my price range; while it makes me feel poor to not buy a cheap thing it makes me feel strong and responsible to not buy something I can’t afford. I can turn away from a $300 purse and feel nothing but fiscally responsible but having to saying no to it’s $20 knock off makes me feel like crying. I like the mall because not buying things there makes me feel like I have enormous self control and enviable fiscal responsibility. I walk through and say to myself Look at all these things I did not buy! I am saving so much money! I am a fiscal rock star!
This time I was at the mall to buy things. A thing. I was there for my Chucks. I was going to get the Chucks and I was going to leave. In, out. Do you know how many stores there are at the mall? And how many of those stores stood between me and my Chucks? And how much stuff they sell that you can’t buy at Target? There was an entire store dedicated to tea and no less than three that wanted to sell me varying degrees of chocolate and just about every store wanted to sell me cute widdle things that Tiny E probably needs very, very badly. She needs more clothes. Cute, seasonal clothes! Beautifully embroidered tailored tee-shirts that say Li’l Pumpkin and gorgeous, smocked holiday dresses. There was not one single smocked dress or embroidered tee at Ross... It feels different to not buy because there is nothing you want to buy, then you just feel thwarted.
I finally bought my Chucks (cute!!) and tried to find my car. It’s not so early in the season that you can still find your car in the parking lot.