Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Shlepping Mall

I used to be such a mall girl.  I could spend hours happily shopping without getting tired.  In fact, I found it energizing.  Creating a personal style was an enjoyable and satisfying process. 

I still enjoy personal style, but I no longer love malls.  I don't think it's my imagination; malls in Toronto  have become unbearably crowded in the past few years.  The convergence of so many bodies; so much noise and motion in a constantly roiling kaleidoscope - it's a sensory assault.  Add to that: eye-straining lighting and poor air quality, and you have an environment that is physically and mentally exhausting. 

More than ever, stores are understaffed.  There's usually someone available to take your money, if you don't mind waiting in line, but no one's on the floor keeping the store tidy.  I've seen better organized garage sales than some of the department stores I've been in lately.  Clothes half-off their hangers, clothes on the floor, sizes out of order, and change rooms overflowing with the last customer's rejects.  It's hard work finding anything in that mess.

If there's something I have to buy, I try to patronize well-run stores in less-busy areas.  I'm not one to dig through a piled-high clearance table hoping for bargains.  But some things are hard to shop for, and I'm forced to consider all my options.  For example, I have until June to buy a cocktail dress to wear to my cousin's wedding.  There is nothing appropriate in my closet.  I have a hard time buying formal dresses, because I don't have standard proportions.  Unless I get really lucky I'll have to try on a lot of dresses before I find one that's halfway decent.

As much as I possibly can, I now shop online.  I can't wait for 3-D holographic home shopping so that I can try on pants over my high-speed internet connection.  That'll be sweet.

13 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

I only ever shop for clothes on-line now. It's so much more enjoyable to sit in front of the computer with a mug of coffee, and click away.

DarcKnyt said...

It's remarkable, but I feel the same way about malls. I don't think it's just the Toronto area ones. I used to be a "mall rat" and spent a lot of time -- and money! -- in malls as a younger man.

Today, I can't go in without getting claustrophobic and sort of anxious. It's the density of the crowds now, and the...I don't know, exactly, but something's different about them. They're more draining somehow.

But then, I'm more introverted now than before, I suppose. I guess old age is taking a toll on me.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

No surprise that I hate crowds and malls. Internet shopping, how did we exist without it???

Tracy Makara said...

You're right...malls suck! They are messy and crowded just like you said. Give me twenty minutes in a mall and I have a headache. Online shopping is awesome. Trying on pants in 3-D LOL! What an experience that will be. :)

Jameil said...

My main issue with malls is that everyone has the same items. I don't want to walk around looking like everyone else. Sure with my personal styling that's highly unlikely but still. The best thing about working overnight hours a few years ago was being at the mall when they opened. Undivided attention, clean stores. I was awesome. It made mall shopping magnificent!

DarcsFalcon said...

I didn't mind malls as a teen, until I went Christmas shopping by myself for the 1st time. I never did it again! I learned the "fine art" of shopping in Sept for Christmas, and did most of my shopping through catalogs.

Now, with the Internet, avoiding the mall is even more fun. I can re-size pics online that I could never do in catalogs. ;)

Good luck with finding that perfect dress! And of course, we'll want to see pics of you all gussied up. :D

Lynn said...

I really hate shopping, too. I go to Chicos here - they are in malls or freestanding. I like the one that's freestanding near my office and it's large enough that they aren't all over you. (An opposite problem from the malls, I know.) :)

wigsf3 said...

I dislike crowds but I stll enjoy mall shopping. But that's because I know how to mall shop. I'm fast, directy and know how to get the attention of the staff.

Granny Annie said...

When I was sixteen I worked for a local department store. I was paid an hourly wage since I was part-time and my primary job was as the gift wrapper, but I could help customers if they needed me. What I didn't understand was that the other clerks were on commission and they hated for me to get a sale that might have been theirs. Behind the scenes everything was very cutthroat but to the customer, there was a battle to bring them the best service possible. There was no way to shop in a store without being pounced on by several clerks wanting to help and you would never find such kind and helpful salespersons today.

Jenski said...

A vicious cycle - economy plunges, lay-off workers, remaining workers are more "efficient" (at ringing people up but not maintaining the former level of service), people shop online, more workers are laid off/stores close.

I try to keep track of what size fits me at which stores to make even online shopping more efficient. What a pain it can be to return online purchases sometimes!

Emma Gorst said...

Busy weekend malls are like parties and other events with lots of people ~ I have to have lots of energy to deal with them ~ and it helps to have a strategy. So I actually like mall shopping with friends, especially when it's time to take a break and watch the craziness rather than participate in it. I like it best when I have a very short list of things to get, or it's just "sale shopping." Online shopping is fun too but - differently. In the big sale seasons I try to go when everyone is at work ! the sales staff are much less stressed then.

Emma Gorst said...
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Emma Gorst said...
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