We went to the mall over the weekend.
I hated it. Really. I hated it.
I can remember really enjoying going to the mall as a teenager with my best friend. I can also remember spending hours bombing around there with some college buddies. And, as a young woman just entering the work force, I would often spend a couple hours of my “day off” choosing cute new blouses and skirt suits that were perfect for my banking career. The mall and I had a happy little relationship.
I don’t even know when it changed. I don’t remember ever making a conscious decision to stop going to the mall. I never had to “cut myself off” or any such thing. Maybe I just got busy having and raising babies? I really don’t know.
But we went on Sunday and I walked around feeling horrible.
I walked past jewelry cases and the emeralds sparkled at me. I fingered a pretty teal top as I crossed through the store. I faced a travel mug covered with a French floral pattern that was lovely.
(And a part of me wanted it all.)
I felt assaulted by beautiful, tempting things that I didn’t need. But it wasn’t even the fact that I didn’t need them that bothered me. There is nothing in the world wrong with sometimes just wanting something. But I hadn’t even “wanted” any of this stuff! I had waltzed into the mall perfectly content with everything I had until I saw everything I didn’t have.
I’d been away from the whole “mall experience” for so long that it was, quite frankly, sensory overload for me. So much color. So much texture. So much sparkle.
And, so, while it’s not the “mall’s fault” and I absolutely don’t think there’s anything evil about wanting something new or nice or even unnecessary, I’ll be happy to not go back there anytime soon. Because I really just want to shop purposefully and carefully… and to return to the place where I didn’t know how much I didn’t have.