yesterday i spent an hour in hillside mall in victoria. it sucked. i was killing time while waiting for an appointment across the street and knew the mall would likely inflame my hatred for mankind but i spent my fair share of childhood and adolescent years in malls, and old habits die hard, so i was like a moth to the flame. i knew better but i couldn’t stop myself. and just as i foresaw, it sucked and i hated everyone there.
obese people double-fisting whipped cream coffee drinks and greasy deep-fried shit from the food court.
50-something year old people at sad, pathetic jobs like working at the strictly popcorn store (‘kernels,’ i think it was called), which was one of the only stores down an otherwise dead wing of the mall — very little walk-in traffic there. lots of standing around for those old slobs, lots of opportunities for eating popcorn, i’m sure.
kiosks full of ridiculously overpriced, cheaply made junk.
employees at said kiosks perpetually playing on their phones because no one buys anything from mall kiosks.
obviously gross losers masquerading as classy folks while working at the jewellery store.
dirty skids looking out of place while buying cell phones and video games from cleanly dressed people in tidy electronics stores.
i stopped at tip top tailors to get an idea of how much a suit will set me back, since i’m convinced it’s going to be nothing but weddings and funerals from here on out. turned out that at very best, a jacket, pants, shirt, tie, and fitting were going to cost $450. never mind that the first suit i saw that i liked was $750 just for the pants and jacket. i said thank you very much and walked right out of there. i guess cutoff camouflage shorts and slayer shirts will have to do for all those fancy occasions.
then i went to sears and looked at jeans. i found the style i like, in the colour i like, at a decent price…and decided i already had that exact pair of jeans, and since i can’t wear two pairs of jeans at once, there’s no sense in buying more of them. so i put them back and looked at socks. i love the feel of good quality socks. then i saw how much good quality socks cost, and quickly gave up on that venture too. i realized beyond being a raging misanthrope, i’m also simply too damn cheap to enjoy malls and be a good shopper.
so i walked on, dejected, disappointed, disgusted with everyone i saw, hating every store hocking their useless, frivolous, soon-to-join-the-landfill shit.
then i found a store that intrigued me. it was darkly lit, smelled of incense, had an air of goth/skid to it. i stopped and stared, shocked that i was so enamoured. i looked up, and was horrified with myself: spencer’s gifts.
now the way i remember spencer’s gifts, it was a G-rated affair. it was still full of stupid knick knacks but it was stuff like sea monkeys and inflatable furniture, not t-shirts of 2 pac giving me the middle finger, beer bongs, and zippo lighters with weed leaves on them. i used to think of it as the family-friendly version of san francisco (for those that remember that gem of a store), whereas now i feel like it’s a 50/50 blend of the ‘gross sex joke toys’ san francisco vibe and a ‘head’ shop. not that i mind that blend at all. i mean, i was intrigued enough to enter the place, spend 10 minutes looking around, and be highly amused by a number of things they had. nothing i would actually buy but a few things i contemplated, if only for a few seconds. it was the lone pleasing experience i had in hillside mall yesterday.
what further endeared me to the store was when i walked in, amy grant‘s baby baby was playing. i’ve always loved that song but never knew what it was called or who performed it, until i looked it up yesterday. what a great tune. weird for such a store, especially considering that ms. grant is a devout christian, but i welcomed it nonetheless.
incidentally, i saw that ms. grant is now 55. but holy hell, she looks great. i actually think she looks better now than in the 80’s and 90’s. i love seeing people age well. i don’t know what the recipe is for it but i hope i find it sooner than later.