David and I had to go to the mall this past weekend. He has been in desperate need of new glasses, and Lenscrafters was having a sale, and of course the only Lenscrafters in a 50-mile radius is in our local shopping mall. Fashion Square is, by modern mall standards, a dinosaur. It’s ugly and dark, not light and airy – very ’80s kind of mall. Oh, there are a few modern stores there, don’t get me wrong – in fact, a Sephora has popped up since the last time I was in that mall – but it’s just designed all on one level, in a straight line from anchor store (Sears) to anchor store (JC Penney) with another anchor (Belk) in the middle, and no windows or skylights or open air or anything.
While we were there, it just felt…surreal. I haven’t been in any mall at all in quite some time, and it had probably been at least a couple of years since I walked inside of that particular mall. As we walked along, biding our time waiting for his glasses to be finished, it struck me as odd that people go to the mall anymore. Plenty of people apparently do – we were weaving through crowds the whole time we were there, but I kept looking at them wondering if this was normal for them, or if they were there on a specific mission like we were. I have to say, a lot of them looked like they were on a family outing instead of having a real purpose. I mean, when I was a teenager, we went to the mall just to have something to do, to hang out. But do people do that anymore? And if so…WHY? Especially here – there’s nothing appealing about this mall unless you’re going there for a very specific reason. Am I wrong? Am I weird because I have not found “the mall” as a concept appealing in years? Do people still go to the mall, or is it passe these days?