Monday, April 7, 2008

What's that smell?


It's big soft pretzels....

*sniff sniff*

And caramel corn....and fountain soda.


It's an ice skating rink.


Oh - and it's clothes. New clothes hanging on racks under fluorescent lights that have never been worn. Clothes that still have creases in them from their shipping boxes. Clothes that are from THIS season.

It's the smell......of the mall.

Be still my heart.

Last week a girlfriend and I had had enough. Despite the fact that we both love our nice little town in the middle-of-nowhere Oregon, we needed to take a road trip. And what better way to get out of town than to go to the mall. We are female and therefore, we shop. It's a deep seeded primal need that sometimes cannot be ignored.

And I have a minivan. Sweet.

In theory, it was a great idea. Get out of town for the day, have some lunch, and shop till we dropped right?

Um. Kinda.

In reality it was more like a roller coaster with no brakes. After a beautiful hour long ride into Portland, full of girlie chatter while our angelic cherubs blissfully napped away secure in their car seats and safely strapped into my van enjoying ample leg room, we unloaded all the kids and attacked Lloyd Center.

My sincere apologies to Lloyd Center.

That's two mommies, four children under age five, and a butt load of insanity. On the outside, I bet we looked pretty dang organized - kids holding hands, baby in the stroller, everyone happy and chattering. But from the inside (the eye of the storm, if you will), it was like a hurricane. We were like one of those storms of the century that you always see meteorologists drooling about - the ones that make any self respecting weatherman's eyes gleam - a huge slow-moving mass full of barely contained fury, steadily creeping in to systematically devour everything in our path with complete and unrestrained chaos. People scattered in our wake, running to the safety of Mrs. Fields with reckless abandon. The sales staff at Ross hid behind the counter, huddled trembling in tornado position until we were safely past. The ice skaters twirled and whizzed out of our range. And the poor young kids offering free samples of hand lotion obviously had a death wish.

But damn it, we had fun.

Just to be in a mall - a REAL mall was so worth it.

Oregon is beautiful. The trees are huge. The mountains are breathtaking. The waterfalls and the rivers and the panoramic landscape that greets me every morning is stunning.

But dear Lord - sometimes I just miss the mall. Thank you Almighty, for the Lloyd Center. I'm just happy that once we left, it was still standing.


Chuff said...

I love malls. When I was little, one of my longest-running fantasies was to be accidentally locked in a mall. I dream about malls. Mmmmm, malls...

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the chain restaurants. Glorious homogenized, overpriced and predictable food. Nary a mom-n-pop outfit in sight. I know because I was there.