Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How I Braved the Mall With Five Boys

Mr. I wanted to go to the mall (gulp) to celebrate his thirteenth birthday (bigger gulp) with four of his friends (massive gulp). His original plan was for me to drop him off, despite our rule of no wandering in malls until you are old enough to work in one. Seemed like a good enough rule to me, but Mr. I didn't like it so much. We finally worked out a compromise. I would go with them, but stay far enough away that the boys felt a little freedom.
Do you see the line of five boys in black waaaaaayy down the hall? They are the boys I was trailing like a private eye. I lost them a time or two, but knew the shops they'd most likely be at, so not for long. They actually did pretty well. And after Mr. I understood my plan, he was happy with the arrangement. I was close enough to answer questions like, "I can't find any shoes I like, but can I buy a hat with my money?" I also was able to feed them from the food court when they got hungry, as only teenaged boys can get hungry. I think they were pleased with that.

 The boys didn't get squirrelly until after they ate and circled the mall twice. Fortunately, everyone was done walking around that place. The boys survived, I survived, and Mr. I was happy.

I don't enjoy going to the mall anymore. It just seems all shallow and materialistic. It's hard for me to justify mall prices when I personally know people who have almost nothing. I'm fortunate that the older sisters don't mind taking the kids for their mall fix. I try to avoid it if at all possible, so I rarely go. Each time I do, I'm surprised with something new. The last time I was amazed by lights in the refrigerated section of a store that would automatically turn on as I passed by. This time it was a vending machine with diapers, crayons, and other baby and child supplies near the restrooms.

It seemed so strange to me to see something like that. I've never been to Japan and just have friends there, but it just seems so Japanese to me. Of course, I'm still amazed by automatic faucets and phones that do more than make a call and are connected to the wall with a wire.

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