Saturday, June 14, 2008

Reflections From a Mall Parking Lot

Teenagers & the mall ... they go together rather like macaroni & cheese, hot dogs & hamburgers, spaghetti & meatballs, peanut butter & jelly, steak & potatoes, hot chocolate & mini-marshmallows ... you geCystal Mallt the idea, right? Some things are just meant to be together in life - especially on a Saturday evening when school is out, summer has begun, and you and your friends want to go somewhere. Least ways that's what my teenage sources tell me!

To that end, I'm sitting in my car in the parking lot of the Crystal Mall in Waterford, which is the closest mall to our house, while Amanda, Darci, and Cate explore the wonders of Hot Topic, FYE, Borders Express, Spencer's, Claire's and who knows what other stores. While they're inside ooh'ing and aah'ing over whatever it is that teenagers ooh and aah over these days, I'm waiting for them in the car with my laptop, digital camera, and mostly-unread Stephen King book - fully prepared to wile away whatever amount of time it takes for them to decide they've shopped till they've dropped. By my estimation that shouldn't take too long as the Crystal Mall is somewhat pathetic by mall standards and none of them, except for Darci, have more than $20 to their name.

Way back in the day when I was a teenager, we didn't have malls to hang out in (yes, we did have electricity and running water, thank you very much!) but if we did have malls, $20 would have gone a lot farther than it does now. As a teenager if I ever happened to be in possession of an Andrew Jackson I was quite thrilled but alas, these days whenever I give Amanda a $20 bill invariably what I hear sounds something like "Is that it? I can't buy anything with just $20!" Sadly, she's almost right and with the way the economy is going, I suspect it's going to be worth even less before too long. Heck, as soon as you break a hundred dollar bill now it seems to disappear like a quarter from a magician's hand so $20 today is probably the equivalent of $5 back in the mid-1970's when I was a teenager. I'd check online to see what the difference is but there's no WiFi signal where I'm parked and I'm too cheap to go across the street to the Borders and sit in the Seattle's Best coffee shop and pay for one to find out. Though now that I think about it, a nice iced coffee beverage would really be nice ...

In an effort to resist temptation, though, I think I'll kick back and read some of Duma Key or maybe even take a bit of a nap while I'm waiting for my cell phone to ring to tell me that the girls are done shopping and "now can we please go get something to eat because we're hungry!" Teenagers & hunger ... they go together much like teenagers & the mall!

Note - This post was written using Windows Live Writer - if you aren't familiar with this great desktop application that makes it easy to write your posts off-line and then publish them later I suggest you check it out by clicking here! I first read about this over at The Life of a Father of Five and it's a pretty nifty little tool!


  1. sarge and i both love windows live writer. i used it all the time until i got doris and you can't use it on a mac. but sarge still uses it every day and we have both blogged about it... it ia a wonderful thing on a cruiseship too!

    smiles, bee

  2. Boy, you sure are right on target about a $20 not going very far these days. And, like you, I don't expect to see things improve in the near -or distant -future. Sad, isn't it?

  3. Anonymous2:19 AM EDT

    Thanks for the recommendation on Windows Live! It gives me so many more options for my Blogger account! I'm trying to get it to work for my Word Press blog though too!

    Waiving Hi from CT and EC dropping in again!

  4. Sadly Amanda is right you can't get much for $20 (£10) these days. Oh but when I was Amanda's age I could have done so much with it!

  5. Anonymous7:37 AM EDT

    Hm, maybe I'm just good...but last time I went to the mall I bought a new sheet set and bathrobe for less than $20.

    But yeah, teenagers like things like books and cd's and sadly, it's quite hard to find a decent-new cd that's less than $20 with tax these days.

  6. Bless your heart for being such a good mom! The teenage years don't last forever; they just feel like they do:-)

  7. Since I don't have a laptop, I probably would have locked the doors and taken a catnap if I had been you.

    I just spent 20 or so minutes with you, Linda, catching up on some enjoyable posts.

    Have a good Sunday.

  8. I was never much of a mall rat when I was a kid. I do remember that when my sis was doing the mall thing, they had a rule that kids couldn't just congregate somewhere. They actually had to keep walking through the mall.

    So they ended up at the foodcourt where as long as they had a soda or ice cream or something, the security guys left them alone.

  9. Malls??? You wanna talk about malls???

    Ok... How about the freekin' Mall of America?? Link 1, Link 2 How's that for a mall??? Not only is the M.O.A. close enough for the Mother of Five to want to shop there from time to time, but as if spending time at that little slice of "Hell on Earth" is not enough... I have the absolute PLEASURE of working for the city it resides in... Yup - I get all the 911 calls for the fights, and the shoplifters, and the smokers, and the thefts from auto, and the auto thefts, and the medicals, and the suspicious persons, and the... well... the list is endless... Hey... At least it's job security!

    Hey... On a related note - the plans are moving forward for an expansion to the Mall... Phase II

    Excuse me now, while I go throw up a little bit.... (grin)

    Thanks for the kudos on Windows Live Writer too! It is a great tool!

  10. I never did the mall think...I hate malls even now...sigh.

    you mentioned live writer at dinner and I had forgotten...I'm gonna check it out now...thanks!


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