Beware the Mall

Today I will use this blog to educate the dozens of you that flock here on a monthly basis to skim my posts.

Why? Because the mall can be a dangerous place.

The fact that I don’t particularly enjoy shopping for clothes is not a secret. While I enjoy walking around the mall on occasion, the general premise of immersing myself in an environment of consumerism and hormonal teenagers is not exactly my idea of enjoyment—minus the bookstore, of course.

And while I realize that shopping in Michigan pales in comparison to shopping in big cities like L.A. and New York, I thought I would pass along a few of my tips for surviving the mall—a mall PSA of sorts—for those of you who share my sentiments.

  • First of all, if you don’t have money to spend on anything “extra,” you will come across 1,001 things that you actually like and want to buy. If you have a gift card or money to spend, you will find nothing. With that in mind, proceed. 

Scent of a Woman—or Man

  • The perfume counter is a trap. I try and rush through this maze of pink packaging, celebrity endorsement posters and overpowering scents  without making eye contact with anyone wearing the minimum 3 lbs of facial makeup, a nametag and a fake smile. They will corner you and spray you with things that you will not be able to scrub off for days.
  • The cologne counter holds it’s own danger, at least for me. I’m not proud, but I pick up the bottle, a sample strip and spray—brought right back to the one that got away (insert semi-happy sigh.)

*However, other colognes remind me of the one that stayed too long. I don’t stop to smell those. In fact, I might just give the evil eye to anyone who walks by wearing that particular scent.


  • Beware the teenage girls! They travel in packs and although their behavior is predictable, it can still be a cause of concern. You can spot them by their clothing—either they try entirely too hard or not at all. For example, they will be overdressed in an outfit more appropriate for a dance club than the mall,  despite the fact they have never paid for a piece of clothing themselves (minus the thongs and lacy bras they bought without their parents knowing.)


  • On the other hand, some will feel it’s socially acceptable to wear pajama pants—occasionally rolling down the waist to reveal aforementioned thong—and flip-flops. While I’m not fashionista, I would think that if you took the time to put on makeup and the Bump-It in your hair in an effort to impress the dude working in GNC, you could find a pair of pants that you haven’t slept in. 

* Their male counterparts do not pose such a risk, despite their Bieber-esque façade. They are simply there for the food and the girls, in that order.

Germ Gym

  • Filled with things for them to climb on, slide down and fall off of, the children’s play area is a breeding ground for everything that will cause you to feel miserable. This can be the result of the loud screaming, both by parents and children, or the fact that every germ from every disease will be crawling around said play area and soon transferred to other shoppers walking by. Avoid this area at all costs.

* However, if you are a parent of the teenage girls above, make them sit there for an hour and observe—best birth control ever. 

Technical Difficulties

  • Just walking through the mall can be dangerous, not because you might be inclined to trip over your own feet or going up stairs like some people who blog, but because of technology. People will be walking in groups and texting other people in groups, meaning there are numerous groups of people walking around with their heads looking down or stuck up their ass.
  • They will not appreciate it when your stubbornness does not allow you to yield to their rudeness, they run directly  into you and you snarkily excuse them when they fail to do so themselves. They will scoff, glare and most likely text about what an asshole this person at the mall was.

*You can do the same.

Book It

  • The bookstore is pretty much a safe environment, although you do have to watch out for paper cuts and falling subscription cards from the magazines you stand there and read for free instead of actually buying. Plus, there is always the danger of spending too much money, but if you have to spend it on something at the mall, you can’t go wrong with books.


So I hope you at least learned something from this post so that your time has not been wasted.

If you haven’t yet, I will leave you with the fact that a Komodo dragon uses it’s long tongue to pick up smells in the air, zeroing in on rotting meat from more than a mile away.

If you knew that, I got nothing, which is how I came home from my last trip to the mall-except for that paper cut.

Do you have any mall dangers you care to share with the class? The more educated we are about these things, the safer we will be.  

17 responses to “Beware the Mall

  1. Excellent. I have not shopped in a mall for like 6 years now and could not be happier. The mall isn’t one of Dante’s circles of hell. It is ALL Dante’s circles of hell balled into a Uber Circle of Hell.

  2. This is hilarious! I know what you mean about all of these things 🙂

  3. contrary to what you might think, LA malls are totally lame.

    Heres what I notice:
    -Adults who don’t have kids eating in the big cars at the food courts while little kids stand all around with bags of foods in hand all waiting to see who is going to get up first so they could sit there.

    – I am a very simple minded woman. I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. Please don’t give me too many choices. The mall is Sensory Overload City . The mall is Disneyland, an out of control block party, and a petting zoo all rolled into one.

    – Mall noise. So many of the stores play their music (and I use that term loosely) so loud that the shopper’s paradise they are attempting to create becomes nothing less than mind numbing noise pollution. Why do they do that? Did some retail psychology guru pronounce earsplitting rap music an opiate for the wallet wielding masses?

  4. “You can find me at a public execution or you could just meet me at the mall” – Happy Valentine’s Day – Billy Boy on Poison

    I abhor the mall. I apologize if you run into my teenage daughter there. She does have good manners.

    Happy Easter

  5. You make me laugh! I suppose that explains why I got mauled at the food court. Would it be categorized as germs or gangs, or both. A definite hazard.

  6. Wow! Scary indeed. I’m definitely staying away from the mall. I always get malled/mauled there. And if y0u do text while walking in a mall, you might end up in a fountain.

    Screaming children and parents are definitely the best birth control. LOL! I am a germ gym survivor. They are miserable places. The origin of the word “spitball” can be traced back to germ gym ball pits.

  7. This post totally brought me back to my shopping trips at the mall in my hometown. Those carved out areas for kids to play in are horrendous and I have to concur that it is one of the best birth control options available.

    I always avoid eye contact while racing through the perfume/make-up area lest I get invited to sit for a “makeover.” I’m sure I probably need said makeover but not from a woman who looks like she’s been a beauty queen for longer than I’ve been alive.

  8. Do not attempt to go to the mall from mid-November to mid-January.

    Or, if you’re like me, just don’t go there EVER.

  9. Haha, oh the perfume counters..I think they try and make you semi-high with all the scents so you’ll buy them!

  10. God I went to the frucking MALL OF AMERICA on Saturday to do a quick exchange.

    One thing that really peeves is the music in these stores anymore. B-L-A-R-I-N-G and vulgar! The store I did my exchange at was screaming cuss words and racial slurs left and right, and everyone was bouncing around like it was normal and accepted. I guess I don’t care so much about what kind of music it is, but turn it down for God’s sake. The salespeople are forced to scream, and I’m not screaming back. I just leave.

    Damn kids.

  11. You know what I would love to do?
    Spray MY perfume at the perfume counter people.
    Except it wouldn’t really be perfume so much as it would be bear spray.

  12. Malls overwhelm me. So much STUFF. And smells, and loud music, and florescent lights (unless you happen to wander into a Hollister-type store–they seem to think a level of dark that prevents you from identifying colors is a good marketing move).

    I think I’ll hang out at the bookstore, too. Or, better yet, Amazon. (Oh, wait–is that why Border’s is going out of business?)

  13. When I was in the U.S. several years ago, I learned that some people actually go *jogging* in a mall. Okay, it was Florida, and the mall had climate control, but still …

  14. That sign says it all. Gardens and books? My favorite one-two punch. (Put them together and whaddya got? My tattered childhood copy of “The Secret Garden,” natch)

    Might need to go watch Mallrats now…..

    Also, this is after the fact and then some, but I particularly enjoyed your recent post on things you need to do more recently. I echo most of your resolves, especially the one about drinking more.

    Oh, a parting question , have you ever done a favorite books/authors post? If no, please do!

  15. Want to walk the mall freely, without anyone blocking your path or running into you? Just wear a medical mask!! It’s an unexpected bonus to my severe asthma. I wear them to protect me from perfumes and cleaners, but it keeps all the annoying people away from me too 🙂
    And the perfume counter is deadly. Not just for me.

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