Malls are the route of all evil

There are no really big malls in Knysna where I live. So when one has occasion to go the nearest proper sized town provision must always be made to go to the “big mall”.

You put off buying things for weeks (or months) because you will get it when you go to “the mall”. You have a list of things you want and need, you are armed with credit cards upon which you have been dutifully paying installments without spending and are loaded to the gills with credit.

You have a set list, you will not be swayed from the list. You are so pleased when you have finished with whatever you are in town for and the shops are still open.

And then you go to the shops.

And you cant find anything at all that you even like.

You search through the shops, the first one slowly, taking your time. but as you cover more ground without finding anything suitable you start to pick up the pace. The place is so huge, there are so many shops, how can it be so hard to find what you want?!

And then you think you have. Relief. You thought you might leave with nothing, but here are a few pairs of skinny jeans. So you grab an armload and off to the fitting rooms.

Oh. My. Word.

Fitting room mirrors were designed by sadists, obviously, or at the very least by a man.

How can you look so short, fat and lumpy in triplicate? And not only do you see yourself from every horrifying angle but because of that trick with the mirrors there are an infinite number of you stretching into the distance.

The jeans you had decided you would pay exactly double what you were expecting to for (on credit) are a disaster anyway. Every last pair. It seems that the more expensive a pair of jeans are the less actual fabric the manufactures are willing to use to make them. So you leave them all and end up at the Mr.Cheap shop buying the original crappy pair anyway. If you are going to be lumpy why pay through the nose to do so?

Then the boots search. It very nearly ended in tears. When I finally found an acceptable (not lovable, but satisfactory) pair it was at a shoe shop not covered by any of the fantastic plastic and I had to dole out cash anyway.

The worst of the lot though was going in search of new mascara. We small town girls are not very good at fobbing off sales assistants. So before I knew what was potting I found myself sitting in the clutches of the in-house makeup artist getting my free makeover. Not that I wanted a free make over. Actually I just wanted a new mascara, exactly the same as the last one, to replace it as it was finished. But once they have you in their grasp you are toast. Realising my error I resigned myself to my fate and decided to relax and enjoy it. The kids were being collected from aftercare by granny, no need to rush the 40km home. After a while I started to enjoy myself. I had an expert makeup lady figuring out my skin tone, trying all kinds of products on me, making me beautiful, I hoped, you never know, maybe there really is magic in those bottles. When she showed me my face in the mirror I was happy. I bought the mascara and a few other things I clearly needed now that I knew about them, and bagged my free gift happy as a clam.

But when I got back to the car and had a good look in the light of day I was horrified! I looked like a clown! An aged clown! An old, wrinkly badly made up circus performer. Turns out the magic is not in the bottles, it’s in their mirrors!

Desperately trying to rub the stuff from my cheeks with my discarded cardigan I pull into the drive through and treat myself to some fast food. A rare treat. I never eat this stuff, I know how evil it is, but I have had a hell of a day and I am starving.

Needless to say it was gross. Mac Crap. I got half way through my shake and fries (they don’t deserve the title of chips) and couldn’t bring myself to put another mouthful into my poor, shocked body.

What is that stuff? I think I can safely say that I will never eat from the red and yellow towers of mac gross again. I still feel nauseated and it was hours ago.

As soon as I got back to Knysna I made a bee line for our branch of the chain store where the makeup was bought and returned most of it, save the mascara, which I actually wanted all along.

Our only redemption in this soulless consumerist society, we have the right to take it all back! As long as it is in its original packaging and condition, of course. Although they have the right to reward you with store credit instead of refunding your cash, thus starting the whole process from scratch, only worse because now you feel you have to buy at that shop, as you’ve credit there.

I am happy to live in a town without a big mall. They don’t actually have more cool stuff, they have the same amount just hidden in between larger quantities of pure crud.

Bring on the markets and the thrift shops baby, malls are not for me. better yet, let’s stay home and wear slippers.


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