i took my lovely L to the mall this morning. i have not been to one for many months. do you remember the thrill that accompanied a trip to the mall as you were coming of age? among the peers in our small town, it was a source of high culture (we thought) as buying clothes there would reveal our identities to a cruel world (until the treasure hunt of thrift store shopping was discovered) and finally take us to new heights of cosmopolitan living revealed in glimpses of Vogue and Seventeen (not easily achieved in the few stores nearby). did city kids have the same feelings on the mall experience?
upon reaching my later twenties, thoughts of the mall meant nostalgia and laughter at my own short-sighted and naive perspective. in particular, recalling how in my girlhood i would cry the entire car ride home when i hadn’t gotten what i thought was enough or deserved! (i am still guilty of these “it’s not fair moments!” now and then.)
today i sat on a bench with a few rare moments to watch passersby. there were parents on dates with their children (like me) and women whose bodies showed the proof of years of caring for their families (also, like me) and awkward teenagers trying to fit in the adult world around them. i saw two ladies with face lifts, one fellow with triumphant eighties rocker hair, and countless women that forget to put themselves in the rotation of care each day (i fight this undertow daily). i wonder what a visit to the mall was providing each of them on this day.
for my lovely L it was a perfectly thrilling first ride on the escalator (which became six perfectly thrilling rides in all) just like Corduroy. happily, we didn’t see him there since he had already found a perfectly happy home with the little girl named lisa.
this morning before we left i felt very much like Corduroy. thankfully, i had my own little girl to bring me back to where my true home should be — a place of perfect, immaterial joy. (i am graciously humbled.)