When I was a little girl, my mother would always take me to the mall to do some shopping for clothes or toys or food. For days after school, during vacations, and during holidays, I was mesmerized by clothes and brands and jewelry, without knowing what would work on me. I would go through these halls as doors which opened to a new me. More important for me was how it was a bonding experience with me and whomever I was with—we would talk about what we want and our likes and dislikes.
Going to the mall recently causes me to yawn out of boredom, as we spend too much time in an aisle which renders no relevance. I am left wondering about why my mother would buy so many shoes; or why whenever my relatives come along we always go shopping.
Whenever I have spare time and a bit of money, I go to different places to immerse myself in the material world. I would saunter through different stores and smell the different perfumes, try on varied dresses and enamor myself with teas, and think about what lipsticks look good on me.
Most times, I would leave these stores without buying anything. I’m a college student without a job; the things I desire are beyond my financial bracket, as well as my parents. The things I would buy included books I won’t read for a year, CDs, and outside foods, including candy. I would also buy posh teas—a dimension above the box teas from the grocery store.
Yet, most of these things are on impulse.
That way, when I’m shopping, it’s not merely buying one thing, it’s making a dream come true. I have a vision of what I want, based on the internet and frequent trips strolling through aisles and streets, and I’m going to go get it, no matter what.
Yet compared to my mother, where she would wait for the right deals to come through so she could get a sweater for under ten dollars, I’d pay full price for something, without considering how much money I would have left.
This causes grief for my parents—I had to hide my bank statements multiple times because they would lecture me, again, about how I would never learn about financial responsibility. I recognize that if I lived alone, with no other forms of support other than from myself, this would be unsustainable. And with the clock on familial dependence ticking down as the days in college fade away, it’s something I have to consider.
I may want something, yet I cannot drop everything to get it.
This doesn’t mean I shouldn’t step into a specialty shop again, nor into the loving walls of the mall. This is very much a part of my life—seeing the new clothes, interacting with customer service, and seeing what I like for the future.
Online shopping is the future, especially with vintage clothing and jewelry manufactured in the past, but it never has the exact same feeling of entering a new world.