I like to shop. I realize this is not earth-shattering by any stretch, but there it is. I like shopping. When I was in high school, the downtown of my city was booming, and there were loads of shops to visit weekly. By the time I got to university, not so much. A lot of the stores had moved out of the downtown area and up and over to the bigger malls and plazas in the suburbs and other large, flat areas where giant parking lots could be created and people could park for free and get everything all in one place. And I’m not going to lie, I shopped in those malls and I continue to shop in those malls, but unlike a lot of people in our city, I also continued to bring a good amount of business to our sadly depressed downtown core.
Case in point. My mum and I used to do a Friday night shopping thing. I think it started around the time I got married – because even though we chatted on the phone practically every day, it was nice to go pick her up, see my dad, have a chat at the house, and then head out to shop. It was good together time. Often we didn’t need anything specific, it was just nice to go look around and spend the evening out.
Sometimes we would head to big suburban mall, but most of the time we went to the tiny downtown mall where Eaton’s was the flagship store. Canadians know Eaton’s very, very well. To my mind, this was the greatest department store in the history of department stores. I have been to big department stores in the UK and in the US and in my opinion, Eaton’s outdid them all. Granted, I have never been to NYC and the killer stores there, so perhaps I am blowing smoke but whatever; until I experience the likes of Bloomindale’s and all that, I stand by my view that Eaton’s was the best of the best.
Sadly, the Eaton family fucked up royally and the stores no longer exist. And really, once the store left the downtown area of my city, except for a few big stores, it was game over for anyone trying to continue in the retail area. Without a big anchor store, the mall kind of dried up. And that’s sad, but it is by no means unusual in North America.
Thankfully, things are starting to pick up in our downtown, as people begin to think more about urban renewal and try to move away from the big box stores whenever possible. Obviously not everyone is going to do it, but my family and I are definitely among the ones who value the urban shopping centre, and will continue to help it keep on keeping on.
So this long-winded introduction was really to set the scene for the big reveal! Because while I love to shop and I love the shopping districts of cities, I have learned to loathe the mall. Now, the mall is often a necessity, I understand, and I do frequent the mall, but I really hate it. I hate the crowds and I hate the noise and I especially hated – when I went on Sunday to buy underwear – the kids trick-or-treating. I mean, wtf? Is this a thing? And I know that the next time I go back it will be like Christmas threw up and my ass will snap shut and it will be too hot and I will become stabbier than usual.
This is why I am vowing – hear me vow! – to do as much of my holiday shopping online from the comfort of my own home. I order lots of stuff online already, and it’s time to take it to the next level. My goal is to avoid the mall – any mall – for the entire holiday season. And this doesn’t mean that I will cop out and send The Genealogist to the mall for me. This means a full-on avoidance. If it can’t be ordered online or purchased from a stand-alone shop or boutique, it’s not going to be purchased. It might be tough but I think I can do it.
And speaking of Threadless, look at what arrived at my door yesterday. Just in time to start the party season, awwww yeah!