It was a teen metropolis. A breeding ground for hormones, potential boyfriends and the finest Claire Accessories ones money could buy.
This winter break as I stopped by the same mall that I lived in as a teen, I practically ran through the joint to return something for my mom with every intention to get the hell out of there.
I then found myself sending up a request to God as I bobbed and weaved through the after Christmas posse.
“Lord, I hope nobody sees me,” I muttered under my breath while flattening my hair and adjusting my jacket.
Half of my prayer was because I’d jumped up and headed out before I could put my full face on, much less a decent outfit; but the other part of me was genuinely uninterested in seeing, smiling at or making small talk with anybody.
The thought itself was such a far cry from the sentiments I had almost 10 years ago, mush less the actions. I went to the mall for nothing else but to be SEEN. To stunt, if you will. I wore my BEST. I dared not enter the mall of Columbia’s threshold without rocking my clear mascara, low-rise jeans and the most popping of lip glosses. After spending my little allowance there was nothing that I wanted to do more than head to the food court and scope out the cutest crew of boys with my friends.
As I type this I remember how long it took to forgive my mother for subjecting me to the ways of the suburbs, but looking back it was the highlight of my teen years.
Now my highlights include trips to small boutiques in Williamsburg, excursions at the Brooklyn Flea or trips to the city to drool over the seasons hottest on the streets of SoHo. Let my grown self tell it, I’m so far past Columbia Mall. I’m cultured now y’all.
But there’s something to be said for the good times. The serious reviews of Hollister’s newest jeans amongst my girls, getting critical opinions in Forever 21 about what dress made my butt look a little bigger, and trips to Nordstrom (once I had a job) to buy $100 BCBG heels that I’d end up trying to match everything with.
Countless inside jokes formulated inside the walls of our shopping haven, the feeling of accomplishment we felt after leaving with a fresh and snug Abercrombie hoodie, and that cutie that built up the courage to walk up to the giggling cluster of girls and get one of our numbers is not to be disregarded.
With all that said, this is my official farewell to the mall and all that it meant to me. You treated me well. I’m sure you’re making some group of 15-year-old girls very happy.