Thursday, September 27, 2007

Good-bye Mall, Hello Collection

I was at the mall yesterday killing time while waiting for my new iPhone to get fixed.

Yes, I did take the plunge into the world of new, fabulous technology.

Yes, it also broke within one week.

No, it was NOT my fault. Out of nowhere, my phone started to blink blink blink an all white screen.

Not good.

So I dutifully went to the Apple Store and was handed a beeper that would inform me when it would be my turn. This keeps everyone with something broken filling up the store- bad for business.

I am not a mall person. I avoid malls at all costs. I find them over-stimulating and giant symbols of all that is wrong with American consumerism. Don’t get me started about the need for 18 belt stores, 20 shoes stores, and a small cart with plastic covers for all your little gismos so you can “personalize” your look.

Like two hundred thousand of those same gizmos haven’t been manufactured. When my kids were little and someone would buy them a plastic dump truck, I could only imagine the millions of plastic dump trucks that came off the assembly line and where they would all be in two years.

I hate the mall but this, I was informed, is no longer a mall. It is a “collection.” What was once the Natick Mall is now the Natick Collection.

What’s a Collection? Jake asked when I informed the boys later in the day of the name change.

It’s a way to make you pay for parking, I said.

I can only say, this monstrosity is so huge, the mall walkers better have water tables set up along the way. There was so much of… basically nothing or the same thing over and over, I was dazed.

Not too dazed. I noticed, as I walked by the Ann Taylor store that the mannequins all had erect nipples. I went back to another store- the Gap- no erect nipples. No heads, either, on a lot of them, but… I won’t go there. I looked around and it seemed, in my brief sampling, that Ann Taylor’s mannequins were the only with high beams on the block.

Why? I don’t understand why they had to be created with so much definition… is it not bad enough they are perky?

Maybe, a friend said, they are meant to entice you.

They did not entice me. They frightened me. I wanted to cover them up so none of the nursing infants in the mall would be confused.

I found out later that the collection would include a condominium complex. “Where Life and Style Come Together.”( For a cool 825K, you can get a three bedroom, 1600-foot condo. It even comes with a stove, although I’m not sure why. You’ll never have to step outdoors, if you’re lucky. You could get a job in one of the stores, exercise at the exclusive Bosse Nouvelle that is if mall walking isn’t enough for you, and have all your meals there- maybe you’d have to leave to see a doctor, but somehow, I’m guessing they’re working on that, too.

Which leaves me to ask, would you want to live in a Mall? Sorry, Collection? With fake twenty-foot tall birch trees, and black granite pools of water, don’t you think you’d miss the fresh air? Real sunlight? Is anyone else out there a little concerned about what it means to actually move into a mall and live there? It was one thing to watch Tom Hank’s portrayal of a man stuck in a terminal at JFK, but in the end, we feel bad for him. He can’t leave. It becomes a little claustrophobic.

At least it did for me.

Personally? If I have to go to the Apple Store again, I’m going somewhere else. Somewhere there are real lines, no erect nipples and doors to the outside.


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