My decision making skills have, at times, been called suspect. Confirmation of my poor choices came this past Saturday when I ventured into a shopping mall for the first time on this furlough. To compound this bit of lunacy, I did this accompanied by my wife, my two teenage daughters and my mother-in-law.
Bad decision indeed.
I spent the greater part of my day sitting on the benches in front of the clearance racks at trendy clothiers throughout the mall. It was climate-controlled so I can’t complain. No rain, cool air and no requirements save carrying the bags. What that trip did give me was a chance to veg out and watch people go by. I learned three things from pulling my time in the big house…of shopping.
- My theory that people no longer wear clothes was confirmed.
I noticed years ago that people stopped wearing clothes. At some point they began to wear costumes. The mall was brimming with people sporting their costumes. Everybody wanted to be identified with some crowd or cause or opinion. The hilarious thing is they all want to think of themselves as individuals. How can you be an individual standing in a group of fifty clones just like you?
There was the shredded jeans and plaid flannel shirt crowd. The “dress” jeans and high heels crowd–These were mainly women. The pajamas in public crowd. The underwear hanging out crowd (the top or the bottom, depending on gender). The old school rock concert t and flip-flop crowd even made a small but noteworthy appearance.
Everyone seems to be wearing their clothes for someone else and not for themselves.
- There is a tragic shortage of mirrors among mall shoppers.
With such significant effort placed on selecting the correct costume for your trip to the mall, you would think folks would at least make a cursory pass before a looking glass. Not so, my friends. Virtually every form of garment-ary disaster was perpetrated. Take everything you may have learned about complimentary colors, the mixing of patterns and appropriate cuts for body types, and set it on fire.
To duplicate what I witnessed, you would need the entire contents of Goodwill Industries nationwide. Pile that in a field and then shoot prospective fashionistas from a cannon into the stack. Whatever clothing seems to make it onto their bodies as they crawl out is an outfit.
- People are sad.
I sat there and watched people struggling to fit in. Searching for a place to belong. Craving to be a part of something so much that they were willing to follow the unwritten rules of the group they are seeking to belong to. This was far from a youth-exclusive occurrence. People of all ages were wandering through this meeting place seeking to make an impression, to gain entry into the clubs but not willing to risk too much of themselves for fear of rejection.
I sat and wondered,
“What am I going to do with this?”
Can I continue to look at this world I live in and not have my heart broken everyday? Will I continue to ignore the lost and displaced? I can’t pour into every broken life out there but will I pick one? Just one person at a time to share my life with until they find HIM.