I like getting gifts for friends and family, and I don't mind spending money, but I have never liked shopping as a leisure activity. And I especially do not like malls. The reason for this is that I have nearly always been a shopper of necessity. When I need something, I go and buy it. Said and done. But the fundamental concept of malls is to prevent you from efficiently shopping for anything. Instead malls seek to force you to wander about, deal with distracting displays, and mobs of people.
The only mall stores I ever shop in have their own access to the outside. That way I never have to actually enter the mall. Generally I average about two visits to mall stores a year, an average I'm trying to improve on. Of course, I also usually do not drive on a daily basis, and all of the shopping malls are too far away (how fortunate!) for a pedestrian to visit, and most have no means for access afoot anyways surrounded as they are by a wasteland of asphalt upon which an unregulated demolition derby is being played. It would be safer to play on the railroad tracks than try to walk across such an area.
Generally I like smaller stores, especially those whose owners and employees I know. So I do most of my shopping on those rare instances when I am so moved in shops in the immediate vicinity of my place of employment.
Now this is the funny thing. It's not the crowds of people that produce my anti-mall attitude. I love 3d world markets and can wander in them for hours. So many exotic things I'd like to have. And maybe that's the essence of it. Nearly all of the wares on so prominent display in shopping malls consist of nothing whatever I'd ever want. Rather than swooning or drooling or coveting these things, I find myself completely disinterested. I doubt that I can find any connection at all with people who cheerfully and willingly shop the malls.
'Tis the season to be jolly, so I shall not risk the mauling of my excellent post-semester attitude by doing anything foolish.
Surely my attitude must be unAmerican. But so far at least, my freedom to not shop at malls has remained inviolate. For this I greatly thank the founding fathers.
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