I am not a Mall person. Malls make me anxious.
I don’t know if it’s due to the throngs of people who meander slowly ahead of me when I’m trying to chase down my wayward children, or a sub-conscious fear that if the Zombie Apocalypse was to happen while in a mall, I’d be trapped with a shitload of annoying teenagers and office girls enjoying an ‘extended lunchbreak’.
God forbid. I wouldn’t know whether to run from the brain eating zombies or the girls stampeding their way to Supre for a free-for-all. Either way… Though, least if I were trapped in a Mall, I could find refuge in the confectionery isle of K-Mart – no self-conscious teen or stereotypically skinny office girl would be seen undead there, right?
Wait, it’s the zombies I’m meant to be running from in this scenario, isn’t it? Damn it, I forgot what nightmare situation I was writing about for a minute there.
In fact, I completely forgot what I was writing about from the moment I typed the words ‘Zombie Apocalypse’.
Oh. That’s right. Christmas shopping.
For the most part, we’ve got Christmas sorted, but there’s going to come a time – very soon now – where I’m gonna have to suck in a big brave breath and negotiate my way through a mall teeming with crazy-eyed shoppers and brain-eating teenagers.
It is inevitable that in the next three weeks, I will find myself trapped in a unbearably long checkout line with my six rolls of gift wrap, shopping basket of ‘stocking stuffers’ and a box set of American Chopper for the Lad, that no staff member will be able to find the discs for. I will worry that my card will decline, even though I know there will be enough money on it to cover what I am about to purchase (I’ll know, because I would have checked seventeen times beforehand.) The children will transform into snarling Wargs and Grumkins as soon as they see the shelf of lollipops alongside them. Someone will begin to cry.
In that moment, the walls will close in on me as the anxiety attack takes its hold. I will consider eBay as the source for the Lad’s box set, rethink the necessity of Christmas stockings and start wondering if we really need all this wrapping paper, or if we could just upcycle the kids impressive stash of Playcentre paintings…
All of this will happen. It’s a scenario that’s as much a nightmare tradition for our family as leaving up the Christmas tree for the first four months of the new year and drawing a face on a toilet roll and calling it the Xmas tree fairy because we’ve lost the original.
But as far as shopping malls go, I’ll have my say in that at least. And I’ll take my chances with Westgate. It’s spacious outdoor design and dead boring selections of shops should filter out most of the teeming hoardes, and if all else fails, there’s a Hunting and Fishing shop up the road, just in case I need to score myself some guns to deal with any f#%^ng annoying teenagers zombies.