My Generation of Mallrats

My crew, and all our glory, enjoying a summer's evening at the mall.

Check out our rags! Hahah

There was a time when I ruled the nearby malls dressed to impressed, surrounded by close friends. We’d sit and shoot shit for hours every friday and saturday, and more frequently during the summer. My crew and the others at the time all had their assigned hangout spots, whether it be outside of the movie theatre, the boondocks of the food court, or the sexuality section at the Barnes and Noble. All of us, different in our taste, but united we grew out of that awkward, gauche high school phase of too much makeup and not enough facial cleasing.

I went to the mall tonight with my mom (you know you’re old when you don’t mind being seen in public with your parents anymore) to run some errands. I put minimal effort into my appearance, if at all, and spent the entire time praying I wouldn’t see anyone from high school, which I successfully did not! I did some people watching and observed the new generation of mallrats. They just… it’s not what it used to be.

It was love at first moshpit

I frequent the local malls that I used to hang out at and all I see are self proclaiming emo/scene kids who are awfully short and babyish looking for their age. I mean, I used to try to tease my hair and wear neon colored clothing, but I was never dressed like the Crayola Factory exploded in my closet!

And now, because these emo/scene kids are so stupid, they have rent-a-cops on segways patrolling all of the hot spots where the mallrats will stand and socialize within their crew. Now, hanging out at the mall is considered loitering and the security guards will tell you to keep walking if they see you with your clan. These scene kids are loud. They crowd the walkways. They don’t contribute to the crappy economy and they certainly don’t just smoke cigarettes at the mall. Perhaps I am just an old fart though. I’m sure so many of my elders felt the same about my generation of mallrats… that we were hoodlums, obnoxious and ridden with acne. But hey, we owned that mall! We respected our fellow mallrats and we held the title loud and proud. My nearby mall even has a group page on Facebook with 56 members. The mall may have closed at 9:30, but we hung out until 12. So here’s to us, the original mallrats, who never bought a single thing and had no sexual/life/personal experience at all!

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2 comments

  1. Eric James · · Reply

    Gee, what mall did you go to? 😛

    I’m torn when it comes to malls. I spent so much of my high school years at malls it’s kind of pathetic. I remember when Menlo had a Suncoast, that store was essentially my life for awhile and fed into my filmmaking aspirations. I wish it stayed around so I could have worked there my senior year.

    But the reason I’m torn is that it speaks to the environment we grow up in. Are malls the only thing our state has to offer? Many times with my friends we end up saying “So what else do you want to do?” At this point we’re all broke, we already ate, and the night is still young.

    Still, I look fondly at my time spent at the mall but mourn what it is now. The conversion of the AMC into a dinner-theater is also give or take. That was like THE gathering for all the kids there. I’m happy I don’t have to fear being stabbed by a scene kid when I’m there now. But I remember the times I had and how it was almost always packed with kids my age, easy to socialize. Now it’s empty and deserted.

    I think it’s important for kids and teens to have a place like a mall or a cyber cafe to go to. It keeps them out of trouble and it supports real-life interaction, which is vital. But I’m worried over the status quo in the coming years.

  2. You forgot to mention how obnoxious we were in the malls: collecting items that were lying around in the displays, filming our dancing routines in front of the latest car, yelling “OH DAAAMNN!!” to any boy who seemed hot to us.

    If I saw a kid doing the same thing I was going back then, I would try to contain myself from hitting them or laughing at them. lol

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