I was as shocked as anyone to see that traditional malls still exist in 2017. I mean, come on. I like flipping through the risqué posters in the back of Spencer’s Gifts as much as the next fella, but this is the digital age. And that’s what makes my field trip so puzzling. It didn’t need to happen. But it did, and I’m here to tell you about it.
A few weekends back, I went all out. Think about the last time you tied one on, and multiply it by ten. We’re talking 4, maybe 5 beers in the span of 3 hours. I don’t think I got home until 11:30, but that’s the party boy lifestyle I lead. Now I normally don’t sleep in on weekends, but somehow I didn’t peel my face off the kitchen floor until 8:35 a.m. Please don’t tell Jocko.
First on my agenda after similarly wild nights is hydration. Nothing pairs better with low-level nausea and early stage dehydration than a YETI filled to the brim with crushed ice and filtered water. Sip. Swallow. Transcend space and time. Repeat. From there, I take it straight to the shower. I know that many people would rather wallow around in their own filth while wearing their unwashed hair as a badge of honor. Not me, though. The nourishing properties of coconut milk shampoo and English lavender soap are key. My theory is that you should always prepare like you have somewhere to be. In this instance, I did. I just didn’t know it yet.
After preparing a vintage 3-egg, 1 squeezed avocado breakfast, I poured myself an 8-ounce cup of homemade, non-GMO cold brew coffee. I added a splash of MCT oil to the mix because most key brain functions were flat, and everyone knows that medium chain triglycerides love to mix it up.
Sip 1: Should I golf today?
Sip 2: I should get a little work done.
Sip 3: Is there a god?
Sip 4: You need new kicks.
I didn’t really need new shoes, but the thought of spending hard earned money impulsively sounded comforting. With my decision-making abilities at questionable levels, I decided to venture into the world of brick and mortar. A place where time stood still. With what I thought was nothing more than a nuisance hangover, I entered the glass door on the first floor of Nordstrom. It was the only acceptable way. As I’d soon learn, though, nothing is acceptable when you’re at the mall hungover.
The first thing that hits you is the smell. With each breath, the scent of trend and shredded denim became more pungent. My eyes began to water from what I have to think was someone sampling Curve or Coolwater cologne. My heart rate spiked. I stopped dead in my tracks near the piano where the calming sounds of a jazz pianist were nowhere to be found. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t think about turning my ass around right then and there. But I charged forward – into the mall.
Some things never change. Chris Harrison wins at life, dogs are awesome, and high school ne’er do wells own the mall. It’s their turf. They know every last square foot in that place. I know this as fact because believe it or not, I was one of them. But that means nothing to the modern American teenager. All they see in me is some guy who probably has an early afternoon tee time. Dammit. They were right.
Some people get nervous when walking around a crime-ridden neighborhood at night, but for me, walking by an angsty group of Fall Out Boy looking mother fuckers holding iPhones sends chills down my spine. These turds think they’re one viral vid away from becoming a YouTube sensation. And since Vine was shut down, it’s desperate times for them. They’d love nothing more than to see some hungover thirty-something like me making a weird face, or looking at his phone in a puzzled manner, and then BANG – that man is a meme.
With each group that I passed, I felt my adrenals firing shot after shot of adrenaline to keep me on my toes. The gauntlet of teen douche commerce was too much. My body reverted to survival mode, and I was walking around aimlessly at the mall waiting to stumble upon a Foot Locker. Or a Champs. Hell, I would have taken a Shoe Palace at that point. Anything to get me out of that godless jungle.
With seemingly no respectable option, I made a decision that would ultimately change my day. I walked into Journey’s. .
Image via Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com