Feeding My Addiction

My husband Peter would tell you that I’m a shopaholic. I think that might be stretching it a bit, but I do admit that the choice to move from the country to the city was partly due to the proximity of malls. Covid 19 may have changed all that.

During the cold, lonely, germ-infested months of March, April and even May, I longed to go to a mall, wander around, try on some clothes, maybe buy a few things… Finally Stage 2 arrived and the local mall was open for business!

My first stop was the book store. It’s been open for a while and I knew my way around. But, after I finished buying a couple of books, I tried to enter the mall from the book store. I discovered that the entrance was locked up. I spent at least 20 minutes searching until I found another entrance, tucked into an alleyway. Not very welcoming.

Once inside, I saw a totally different world from my last visit in February. There were signs, arrows, paper footprints everywhere – on the floors, on walls, on counters. They were hard to miss. But when I did go the wrong way, there were guards wearing masks and standing, feet spread, hands clasped behind their backs – police style. A wrong turn and I was quickly re-routed. This was further complicated by the fact that the interactive maps were out of service and I had to figure out store locations on my own.

As I made my way towards my favourite stores, I noticed a lot of other changes. A few places were not open, especially ones selling finger food like chocolate, popcorn, sushi, ice cream. Other stores, such as Lego and The Body Shop that usually encourage touching and testing merchandise, had removed those opportunities and most of their products were hidden behind bars and counters. Clothing stores did allow access to dressing rooms, but anything that wasn’t purchased after a try-on had to be steam-cleaned before it was put back on the rack. The guilt of rejecting something I had tried on would be tremendous – so I didn’t.

The mall itself was deserted. There were a few older ladies like me wandering around in disbelief, a few power walkers getting their steps in an air-conditioned venue, a few groups of bored teenagers likely plotting their next secret house party for 200. But mostly I had an overwhelming sense of “What am I doing here?” Surely I could manage to live without a new white belt or new black flats.

Covid 19 has presented us with some different moral dilemmas. A recent Globe and Mail article discussed whether shopping for shoes (or belts) is essential to saving our economy. Shouldn’t we be giving the money to a food bank instead? In “Sole-searching In the Pandemic Summer” the author says that the best way to help the economy is to buy a new car, Canadian-assembled, preferably electric. For clothes – visit a consignment store and re-use. Oh oh…

So are people actually buying Any new clothes these days? Sales clerks say that shirts and blouses are flying off the shelves, meeting the needs of business meetings on Zoom, where the viewer can only see you from the waist up. For below the waist you can consider buying the new “buffet pants” – jogging pants with elastic waist bands to accommodate extra snacking.

After a quick trip around the mall, I found myself feeling disappointed and sad. My favourite hobby was in a shambles. I might as well go home and bake some bread instead. Then at least I’d have a reason to go back to the mall and buy those buffet pants.


PS No picture of me wearing the new shoes that I didn’t buy.

5 thoughts on “Feeding My Addiction

  1. Halton Hills mall was packed because it was an outlet mall. Stores had a max occupancy but walking between stores was outdoors.


  2. Ha,ha,ha! 🙂 Wonderful! That stands as a history of our times; maybe, where we stopped to reflect on what we truly need. I am not averse to shopping therapy myself. Groceries usually make me happy. But this week, I was forced to throw out two pieces of clothing that wore out or got claw-holes of love in them (cats). Then, I went to the closet to ogle all the size eight finery from a bygone day, which is waiting for me to shrink into a skinny old lady. Fat chance! Besides, holy over-dressed!! It’s not like I haven’t looked in Wallmart and Giant Tiger for comfortable cottons in earth colours. They don’t exist this season. So, I’ll just have to wear more stuff out.


  3. When are you headed back to the Mall? Different world and different times. I am not an online shopper, so I feel your pain.


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