Monday, September 15, 2008

A Green Mom Goes to the Mall

I haven't been to the mall in ages. I can't even remember the last time I even thought I might want to go to the mall. This weekend I had to go to the mall to pick up a few items from Pottery Barn we needed at my office for a research project. While I was there I thought I would wander around as we had the remnants of Hurricane Ike in town on Sunday and our outdoor plans were cancelled. I need to replace my very worn out four-year-old black pants and skirt before a handful of business trips I have to take in October, so I figured the timing couldn't be better.
1. Pants are ridiculously expensive! Can anyone tell me when both JCrew and Banana Republic decided they could charge $128 for a single pair of pants? Don't worry, I didn't buy pants at either store. I succumbed to the Gap for a $54 pair.

2. Did you know Pottery Barn thinks they are green? They carry aluminum water bottles that look mysteriously like a SIGG knock-off, except for the whole "made in China" part. Throw in a couple of recycled material picture frames and a box of sustainable wood colored pencils ($24 for 24 pencils!) and Voila! The store is green! Or not... When I refused the copious paper wrapping for my single plate, single napkin ring and picture frame and then broke out my reusable tote, the saleswoman looked at me like I sprouted horns.

3. No one, and I mean NO ONE, at our local mall carries reusable totes. I'm pretty sure the sales staff at Banana Republic thought I stole something.

4. Did you know 80's fashion is totally back in style? Me neither and it's a good way to keep me out of the mall for a very, very long time. Yikes, totally junior high flash back!

5. Does everyone wear pajamas to the mall? Interesting... I saw more girls wearing pajama pants then the last time I went to a slumber party. Again, total junior high flashback!

6. If you don't have a Starbucks cup in your hand, you seriously stick out like a sore thumb.

Lesson learned. Two pairs of pants and $106 later I won't be going back to the mall anytime soon. I felt like a zoo exhibit someone let out of it's cage. It's funny, once you break the mall-habit it's very hard to go back...


Monica said...

We rarely go to the mall too. I prefer haunting thrift stores and rummaging through other people's stuff at yard sales. :) And after shopping the secondhand market, it's hard to stomach retail prices.
I hadn't thought of taking a reusable tote to the mall. If I do end up with a plastic bag from a store, I tended to just decline a bag from any other stores I might purchase from and put my purchases into one.
My husband and I find the mall is a great form of free entertainment. I enjoy people watching.

CM said...


I haven't been in a USA mall for eons, or large city Canadian one either. I remember the last time we did drop in at a small one and used our cloth bag. HAHAHA Yes, we are nuts, just put it in the bag already! Now try it with more than one child in tow.

Green Bean said...

Too funny! I had the same feeling the last time I stepped into the mall or a Target. I truly felt like an alien. What are these people selling? Wearing? Why is everyone carrying a disposable cup from Starbucks? Yes, I really do want to put my X in this bag. Really!

As to the knock-off Siggs, I was happy when my mom bought one because it was cute. I figured it was better than those bajillion plastic water bottles she goes through continually. She won't use it though because she said it makes the water taste like metal. Hmmmm.

Heather @ SGF said...

He he! I've noticed the pj thing too. What's up with that? And some of the tops look like lingerie!

And I love your Starbucks observation. Hurricane Ike came through this weekend. The Starbucks was open for business (though they ran out of milk because no one was delivering in the storm). Next door to Starbucks, the mens store had boarded up windows and across the street, where construction is taking place, stuff was flying off the site and into the street. The rain was blinding; the wind could knock you off your feet, but hey, you could get your Starbucks fix. What?

GreenStyleMom said...

I know that the stores think I am shoplifting also when I bring my own bags! I think I've actually been followed around! LOL The boutique stores are the worst. Sometimes I think they will refuse to sell to me because I am using my own bag!

And the PJ thing... I cringe thinking that I used to walk around in men's boxers with waffle long underwear underneath! Ack! It really seemed stylish at the time!

Jena said...

I know what you mean about the 80s stuff. Last year I thought I would splurge and buy a cute new outfit - only I couldn't find anything I wanted! I can't wait for the retro/punk rock days to be over.


Heather said...

I know what you mean about the looks people give you when you use your own bag. When I use mine, I swear, they look at me like I've insulted them or something.

greeen sheeep said...

I take my own bag everywhere and often get similar reactions. People don't know what to do. I tried buying apples from a local farm last week and explained that I wanted to use my own basket. They sell by weight, so I asked one of the employees if they could weigh my basket before I filled it. He was totally confused.

I tried explaining, could you weigh my basket before I fill it and then weigh it again once the apples are in it, subtract the difference and multiply by the price per pound. I thought it was easy enough.

His reply, "Couldn't you just fill one of those plastic bags and then dump the apples into your basket?".

Excuse me? Umm...what?! Arrrrgh!