I’m repeating this again. Never Again will I go to a Shopping Mall at Christmas Time!!!
I’m 46. Mostly, I know what I like and I dislike.
I say “mostly” because, even at 46, I still find my self in places, situations, & eating things that I seriously don’t know “how I got from here to there”. It’s not like most people who look back and say “well it seemed like a good idea at the time”. For me, it starts innocuous enough. More in the realm of someone asking, “do you want to do “______”?
“okay” I say
The event usually starts fine, but then it hits me. “What the heck am I doing here????!!!!”
If I am with people I love and enjoy, the feeling may take a while to arrive. But in the end, BAM! It arrives like a ton of bricks. In restaurants, the noise becomes deafening and I can’t hear across the table. Smells take on a life of their own. I can smell the perfume, the spices, the odor of everything and it turns my stomach. In crowds, the movement of the people is like bobbing in the ocean and then getting hit by a rogue wave. It slaps you in the face and you are gulping salt water down like a guppy. The water goes up your nose and you can’t make the sick feeling leave quickly enough.
Until recently it didn’t occur to me that I can simply leave.
So, why in the world would I like to go to the shopping mall? I’m sure I thought it would be a great place to walk indoors. I pictured a nice afternoon walking with my hubby looking at christmas windows. Maybe we’d get lunch. It was an opportunity to get out of the house in the dead of a snow winter. Most importantly, it was a “day” date. This is what I pictured in my mind . . .
Fast forward 2 hours later. We parked in a sea of cars. I pulled my hubby into stores we NEVER frequent just to get out of the moving crowds. This is what it looked like.
My chest was tight. I am sure I looked severely uncomfortable. Because he said, “you don’t look so good. Are you okay? You keep grabbing your at your chest. Do you want to leave?”
This is what I felt like by the time we left to go to the car.
As I reduced my breathing and got my heart rate to slow, I repeated the mantra and added the following to my “going-out” sub-routine.
“do not go to shopping malls at Christmas time. do not got to shopping malls at Christmas time. do not got to shopping malls at Christmas time. do not got to shopping malls at Christmas time. do not got to shopping malls at Christmas time.”
I am happy to say that I have not been in a shopping mall at Christmas time since. Generally, I’ll avoid the indoor malls like the plague, unless it is a Monday or Tuesday night when I know the place will be empty. Happily there is an open air mall close to us. I can easily whisk in and out of a store without much fore (or after) thought.
Never Again will I go into a shopping mall at Christmas time.