Voluntary Torture: A Trip to Our Local Shopping Mall

 

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TMI ALERT: I hate wearing a bra.  Unfortunately, I have to wear one on a daily basis.  I work in a professional office, and I don’t think that anyone would appreciate the THO I would likely be sporting if I didn’t wear a bra in my air-conditioned office.  Anyway, what I really like are those camisoles with built-in bras.  I needed a few new ones, and I wasn’t having much luck finding what I wanted online.  Therefore, this past Saturday night, Greg and I decided to get a babysitter and go shopping.

Since we were looking for something specific, we decided that going to the mall would increase the likelihood of us actually finding it.  Afterall, we could park the car once and meander into many different stores looking for the illusive bra/tank top combo.  On our way to the there, we reminisced a little about past trips we have made to the mall.  We both hate shopping so much that we avoid it like the plague.  Occasionally, we even give money as Christmas and birthday gifts to our nieces and nephews just so that we can avoid making a trip to this capitalistic purgatory. That and we are cheap as hell frugally awesome.

We arrived at the mall and it was jam-packed!  What in the world were all of these people doing here on a beautiful autumn Saturday night?  Was there an event going on?  A concert?  We would soon find out.

 

Our Quest for My Breasts

As we entered Macy’s, we started looking for the bra/tank combo.  We squeezed through crowds of smiling families who appeared to be enjoying their evening at the mall.  People were shopping.  They were trying things on and laughing.  I actually heard what appeared to be someone’s mother declare with delight, “Don’t worry, honey, if you can’t decide.  I’ll just get all of them for you!”  I felt like I was in some consumerist twilight zone….and I still hadn’t run across that huge concert or event yet.  But I was still looking, because there had to be a reason that so many freaking people were there!

As we entered the mall from Macy’s, it became very clear that there was no event going on at all.  Hoards of people were carrying what looked like dead bodies in shopping bags.  Families with 3 or more kids in tow were making Build-a-Bears and riding around the mall on a miniature train.  Since when did the mall become an entertainment destination?  Were all of these people really here of their own free will?  Was the mall giving away a cruise or something?  Surely, I must have been missing something!

 

The Mall Wears Us Down

 

Voluntary Torture: A Trip to Our Local Shopping Mall

Even the security guards there are freaky…

 

Although we continued to browse in each store, we weren’t having much luck.  Afterall, fall and winter clothes are in season so stores were lacking in the tank top department.  But we kept trying and the stores appeared to increase in their level of torture as we progressed.  One store in particular, “Love Culture” stands out in my mind.  It was huge and packed with people who appeared to be in a huge hurry.  The store was also bright white and littered with mirrors, which made me feel as if I needed my sunglasses.  Techno music blared as loud as you can imagine and lots of ugly and sloppy clothes were strewn everywhere.  In this store I began losing Greg’s cooperation, and I was so overloaded with branding that I began blurting out things like, “This is what hell must be like,” and “I hate this mall and everyone in it.”

 

The Mercifully Yet Unproductive End

We moved on to other stores and, after an hour and a half, we never found what we were looking for.  This trip certainly served as a reminder as to why we hate shopping in the first place.  And, let’s face it, hating shopping helps us save money.  Furthermore, is it just me, or are clothes starting to get really ugly?  I’m pretty sure that I saw about 58,000 shirts and 65,000 pairs of pants and the majority of them were awful looking.  Of course, as we left the mall, Greg admitted that the shirt he was wearing was from high school (15 years ago) and my black yoga pants and a black hoodie weren’t that great either.  Quite honestly, I don’t really care.  If I have to shop to stay fashionable, it just isn’t worth it to me.  Truthfully, we are not cool…..and more importantly, we don’t want to be.

 
About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.

Comments

  1. “hating shopping helps us save money” that’s a good point, if you don’t like to go to the mall and shop, you are bound to spend less money.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..5 Great Real Estate and Home Renovation ShowsMy Profile

  2. I can’t say that I’ve ever been bra shopping – although if I keep eating at the same rate as my pregnant wife, i’m sure to experience a case on man boobitis due to excessive weight gain.

    Seriously though, I do agree with you in regards to disliking shopping. What did people do before you were able to shop online?

    I can’t handle the crowds, the obnoxious kids, the slow walkers and loud talkers. I hate the whole shopping experience!

    If I have to brave the shops I do so really late in the afternoon or on a work day during my lunch break. There seems to be less people that way.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Setting SMART GoalsMy Profile

  3. I can’t really say I hate shopping, I actually love it! I can go shopping all day by myself. In fact I went shopping last week and spent about 5 hours browsing stores by myself. I was really in need of some work clothes.
    Call Me What You Want Even Cheap recently posted..After Marriage!My Profile

  4. We have a few different malls around us, and the ones that are like you described drive me INSANE. I hate enclosed malls where all the noise seems to bounce off all the walls and come back to you amplified.
    But we actually really enjoy the open air malls in our area. We window shop walking around for a mile or two, but rarely going into a store. We’re not really shopping so much as just going for a walk somewhere other than our neighborhood!
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..An Open Letter To Susan Cain, Author of QuietMy Profile

  5. I am with in you, in that I hate shopping as well, so does my wife for that matter…which is good because I’ll do pretty much anything to avoid the mall. So much so, that I’d much rather get a frontal lobotomy than to go with the whole family.
    We commonly give cash or gift cards as gifts. If not that, then Amazon is my best friend this time of year.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..6 Frugal Ways to Remove the Pain From InvestingMy Profile

    • I think cash makes a great gift anyways. Then people can get what they actually want! Truth be told, I am not good at figuring out what people want anyway!

  6. We ventured out to a few stores ourselves this weekend, and it’s amazing how many people buy stuff. It’s fascinating for me because I just don’t spend money unless it’s on food. I am with Greg as most of my clothes are from high school or college. I know my wife recently purchased a few of those shirts you’re talking about…not sure where she found them though! (I know…that doesn’t help at all. Sorry)
    Jason recently posted..Stop Buying the Hype: The Average Rate of Return isn’t What You Really EarnMy Profile

  7. Awesome story about your trip to the mall. It is pretty damn crazy how packed those places constantly are. I really avoid going to the mall at all costs too. Lately when I do go I have my ipod on so that I can block out a lot of the crap.
    Modest Money recently posted..Fostering a Pet Can Make You RichMy Profile

  8. That train in the mall is so stupid! We’ve got one of those too …

    What girl really does like wearing a bra? From what I hear, they really are a bother. My wife has always been a Vickie’s kind of girl. She waits until they have one of their mega sales and then double-dips with the coupon they sent her in the mail.

    One store that really freaks me out is Aerie – the teen bra store by American Eagle. The girls in the big posters are just a little older than my daughter and wearing next to nothing on their little anorexic bodies. Creepy ….
    My Money Design recently posted..My Cash Flow Plan – September 2012 UpdateMy Profile

  9. Join the club of people who hate shopping >>^.^<<
    Hahaha, "consumerism twilight zone" – ain't it so? When I see all those commercials on TV I think to myself "who the heck buys crap by watching this stuff, probably no one!" The sad reality is that someone IS buying that crap, otherwise they wouldn't run the ads. The people you saw in the mall who were quick to buy anything are probably some of those people.
    Veronica @ Pelican on Money recently posted..What Should My Budget Be with My Income?My Profile

  10. My wife and I are having pregnancy photos taken tomorrow so she wanted to go to the mall yesterday to find a new outfit for them. After dealing with all of the teenagers running all around on a Sunday afternoon I remember why I hate shopping. It truly does save you money.
    Sean @ One Smart Dollar recently posted..It Shouldn’t be this Hard to Choose Your MortgageMy Profile

  11. Haha I hate wearing bras as well, and I LOVE camisoles with built in bras. I live in them.

  12. lol @ THO! And thanks so much for giving me a mini heart attack! I’m just innocently reading along about boobies when BAM…freaking SATAN….is giving me what appears to be bedroom eyes. NICE, HOLLY. ;)

    Sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for. I bought one bra a few months ago, because…my boobs like to change sizes sometimes to be difficult! Anyway, it was a BOGO 1/2 off sale at Macy’s, but I didn’t want to spend any more money. The lady looked at me like I had…THO basically. She was like “wait, you don’t want to get another one? But they’re HALF OFF!” I said “no…really. I don’t want to SPEND any more money so I can pretend that I’m SAVING so much. Thank you for verifying, though.” :)
    Michelle recently posted..Homemade Halloween Costumes – My Cheap New TraditionMy Profile

  13. Wow, TMI Holly, TMI…..LOL

    Hating malls is a great way to save some money for sure.

    The bummer about shopping online, though, is that you don’t know if it fits “just right”. I am a skinny guy, and only certain brands fit me just right, and I don’t know what size I need exactly unless I try it on. From season to seaon the same size will fit differently, so I need to try everything on before buying.

    But, I don’t mind shopping all that much. Probably because we only go to the mall like twice a year!
    Jacob @ iheartbudgets recently posted..How To Save Money: New DishwasherMy Profile

    • You’re right about shopping online- it can be a pain to return and ship things back if you don’t like them!

    • I have that problem too! Especially if I have to order from the States. (I’m in Canada.)

      The other thing I hate is that you can’t tell quality online. I need to see the fabric, the stitching, the drape of the garment to really tell if something is worth buying. I often shop online to find things I like and then go directly to the store to buy it. Saves me wandering the malls!

      • That is a very good idea! And I agree about the quality thing. I really prefer to buy *used* quality clothing but that is hard to come by when looking for something particular.

  14. I think malls are a necessary evil. Although the “necessary” part is starting to go by the wayside with online shopping. (I buy most of my stuff online now). That being said, there is something fun about just being in the mall – as long as it’s less than 60 min…

    Thankfully, I don’t have to wear a bra… I don’t think I would like wearing one either. :)
    Jason Clayton | frugal habits recently posted..Don’t Neglect what is Truly Important in LifeMy Profile

  15. My wife and I were just talking the other day about how long it’s been since we’ve set foot in a mall. The last time for my wife was in February, and I couldn’t even remember the last time I was in a mall. I know it’s been at least a year. And you’re right the clothes now are just ugly, even for kids. It seems like half the little boy clothes we look at are all black and grey with skulls on them.
    Justin @ The Family Finances recently posted..Do-It-Yourself Saves MoneyMy Profile

  16. This post made me laugh — I was tackling the very same chore this weekend. Between the students and the lack of sales staff, I just shrugged and gave up. My frugal self is still not quite ready to go to the specialty shops in town, however. Ug.

    • I just don’t enjoy shopping…and Greg says I ruined it for him. I think he ruined it for me. I think I liked shopping before we started dating!!!!!!!!!!1

  17. You would love my town. No malls or stores to speak of other than WalMart. The longer I live away from the city, the more overwhelmed I am when we do go to Denver or Phoenix. I honestly don’t know why they need two stores that sell only designer jeans. I don’t get high end kid’s clothes stores. Paying $100 for a kid’s outfit is just dumb. There are just too many stores, but obviously people buy things in them or they wouldn’t be there. I guess I’m just getting old, but huge malls really wear me out and I rarely find anything there and just have to leave.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..Does LASIK Surgery Make Financial Sense?My Profile

  18. For me the enjoyment comes if it is something I like shopping for. I hate shopping for pants. They never look good and never fit. It gets really depressing. Groceries can be fun though. I do find that I don’t have the urge to shop much though which helps save money.
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter recently posted..Identify Your Money MotivationsMy Profile

  19. I commiserate with you. And this is not even the sale period yet? Can’t imagine waiting with the long lines at the counter! Shopping wears me out, I feel like a limp rag after just a couple of walking around.
    CreditDonkey recently posted..Shoppers Feel Safer Shopping Online than at Local StoresMy Profile

  20. The only shopping I enjoy is browsing old-fashioned used bookstores, the ones where the books are stacked to the ceiling …

  21. Malls are definitely not the place to make purchases if you’re trying to be frugal, but they are great for walking around looking/browsing and people watching.

    It’s free entertainment if you leave your wallet at home.
    Sally recently posted..Colorado Football Fan Gear and GiftsMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. [...] other day, I wrote about how much I hate the mall.  I seriously cannot stand shopping, and the mall is the antithesis of everything that I stand [...]

  2. [...] Voluntary Torture: A Trip to Our Local Shopping Mall [...]

  3. [...] Holly from Club Thrifty shares her distaste of shopping malls in Voluntary Torture: A Trip to Our Local Shopping Mall [...]

  4. [...] Mentions for our article “Voluntary Torture: A Trip to Our Local Shopping Mall“: [...]

  5. The rise and fall of the shopaholic | usedclothessingapore.com says:

    [...] malls,” he lamented, and I could relate. In fact, I recently found myself nodding quite a bit at this anti-mall article from GRS guest writer Holly [...]

  6. [...] for my wife Holly. For those of you who have been reading us for a while, you may recall that neither of us particularly likes shopping in the first place. I’d rather stick a needle in my eye than go shopping for a normal [...]

  7. [...] another $250 in Walmart gift cards just for doing our regular spending.  Still, I have to admit, I despise shopping at Walmart.  Everyone that works there looks miserable and it’s just so damn depressing. [...]

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