Saturday, February 13, 2010

Consumer Whores

I hate the mall. It's probably one of my least favorite places. I try to avoid it at all costs, but today, my friend needed to go there since it was the only place in our Valley where there is a T-Mobile store. There was absolutely no parking. We tried for about 5 minutes to find a spot, and I was dazed. "Are all of these people seriously HERE?! Why the hell are there so many people at the mall right now??... What could they be possibly doing?? Shopping. Buying, buying, buying shit." This is just gross. The moment we walked in, fumes, I mean toxic, toxic fumes, flew straight up into my nose, intoxicating my pores and suffocating my brain. I could barely breathe; it felt like I was inhaling chemicals - I was. I pretty much lost my sense of smell. So, while my friend dealt with his T-Mobile business, I decided to go into Track 'N Trail and H&M, the only two stores even remotely close to my comfort zone. I did buy at H&M the same two camis I had bought two years ago, which have since stretched out and acquired holes. A two-year lifespan isn't bad from a consumerist standpoint, I guess. My next stop: PRETZEL TIME! It's like a novelty. Mall = oily, salted pretzel. Mmm... fond memories. So, I go to customer service and talk to this heavily made-up woman. She tells me that the pretzel shops are at the two far ends of the mall. So I walk amongst all of the consumer whores: the teenagers, trailer trash pregnant girls, people with SO MUCH FUCKING PLASTIC they're carrying (bags upon bags of petroleum), dumbasses just aimlessly walking around, "Oh, where should I spend money next? Duo-dah-duo..." I thought, "Do these people actually have a reason for being here?... Why does this place even exist?" I saw this chick laying down in a chair getting her eyebrows waxed. Seeing that, I felt like I was in a "Why Consumerism is Evil" documentary. This wasn't my reality. So, I got to the pretzel shop, stood in line, and ordered two oily, salted pretzels and a lemonade. I tried paying with my debit card, but they refused to take it without a picture I.D. "It's store policy." That's bullshit. Visa's merchant contract says in fine print that stores are not allowed to enforce no service w/out a picture I.D. I had to walk away, and I was pissed. It was pretty sad that I was fighting over something so greasy and had industrial food chain written all over it. I had to walk back across the entire slew of consumer whores. I left with my friend, and decided that I wanted to go back to get those pretzels. I was craving them! So I went back (in a car this time, driving to the mall entrance where the pretzel shop is located), this time with my picture I.D., and asked them if I could have my order again. The guy reached into the case. I asked, "Um, do you have the other ones?" No. HE HAD FUCKING THROWN THEM OUT!!! No way. I said, "I want those ones right now. Pick them out of the trash, please. That is so wasteful! I was here only 10 minutes ago!" He said that they couldn't sell those to me. Alright, whatever. Not the time to mention a thing called COMPOSTING, I figured. The dude would probably look at me like an alien. So, now I was my own consumer whore, with my oily, salted pretzels, tasting exactly as how I remembered from my past. They were terrifyingly tasty.

I can't believe so many people were at the mall. PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY OUT DOING THIS SHIT ALL THE TIME!!!... When I'm in the little bubble out here in the Valley, being so deeply connected to my food, making my own stuff, etc., there are people buying oily, salted pretzels every day and buying MASS-PRODUCED junk (it's all just junk), taking up ENTIRE PARKING LOTS to do it!!! These people aren't being self-sufficient. They're just all sheep, flocking around like idiots guzzling down paychecks on nothing but things they don't need. Just stuff, stuff, and stuff! I'm not ignorant; I know this is going on around me all the time. I'm a consumer whore, too. We all are. But never, in like 5 years at least, have I been around such a concentrated area of consumerism at its worst. Wow, malls... these places still exist. I'm just so far removed from it all. I don't watch TV, ever. I avoid convenience stores, supermarkets, etc. If I ever go shopping, it's at a thrift store or online... Treating myself is going to local wholesalers of outdoorsy brands like Patagonia, L.L.Bean, Mountain Hard Wear, etc. I know it, but imagining a world where people do what I saw tonight, every day, frightens me beyond measure.


Kid Shay said...

Your first two posts of the year have been angry. Are you OK? Or just letting off steam?

aquaricris said...

Haha... Josh, I'm just letting off some steam - not angry. The happy posts will be when I get my camera... I will take pictures of the food I create, the books I read, the places I go, etc. etc. It's going to be awesome once I get one. I plan to blog at least 3 times a week!... I need to get into it!