Mall Me

img_1036“You need to buy some new jeans,” my wife Sandy had mentioned to me, a reluctant shopper, a few times recently. She wasn’t wrong. Day after day after day I wear jeans, having abandoned other forms of pants when I bid adieu to my decades-long white collar cum chinos career seven years ago. Most of my current crop of jeans is three or more years old. And looks it. Deeply creased and worn areas in the fabrics abound. As do leg bottoms whose threads are unraveling faster than light beams travel. I pondered the situation and eventually submitted. “Want to go to the mall with me?” I asked Sandy not long ago. “I’ll try on jeans. You can tell me how they look.” It was one of those days that, like death, is inevitable.

A big, bright indoor shopping mall, anchored by several department stores (including Macy’s), dwells on once-forested land half a mile from our house. Sandy and I figured that, at the mall, Macy’s would offer the best selection of denim. To Macy’s we went. Sadly, the shopping excursion was not ring-a ding-ding. In the men’s department dressing room I tried on 21 pair of jeans. Some of them squashed my balls demonically. Others, with a modest tug, slid over my waist as if they were greased. What’s  a guy got to do to find a pair of jeans that fits right? Hire Levi Strauss’ ghost to custom tailor them? I stormed out of the dressing room, contemplating throwing myself over one of the mall’s inner railings to the ground level courtyard. Good thing Sandy was there to prevent that from happening. Otherwise the masterpiece that you at this moment are reading wouldn’t be floating around in cyberspace.

But all was not lost, for on the way to Macy’s Sandy and I had passed through another department store. Bloomingdale’s. And I, constantly idea-starved when it comes to blog stories, was amazed by how incredibly good the stuff for sale in Bloomingdale’s looked, not to mention the snazzy displays right and left on which the goods balanced and the aura of pizzazz that pervaded the store. “Man, this place is beautiful. It’s like a modern art museum,” I said to myself. And thus a story idea emerged. Let us proceed.

img_0934img_0935A few days after the day in which I came up jeans-less I was back in Bloomingdale’s. I entered through the portal that led directly to an artistic wonderland, the cosmetics department. Talk about kaleidoscopic vistas, layouts that Andy Warhol would have been proud to design and colors that rocked. I had never paid much attention to cosmetics departments before, but that day I was smitten. Almost sorry that I wasn’t female, I was tempted to sit down on one of the stools ringing some counters and let one of the beauty experts behind the counters have a go at me. Hell, my face could use a lot of help.

img_0941img_0943Next time I will. But I needed to move on, to check out the museum-worthiness of the rest of Bloomingdale’s first level and the two above that. Not far from cosmetics were women’s dresses. By the way, I saw dresses in other parts of the store too, later, and had no idea what the differences were between the various dress sections. Needless to say, I’m a fashion idiot. Anyway, four of the mannequins-in-dresses on the first floor were hot chicks clad in cinnamon, grey, and black. I could imagine those sculpted figures displayed within a gallery of The Big Apple’s Museum Of Modern Art, where they would be meant to represent, let’s say, a commentary on our society’s beautiful people. Lined up nonchalantly one behind the other, they wowed me. And, permit me to add, they were way beyond my league: now, then and always. Wait, I forgot . . . those girls weren’t real. And I also forgot that I’m married. If it weren’t for those two circumstances though, I might have had the courage to ask the pensive blonde to join me for some pizza slices and frozen yogurt at the mall’s food court. But probably not.

And so I wandered for 40 more minutes. After which I decided that my original impression was correct. And I expanded upon it: Bloomingdale’s is like a modern art museum that has outstanding holdings in color field art and pop art. And I’ll throw in some Matisse too. It’s a haven for color arrangements that sometimes smile and sometimes exuberantly clash. And for sculptures (mannequins) that might get you thinking about what they are thinking.

As usual I’ve entered territories that my analytical and intellectual abilities aren’t equipped to explore much further. And I’m also getting hungry. It’s 12:39 PM as I now prepare to remove my fingers from my computer’s keyboard. Almost time to feed the face that needs a lot of help. I’ll leave you with some additional photographic examples of how artsy-cool Bloomingdale’s is. And I’ll remind you not to be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this article with others. And that if you click on any photo in this story, a larger image will open in a new window.

Peace out.

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25 thoughts on “Mall Me

  1. Still the Lucky Few October 10, 2016 / 1:24 am

    Don’t know who is responsible for designing the unwearable items that pass for jeans these days. The waist is usually the problem. Stores insist on stocking jeans that are ‘low slung’. Who wears those things, other than 15 year old girls? Glad you liked the store. It’s gorgeous!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gilly October 10, 2016 / 3:32 am

    You are absolutely right about department stores – they really are like museums of modern art. I would go so far as to say each store is like a piece of gigantic conceptual art. It’s as if they are making statements about our obsession with human adornment, ‘beauty’, household adornment and entertainment. I can’t stand them – they are monuments to everything that is wrong with society – waste, greed, the pursuit of happiness through buying ‘stuff’ and the constant reminder that us humans are not good enough as we are (we don’t look good without a ton of make-up and we stink without being covered in chemicals). Great observations here, in my humble opinion. Ditch the jeans, get a kilt, much more comfortable and very manly. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Joyce October 10, 2016 / 7:59 am

    Did you ever get new jeans? Try Old Navy they have lots of jeans.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Janet Sunderland October 10, 2016 / 10:24 am

    Okay. Great shots. But did you ever buy jeans? Or did your art-deco eyes forget to see them… conversely, did my morning reading eyes even with glasses on miss that part?

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger October 10, 2016 / 1:02 pm

      Hi Janet. I eventually found jeans elsewhere. I wasn’t on the hunt for jeans in Bloomingdale’s. I wouldn’t have bought jeans at Bloomingdale’s in any case — the jeans there are fancy brands that cost $150 and up per pair!

      Like

  5. Lucie October 11, 2016 / 9:27 am

    Uh…I’m confused, Neil…Your “old jeans” seem pretty “new and stylin’ ” to moi! But what do I know?! I wear peddle pushers these days! ;)p

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger October 11, 2016 / 11:35 am

      The best thing about the jeans situation is that I ended up with a story for this blog. And for someone like me who is story idea-starved half the time, that’s a big plus!

      Like

  6. greenpete58 October 11, 2016 / 11:57 am

    I have one pair with holes in both knees, but I love ’em for just hangin’ round the house. New jeans are like a new job: they take so long to feel comfortable in (if ever). I’ve decided to henceforth buy my jeans from thrift stores. This strategy is also good for avoiding shopping malls, which are (for me) like soulless, antiseptic forms of death.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. andrewcferguson October 11, 2016 / 1:48 pm

    Nice article as ever, Neil, and great photos. I’d stick with the existing jeans – it may be just on this side of the pond, but having holes in the knees seems to have come around again as a fashion.

    To the lady who suggested kilts are more comfortable – not in my experience, although that may be down to my stubborn refusal to have the kilt let out to reflect the thirty years of good food and wine since I had it made to measure. We’re talking hydraulic winches to get the buckles fastened now. There’s also the issue of sitting down in a car gracefully. Although a kilt does offer more, er, pendulous freedom with none of the crushing issues you mention.

    Incidentally, just in case any of your Stateside friends are visiting Scotland any time soon, I’m afraid we Scots only wear kilts at weddings generally (or if we’re tour guides). Although a kilted wedding is an awesome sight, as all we Lowlanders channel our inner Mel Gibson….

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger October 11, 2016 / 2:13 pm

      Hi Andrew. Yours is a great bunch of comments. And I love the phrase “pendulous freedom.”

      See ya’ —-

      Like

  8. Aunt Beulah October 11, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    You’re right, Bloomindale’s does look like a museum of modern art. But never have I seen s major department store that devoid of people. Where are they? Did you herd them away so you could get your photo or did they recognize what you were about and fade away on their own? It’s hard for me to admire the beauty of mall stores because they are usually packed with people who look like me and other regular folks and act grumpy and rushed. Think you wandered into an alternate reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger October 11, 2016 / 8:17 pm

      You know, in a very real way Bloomingdale’s is an alternate reality. Janet, maybe you’ve given me the kernel of a story idea!

      Like

  9. Elizabeth M. Soltan October 13, 2016 / 11:03 am

    Love your outsider’s take on the mall! The comments from your readers are illuminating, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • yeahanotherblogger October 13, 2016 / 11:24 am

      Hi, Liz. You’re right — this article. for some reason, elicited a pretty wide range of readers’ thoughts.

      Like

  10. aprilswopegreene November 5, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Nice to see a fresh take on an old standby! Most Americans probably don’t actually see the malls they visit anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

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