I hate malls. And I especially hate what’s known in my area as ‘the mall’, although i live pretty much equidistant from two. We only go when there’s a need. And by ‘need’, I mean that we ‘need’ the right jewelry to go with our fancy party dress, or our ipod needs something specific that we can only get from the source. These are relative needs, but if you’ve recently parented a 14-year-old girl, you’ll agree that ‘need’ is apt.
So ‘the mall’ has decided to spiff up its image, courting some higher-end anchor stores to fill some pretty costly vacancies. I understand that their need, also relative, is real. The mall has been there for nearly 30 years, and those empty stores probably do cost us all in the long run. I don’t pretend to understand such high-falutin’ economic principles….or the high-falutin’ anchor stores, for that matter…but I’m sure there is some truth to ‘the mall’ management’s need to fill those stores.
Concurrent with opening these higher-end department stores, ‘the mall’ has decided that it would also like to ‘upgrade’ it’s visitor pool. Their plan involves restricting the right of teenagers to visit the mall on Friday and Saturday evenings unless accompanied by an adult. The devil, as usual, is in the details…
To enforce the policy, security workers will check the identification cards of young shoppers at each mall entrance beginning at 5 p.m. Those without an ID proving they are 18 will be asked to leave, or face arrest and prosecution for criminal trespass.
Teens unaccompanied by an adult already inside at 5 p.m. will be escorted out. Once intercepted, teens will be placed in a supervised holding area until their parents pick them up.
Arrest? And prosecution? Supervised holding area? For shopping?
I’m none too thrilled about this prospect. Any of it. And yet, I have no particular attachment to mall shopping. I certainly can’t see myself supporting the ban, but I had no motivation to fight it, to actually encourage the youngin’s to serve themselves up as happy-obedient consumers….until….
One of my daughter’s friends is trying to organize a protest to the curfew for minors. He envisions a sit-in, followed up with a boycott. I’m so frickin-frackin proud of him I think I’m going to completely support his efforts. And yet, a part of me wants to shake these kids and tell them to stay the hell away from the mall at ALL times….