Open Thread

Monday Night Flashback OT: the Mall

Like most girls in the eighties and nineties, I think I spent most of my babysitting money and allowance at Claire’s. Dangling earring, bracelets, jelly bracelets, barrettes, obnoxious socks, you name it, I bought it. 

I think I started going to the mall with my BFF in about the fifth grade. We’d go to Claire’s and then go down to the card store where we’d buy Jelly Bellys. We’d hit the record store (in the beginning, there were real records in such places) and buy cassette singles for $2.49. I honestly don’t remember what else we did there, just that we were there at least once a week for most of my youth.

Were you a mall rat? You can tell me. Or feel free to hijack this open thread with whatever business you want!

135 replies on “Monday Night Flashback OT: the Mall”

My town was too small for a mall. We had maybe 800 people living there when I was a kid. The next town over had a mall but it sucked. So there was no place for teenagers to hang out until we got our drivers licenses, and then we drove around like idiots. And we had parties in the sand/gravel pits. SERIOUSLY, SO PATHETIC.

I loved Claire’s. It’s where I got all my chopsticks for my hair.. yeah, I was that kid. And then it turned into Icings, which was good but not as cool as Claire’s. I wasn’t really a mallrat, but I do love the movie.

On a different note, I had to post a new roommate needed sign today, and now I feel sad. I hate needing a roommate. But it’ll make life way cheaper and keep me from being bored/lonely at times.

I grew up in the middle of nowhere. The nearest mall was 2 hours away. God I loved it when I got there. That particular mall is still my spiritual home, I do miss it.

I don’t think I hung out anywhere as a teen. Perhaps McD’s, once. I wasn’t the hanging out type.

I need some good blogs to read on a daily/semi daily basis. Any suggestions? So far my list includes: Buzzfeed, NPR, Mother Jones, HuffPo, feministing, feministe, Gawker, Truthdig, and Grist. Basically funny/political/feminist/current events type blogs.

And obv not Jezebel (ohhhhhhhhhh snap!)

Claire’s wasn’t my thing, but I also hung out in the record store (with actual records) buying cassette singles and then down at the iron-on transfer shop buying ‘slave’ bracelets. I had a lot of them.  When I was much younger, the mall was the place I went to get stickers from the awesome sticker store for my collection.

(Sad animal stuff ahead)

So I found out today that Girl Dog has mammary cancer. Usually, the prognosis is very good, but a number of factors (she’s a senior, she’s pretty small) are complicating things, most of all that she apparently has an enlarged heart and putting her under anesthesia for the surgery is really really risky. I’m trying really hard not to be defeatist about it, and to stay positive, but it’s hard.


Thank you. It’s hard because, well, I call her my daemon, so if you’ve read the His Dark Materials trilogy, that kind of explains it. She’s like a little physical part of my soul, which sounds SO CORNY I KNOW, but she’s my little lovebug. I, of course, love Boy Dog beyond reason as well, and I can’t imagine life without him, but he’s very much a Daddy’s boy. I just hate that she’s sick, and it happened on my watch. (Although I’m totally OK with blaming her former owners who never got her spayed and bred her over and over again, so that when we got her at age 8, we had to get her spayed, and her age when that happened likely contributed to the cancer.)

I’m so, so sorry to hear she’s not doing well. I don’t think it’s corny at all to call her your daemon, sometimes you really feel a connection to a certain pet. I feel that way about my cat, and that’s coming from someone who fawns over pretty much any animal. It sounds like she is very lucky to have found a home with you! Sending you and Girl Dog good thoughts!

When I read His Dark Materials, I was absolutely taken aback at how much the daemons accurately described our most loved pets. I think it’s a much more fitting notion than the “fur baby” idea (although I can see how that fits as well). My most favorite animals were totally parts of my soul. Dogs make especially good daemons. I hope yours is cuddled up to you right now. And I’m sorry she’s going through such bad stuff, and that you’re going through it as well.

I second the call that it is not corny!

I had that relationship my family cat growing up. It was like her soul was permanently bonded with mine. I love the two cats I have now, but we don’t have that mysterious connection that is so strong as to be almost physical like I did with my beloved and sadly departed lady cat. I was on the other coast when my mom had to put her down a few years ago. I sobbed my eyes out when she called me and am tearing up just thinking about it.

All the positive energy for you and Girl Dog.

Whenever I go to one (which always sounds like a better idea than it ends up being), I look around and wonder how I ever dealt with working there for so long. The one thing I do miss somewhat though is being able to walk to a food court for lunch (I either work at home or on a science-research lab campus, so an effortless Chick-fil-a eludes me :)).

I was never much of a mall rat. When I was a young teen I owned a horse and spent a lot of my free time with him. He was basically a big lazy dog (he thought he could hide behind me when he was scared). He was cute though so he got away with it. Mom would drop me off at the stable where we boarded him and I would mess around with him until she came to get me. In summer I packed a lunch and shared most of it with him. Who knew horses liked fruit roll ups? I don’t have any pictures of him that are easy to get to, so I grabbed the next best thing. 30 seconds on google rewarded me with a picture of his father:

Imagine that horse with fewer white spots and quite fat. That was my horse. Ok, he never learned any high step gaits because I rode hunt seat. I’ve been very nostalgic about him lately and am very glad that I have heard on occasion from the family I sold him to that he is happy there.

Yay for horses! I grew up in the country, so no malls for me, but I grew up with horses and a Welsh pony. I started riding when I was 7 and got my own horse when I was about 11. I got up at 6:00 am in the morning to feed them before getting ready for school, which was painful, but worth it. I loved my horse, even though he could be a bit of a brat (he was a huge drama dude and would shy at a falling leaf if he thought it would get him out of trail riding, even though he loved to ride with me once we got started). My best friend also had a horse and on weekends and vacations we would spend all day out in the woods, on trails. We’d pack a lunch. Our moms had no idea where we were. It was heavenly.

Dang. All I ever did was show at the county fair where a never ending parade of two year olds wanted to pet my horse’s nose then shove their hand up one of his nostrils. It’s a good thing my horse loved babies.

And if it makes you feel any better Slay Belle, I found out the hard way that you never, ever want to get arena dirt down your riding breeches when you fall off your horse. Particularly not if you are the stubborn sort who will get back on if your injuries are anything short of losing a limb.

I’m dying!

I went to horse camp via the Girl Scouts, which was pretty much the best time of my life ever. I was a seriously horse crazy kid and desperately wanted to take lessons — my mother recently told me that she and my dad just didn’t feel like spending the money on it. Which I understand, but, still. One of my only big adult wants in life to have my own horse.

Mini has already greatly surpassed my skill level — she’s had lessons on and off for years and wants to compete in barrel racing.

I’m glad you got to have the horse camp experience! And I’m glad your daughter is able to take lessons. I can’t wait until my daughter is old enough for lessons.

I feel bad because my daughter hears me tell these stories about growing up with horses and every time she says “I want to move to the country! I want a horse!” Let me tell you though, for a couple of years in middle school that horse was pretty much my only friend, and it was often hellishly lonely. The city is definitely a better place for building relationships of the human variety.

My horse was such a spoiled show pony that the first time I took him out on a trail he was seriously eyeballing the trees and walking as close to the middle of the path as possible. That is until he saw another horse grab a mouthful of leaves. Then I had a hard time keeping him going because he wanted to eat ALL THE THINGS. There was a reason he was a bit of a rolly polly.

Our pony also loved to eat ALL THE THINGS. We couldn’t understand how she was getting out of the fenced-in part of the pasture one summer – it was electrified and too high for her to jump, but at least once a day we’d find her in the next field, eating all of the crab apples. My mom was seriously afraid she was going to founder. The little sneak would do NOTHING while someone was watching her, though. My mom had to hide behind a nearby copse for a solid two hours before she found out what was going on. The pony walked up to the electric fence, got down on her belly, and shimmied underneath the lowest wire on her belly like she was a freaking Marine. We had to install another wire below the lowest one to keep her inside the fence. I was so impressed!

I didn’t go to the mall as much as I did the local $2 theatre. When I was in middle and early high school, it was the place to be with friends. It had a small arcade and cheap cheap movies and snacks. We were glad to be dropped off by our parents, and they were glad to pick us up three or four hours later while everyone got an afternoon of peace. It’s still  a hangout for kids that age, but movies are now $3.


Hahaha, I remember Claire’s being a big thing.  As one who just fails at wearing jewelry, I never bought much there, but EVERYONE ELSE did.  I spent most of my mall time and my money buying anime on VHS (dubbed, because subtitled was $5 more per tape WTF WHY?) from SunCoast.

Completely unrelated, I would like to thank Selena for the super-generous gift of points.  I’m barely going to be CJ Cregg at all, but since Queen of the Underworld is less than 600 pts away, I am okay with this.

Hijacking like it’s going out of style!

Well, not that exciting, really.

Just watched this movie (hey, it was free on hulu and I don’t want to study):

It was…interesting. Well-acted (Prof. Umbridge!), plot move along briskly, but it was kind of jumpy. Like it was poorly edited. Hm. But the costumes were good (’20s) and the sets were well-done. Plus it’s based on a true story!

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