I love the mall.
There’s something about meandering aimlessly with hundreds of other people in and out of stores tempting us to buy items we didn’t know we needed until we saw them #firstworldproblems?
Mostly, but I still love the mall.
I started getting interested in shopping a couple of years back and viewing clothes more like an expression than a thing of practical utility (people lose respect if you don’t wear them at the grocery store). A couple of younger guys who came with us to start Venue had had enough of my utilitarian ways and suggested we “go to the mall?!”
It began innocently enough with them taking whatever influence they could get into my future “fashion sense” and me thinking I was in control.
“That looks good pastor!”
“Um, that was cool last year.”
“We’re not sure you can pull THAT off at all…” Ouch. Until then I wasn’t aware I was trying to pull anything off.
Fashion sense for guys is a funny thing. Some are really into it and have decided to treat it like it’s normal for men to think about what they’re wearing constantly. I doubt they had my dad.
My dad was, and is, the most practical person I know. If you wanted to impress him growing up you needed to have common sense and a good work ethic. If you called him on the phone and asked what kind of shirt he was wearing he’d have to look down to tell you.
“Richard! Those pants don’t work with that shirt! Try the other ones.” – Mom
Dad – blank stare.
Some years back I explained to a group of people how I decided on the outfit I was wearing on any given day:
“I pick socks that feel good on my feet. Then pants that might match the socks. Then a shirt that might match the pants. Sometimes it works out:)”
This is apparently not how fashion-aware people dress themselves.
A peer of mine told me a couple of months ago that he had a “Personal Shopper” who helped him pick out new clothes. I still don’t know exactly what that is, but I’m absolutely positive my dad doesn’t have one.
I’m somewhere in between.
Random fact but my dad still hasn’t watched Star Wars. I registered my shock as a child and was trying to talk him into it and knew I had lost him when I had to explain what it was about.
“Space ships and the Force and lightsabers and Jedi Knights and droids….”
I feel like what he was hearing was: “A bunch of hippies, probably on something, made a movie that has nothing to do with your life and want you to pay money to watch it”
Dad is not a sucker so he hasn’t watched Star Wars yet, unless my daughters have been able to talk him into it.
Back to shopping…
So you can see the practicality that shopping for sport is competing against inside of me? I’m somewhere between shopping for protection against the elements and having a personal shopper.
Friends of ours visited us this weekend and in a startling reenactment of my first real shopping experience, I found myself using words like “YES! That is a sweet shirt! You need to wear that to church this week!” And “Oh my goodness this is cool, you HAVE to try it on!!”
What happened to me? I used to be a hunter of goods and not a gatherer. I used to be a real man whose dad respected him. Now I go to the mall to see “what’s at Urban Planet”??
I would be horrified now to wear an outfit beginning with socks. I’ve changed. I’ve changed and I like it. I have shoes now, lots of them! Shoes that look good but hurt to walk in.
I actually care about what I wear, and that took some careful planning by my guys to just “get him to the mall somehow”. Isn’t that how it always begins? With people who care?
I care now because they cared. I have been converted. Only now do I see what their plan amounted to:
It was an intervention.
They couldn’t live with having to look at my outfits that began with socks anymore…