I used to love going to the mall. I could spend an entire afternoon roaming the shops and hanging out at the food court. Those were the best times; just me and my girl gang laughing and carrying on, maybe buying something. But really, the point of going to the mall as a teenager wasn’t really to come home with tons of things. The point was to see and be seen.
Let’s go back in time to about 1985. I was 15 then. A trip to the mall was planned in advance. We would be on the phone the night before planning what we were going to wear, who was going to go, where we would meet and who we may see when we get there. (Of course, the who we may see there would be the boys) With the agenda set and ready to go you would fall asleep hoping the morning comes quickly.
Morning would come and you would eat a fast breakfast as your mom tells you to slow down and then maybe have some chores to do before it was time to start getting ready. I would have an outfit ready to go because you have to look cute. I would have painted my nails the night before, but I check them to make sure they don’t need to be touched up. After getting dressed it was time for makeup. I was never one for a lot of makeup, I still don’t wear a ton, but always a little eye shadow, mascara and lipstick. It was the days of Wet & Wild makeup and blue eye shadow was a must, with a touch of Bonnie Bell lip smackers with a little bit of frost in the color. (What were we thinking, LOL) Then came the hair…my hair has always been short, so just a little gel to scrunch it up and a lot of Aqua Net to hold it in place and I was ready to go.
I would arrive at the mall and go to our designated meeting spot. Once we were all together it was time to plan the day. Where should we go first? Clothes were always first on the list. We would wander around Esprit and Benetton and Contempo Casuals. Somebody may have bought something, usually I picked up some more jelly bracelets. (Don’t judge…Madonna was huge back then.) Ever the book lover I would make everyone go to Waldenbooks. Then time to hit the food court.
It wasn’t time to eat, just to pick up something to drink and see if any of the guys were around. After an Orange Julius and no boy sighting it was time to make a strategic move…Spencers. We just knew that is where they would be. And sure enough, in the back where all the naughty things were, we would find them. After about a half hour of pretending to be disgusted by their antics we would spend the rest of the day together.
Next stop was Sam Goody. We would check out the new records, look through the posters and other musical items for sale. We never had a lot of money to spend, just enough for food and a little something extra. I usually bought a cassette single. Yep, you heard me right, the old 45’s were gone and CDs were not a huge thing yet, so there was the cassette single. It was better to just buy your favorite songs instead of spending all night by your radio waiting to hit the record button hoping the DJ didn’t talk over it. Awwww, the joys of the mixed tape…that is for another memory lane post.
Our last stop was the food court again. This time for some Mrs. Fields cookies. A trip to the mall is not complete without these cookies. We used to try and stop at Hickory Farms for the free samples, but the manager got tired of piles of kids hanging around all the time, so we got banned. Here in the food court was where you would find out who liked who and all the other gossip that is important to teenagers. If you got lucky you would end up talking to the boy you liked and would set a date to talk on the phone. And then it was time to go home, mission accomplished. We would run out of the mall to meet our parents in time and go home.
We would spend the whole week talking about that day at the mall, until it was time to plan for the next Saturday and it would start all over again. The life of a teenager was so much simpler then…I wish I could go back to those days, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
***Question for the comments…Did you hang out at the mall as a teenager? What was your favorite store and what was your favorite food in the food court?
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