Dear Cobbers, this is Minnesota. In case you were unaware, the Mall of America is here. Over break I had the fortune of visiting the lovely place with my roommate. To make things clear to you, I have not really visited the cities in over five years and have never before set foot in this mall of exorbitant proportions. I repeat: I, a Minnesotan, have never been to the Mall of America before. I can hear the shocked gasps from all of you reading; stop it.
While there I had a very bizarre time. Maybe I am the only one with this problem, but no matter where I go I see people I know. Case in point, I ran into a group of five Cobbers, met up and shopped with another and his friend and had a long life chat with someone I went to high school with. It is weird to me that the slogan of our state fair, “The great Minnesota get together,” is applicable literally everywhere in the state.
I had a lovely time. I bought a book, “shopped” and offended the entire Banana Republic store. However, I felt very weird. There were people everywhere, and it was a Monday afternoon. I was also enlightened with a weird fun fact: there is no heating in the building. People’s bodies keep it warm. Whether that is an urban legend or not is beyond me, and to be honest I do not want to google it and shatter the illusion.
I guess I could preface this whole experience with the fact I abhor shopping in person. Going to stores freaks me out, people breathing on me, trying to help me, telling me what looks good, yadda yadda yadda. I find it all very strange. Shopping online is favorable if only because customers and sales associates freak me out.
The more I was there, the more I became annoyed with myself on a multitude of levels. For example, I thought to myself: I am a girl, so why am I not having fun? No, hey, that is a stupid thought; not all girls like shopping. That guy is having way more fun than me. Where is the food? Why can I not buy all of this? Oh yeah, money. Why is this person staring at me? Oh gosh, I am so, so, so sorry Banana Republic. Never mind. I guess I am not.
From there it sort of devolved into this love-hate relationship. I love that we have this mall as a sort of “claim to fame” that people visit, and it does us good; but I also just really hate shopping and how shopping is perceived. Oh, you like spending money on clothes made in Jakarta? Capitalist! Oh, you hate shopping and spending money on clothes made in Jakarta? Dirty hippy! I do not feel like anyone can just say they like or dislike shopping; there has to be a ten page paper on the subject. Maybe I am just overanalyzing it, but I want to feel like Cher in “Clueless,” having a computer-catalogued closet and not really needing to think about it.
Katelyn Henagin graduated from Pierz-Healy High School in 2010, and grew up in both Pierz and Worthington, Minnesota. She is graduating in 2014 with a Philosophy Major and a minor in Psychology. If you feel like talking to Katelyn, striking up a conversation about Harry Potter is always a good choice.