I think we were all mall rats in our own time. I know I was. When a weekend came, I did my chores and was on my best behavior, in hopes that I could go hang out at the mall. It was where all the kids my age hung out at. It was the happening place for teens.
The mall is boring but entertaining. It is the social scene of every generation. There are plenty of people there and always a new friend to be made. It is also a good place to catch up with old friends or just to hang out alone.
There is a world full of fun to be found at the mall. There are numerous shops to choose from. You can catch a movie at the theatre. You can play games at the local arcade. You can even grab a bite to eat at the food court. Most teens, however, are just as satisfied walking around in circles and doing pretty much nothing.
The mall is a popularity contest for teens. You don't need money to hang out and be cool. In fact, very few teens that hang out at the mall actually do any shopping. It is more about adventure and interacting. It is about being seen and seeing others. It is a universal place for people of all walks of life to come together and have fun.
Now days, I go to the mall and I see teens hanging out. The clothes they where have changed. The attitudes are different. Yet, the mall theory remains the same. Teens need the mall. It isn't about shopping. It is about hanging out. It is about social interactions.
The mall seems less fun now than it did when I was twelve. I used to get dropped off there and hang out half the day with only five dollars in my pocket. Today, if I have only five dollars, I am not even going to venture towards the mall. It goes to show how times have changed.
I learned a lot from the mall when I was a child. I made many friendships there. I had a few dates over the years. I got into a few fights. I had first kisses. I exchanged phone numbers. I reunited with old friends. I revealed crushes. I learned to be an adult and get over the drama.
The mall was an important part of my teen years. It was the backbone for many lessons I have learned. If not for the mall, I doubt I would have learned as much about human nature. I doubt I would have felt normal like all the other kids. The mall taught me about life and the world outside the walls of the food court. The mall helped me build and keep memories that I am confident will last forever.