There she is. In all her glory. The Mall Of America.
I know. I know. I have told you time and time again how much I dislike the Mall Of America. For various reasons, I tend to stay away from the busyness of MOA.
In the last year or so, I’ve found myself at the Mall Of America on a fairly regular basis. Due to a lot of airport drop offs and pick ups. And I’ve found that the MOA can be tolerable. Dare I say, enjoyable.
Since I’ve spent more time in the MOA, I can manuever the escalators, wings, and walkways with confidence and ease. And speed.
When it comes to most of my shopping, I’m an “in-n-out” kind of shopper. I’ll spend time pondering purchases, but refuse to be in other people’s way – I refuse to slow someone else down. Because I know how important it is to move it or lose it.
I should have known that my streak of successful MOA trips would come to an end. But I was not prepared for the insanity that met me on Friday afternoon.
From the minute I exited Lindau Lane, I knew I was in for a fight.
Signaling RIGHT at the first available opportunity, I noticed people crossing via the crosswalk – coming from the empty lot next to IKEA where Cirque du soleil set up their tents this past spring. Upon further examination, I noticed it was a large group of people. Not just people. But an entire boys’ lacrosse team from Syracuse, according to the matching hoodies and tees. Slowly, they sauntered across the crosswalk, staring into my windshield, daring me to honk at them.
Parking was not an easy A, but it was not a complete failure either. I parked in the lot I usually park in. Walked in the store entrance I usually walk in. And made my way to a few key destinations. Time was short, I’d just come from wedding shopping at The Galleria for Crate & Barrel gifts and had to make a pick up at the airport. Getting to those key destinations – not a walk in the park. Despite the fact that I took the fastest routes to the only three stores I needed to hit up, people kept blocking my way.
Slow walkers. Mothers with strollers (jogging strollers – the irony). Tourists and toddlers. Cell phone junkies. Gawkers. Old people with walkers. Window shoppers. Kids killing time.
Hoards of people. Everywhere I looked.
It was not the Mall I hoped to encounter that day. My mind spun with the best routes, the best escalators, the best ways in and out of stores, around merchandise, avoiding the sandtraps of “would you like to try a sample of this crappy lotion that can guarantee your hands will never fall off?”
I held it together. I shopped faster than usual. Made wise purchases. And kept a close eye on the time so I did not miss my MSP pick up.
Leaving the last store of the day, I was relieved to take the escalator – alone. A rarity on a day like last Friday. But the minute I stepped off the escalator – BAM – slow walkers. I skirted around them and ran into another clogged intersection on the second floor. The typical moms and kids were part of the traffic jam, but the main culprit – 1/3 of a USHL Junior hockey team, according to their matching hoodies and hats.
They say that some people can be read like an open book. I’m thinking the title of my book was “Move.” Again with the slow walking, gawking, and daring me to vocalize my annoyance.
Instead, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and made a break for the airport.
As with every trip to a store, mall, shopping center, outlet center, etc. I am reminded of how impatient I am with s-l-o-w w-a-l-k-i-n-g p-e-o-p-l-e.
I’m owning my part and realizing that I need to be more patient with people. But I’d appreciate it if every single person who enters the Mall of America, or any store or mall, picks up the pace a bit. Or else, I’ll be hot on your heels pushing you to move over.
Are you a fast? Are you slow? Which do you prefer? Fast or slow mall walkers?