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Skateboarding part 4: protective gear- 1980s- present day. A Day at the Skate Park- my critiques.

Published August 15, 2019 by AntiqueMystique1

I did it at the skate park. I was told to leave by some teenage d-bags that, “This is a boys only park, so get outta here.” This teenage boy’s brass balls snide remark irked me, for one. Secondly, it further goes without saying that skateboarding is still a “male” dominated past time and this will never change.

And third, it solidifies my previous feelings about this upcoming rude punk a$$ generation: they are raised by the internet, not their lousy parents. They have no respect, no morals, either.

Well, that’s just tough. I stayed and made my videos much to the irritation of those morons aiming a hand-held megaphone that was equipped with police siren effects and other annoying 💩 .

I cursed under my breath as I did a few laps on an empty basketball court. The NOS Rector pads felt okay, flexibility in them was amazing for being decades old. I didn’t put too much faith in my new mass-produced Chinese elbow pads since they do shift on my elbows.

I watched those never-will-be posers take their spills while attempting to grind rails, do verts on the metal half pipe portion. Ah, yes, the days of old– their skateboards went flying over the edge of the half pipes, but they never attempted to make a half-a-rat’s assets to practice, practice, practice their tricks. They just did it once, gave up and sauntered back to their picnic table.

Most of the time they were glued to their phones, seldom looking (nor doing) anything else. Their skateboards scattered on the ground like spilled Legos. Never in arm’s reach, never sat upright, either.

No audible conversation at all amongst them. I found it odd that they were so pre-consumed by their cell phones and didn’t bother to provoke me anymore. One of the boys very lazily strode to the highest half pipe; put the megaphone on police siren aimed in my general direction and returned to his lazy pack. And this is supposed to irritate me that I give up and leave? Ha! Such ineptness.

There was just too much immaturity running amuck that it made me wonder why I got out of bed on my day off? Oh, yeah, right. I wanted to test out my NOS gear, plus skateboard around (cruise) on my new deck to break it in more and see how it preforms on different concrete. Maybe pull a few front nose fakies. I never said I was ever going to attempt these with a devil-may-care attitude. I take my time, I take it slow since I know my limitations and don’t go beyond those unless I feel confident doing so.

My outing on this beautiful, albeit humid, sticky, gross heat of midday wasn’t all for naught. I brought my other “go-to” board “weeble wobble”. Yes, I will adjust those king pins to remedy this issue all skaters encounter. I’m still in my ‘shake down’ period right at the moment and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

The best gear I know and love will always be Rector. It fits very true to size and won’t shift. The size smalls run very small, mind you. This is fine by me, but may not work for the next person. My helmet probably pre-dates 1985, and it’s light weight.  My gloves are all new old stock. I ditched my long board gloves since the size small/medium were WAY too big on my hands. I never wanted anything new again.

I made myself have fun on this hot day.  I slid down the metal half pipe; remembering my old practice runs from back in the day. The metal was screaming hot and on bare skin… Ouchy! Woo-hoo!!! Alrighty then…

Keep in mind that the city planners were idiots when this skate park was built. The metal half pipes can be ridden, however, its sheet metal meeting a not-so-level slab of concrete.  The metal has a lot of  questionable “give” and does produce a creepy, unsettling loud ‘ping’ sound as the wheels make contact with its surface. So skateboarders beware. I say take caution when attempting to ride this to all skateboarders, not just newbies. I caution the seasoned, the intermediates, etc. There are no plywood half pipes. When I first took up skateboard 30 some odd years ago, I learned on plywood, even helped my oldest brother in the final construction phase of his first half pipe. It was a real learning experience, very grueling hard work, and once completed– very scary, yet exciting and exhilarating to be the first to test it out.

Nowadays, I take my skateboarding slow. I’m not about to risk a bone fracture by skateboarding at break neck speed. My attempt at front nose Fakies are taken with  cautious approaches. I’m there to get the feel of both board, wheels, and terrain underneath my feet. What do I need to correct on the hardware, if any adjustments need to be made? That kind of assessment. And its all about having fun within one’s own ability.

I stood atop a massive slab of steep concrete that jutted out of the pavement like a pyramid with the point left unfinished. I’m not here to be grammatically correct with any skateboard terminology, by the way. I’m trying to describe the skate park layout. There are tiny rails anchored into the pavement. I view it as another accident that could mangle beginner or even intermediate since they were placed too damn close to the proximity of each half pipe. I’m observing as a spectator and an old-school skater.

I watched the lazy punks take many spills. There popsicle decks went skiddering, the wanna-be skaters tripped head over heels every time. They skated poorly like something out of Skater 3, a video game. I wouldn’t have even put them in a poser category nor even beginner. Perhaps a weekend warrior at best.  There was no true form nor unique style all their own that I could see. They sported tattoos and smoked cigarettes. They rode the half pipes with no zeal. There wasn’t even any ounce of passion. It was like bland nothing-ness. Almost giving off a ticked off message to the world that they didn’t want to skateboard, but did so anyway just out of boredom, perhaps.

It was like watching a dull skateboard follies without a laugh track nor any blooper sound effects. They just went up the half pipes without any real sense of feeling. There was none of this: “I’m awesome!” or “Look at me!” And there was zero sense of “practice makes perfect” attitudes nor even any positive energy, either. To me, that was very odd. In my day teenagers couldn’t wait to out-best their friends or try to impress them, either. Teenagers of my generation took a tumble, jumped up, and kept trying it over and over again until they felt they got their tricks partially correct to their liking. But I see none of this in today’s youth, nothing but this massive laziness boredom. And god-forbid if their Ipads or cellphones just quit working due to some cosmic solar interference, they’d have a snowflake meltdown and need to find their “safe” place.

Teenagers in my day would have thrown their non-working cell phone or Ipad in the street and went on their way regardless of what caused it to quit working. They might have retrieved said device later if their parents made them, other than that, an 80’s teenager was vastly different to this generation. And I’m sure the generations of teenagers before my time might have taken similar approaches to modern technology, perhaps.

I didn’t detect angst, per se from the lazy teenage boys at the skate park. I mainly sensed it was for them just killing time between texting their friends, like something to do to pass the time before they had to head home before another school day rolled around.

I wish I could have “shredded it” as one older male with long hair cheered me on as I strode over to the skate park looking like a throwback of a typical early 80’s skateboarder. I gave the long-haired older dude a warm smile in return, nodding in approval, and gave him a ‘thumbs up’. My old Rector gloves linger with the new leather scent, “fresh out of the bag” newness/ Saddle soap treatment. All is awesome applesauce on this day and I don’t let the snide remarks deter my determination to stay at the skate park. 🙂

My old stock Rector pads lovingly shed their black lining like an affectionate cat. I remedied the sticky rub-off with non-GMO cornstarch and aluminum-free baking powder before I left the house. I figured it would also combat chaffing and sweat build-up.

I ignored the teenage village idiots seated at the picnic table. I practiced my falls, sliding on my knees, just having fun again that I hadn’t got the chance to have in many, many years.

I didn’t try any dismounts since I was putting the old pads through their first ever durability test runs. I felt no unpleasant jarring aftershocks striking concrete and metal. In fact, my knees were cushioned the whole time and comfortable.

Concrete though isn’t a good sliding surface, by the way with pads. The metal will scorch skin and that’s the only thing that burned. Otherwise, Rector pads get two thumbs up 👍. And that’s my initial critique on the new old stock gear. I never tried out the Clawz gloves yet since these were probably first generation designed for the second generation of skateboarding in 1989-90. They were for street skating, but do not have any full wrist support at all. The only minimal support (if one can call it protection) is a Velcro wrist wrap design. I used one Clawz glove back in the day without a thought that there was really no wrist protection at all. These were made of suede leather, minimal pads sewn on the palms, top leather with Clawz logo sewn into the glove. The Clawz logo is prone to cracking as with anything vintage and being thirty years old is to be expected.

Also, eBay is an excellent source to find a lot of vintage skateboard stuff at reasonable prices. Depending on the seller(s), they may even offer best offers and free shipping within the United States. Hope this helps. I’d also include Amazon as another online buying source for skateboard related stuff, but I find that eBay is vast and has more to chose from.

Just a word of advice buying on eBay: always try to review seller’s feedback rating. If they have a ton of negatives, I’d recommend shopping with another seller since you may (or might not) get the item(s) you purchased on there. And its a let down, believe me when the item you work hard for never shows up in the mail. It happened to me recently with a couple of rock n’ roll trading cards, although the seller was very quick to issue a refund, I was searching for the cards for last couple of years. So, it just a matter of buyer beware on eBay. It’s still a good place to find anything you a person could ever possibly want/need/ add to an existing collection, etc. The selling aspect would be saved for another blog entirely.

Thanks for liking, blogging, following and sharing. And please, stay tuned for more future posts from me when I can find the time to do so. Have a great day everybody and happy skateboarding! 🙂

By the way, have any skateboard related questions? Please, feel free to send me a comment on here and I will be happy to respond to the best of my knowledge.  Mind you that I don’t know a whole lot about how to do skateboard tricks and I’m still learning myself even after all these years. I have very minimal skateboard mechanics under my belt (self-taught), but I do try. I am a very old-school fashioned skateboarder though.  🙂

 

Mall series part 3: Back to the 80s… sort of.

Published July 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Although I can’t build a time machine I did the next best thing and snapped a picture of what clothing used to resemble during the late 80s/early 90s up until 1992 at the dawn of the grunge movement which was after my time.

I just had to return the size small black crop top because it was one of those annoying garments that kept creeping up whenever I breathed and I’d have to re-adjust it. I don’t mind my shirts to be a little bit on the snug side, but when buying new clothes from rue21 it pays to go one size up. I laughed when I glanced at the reason for my returned item: ‘changed mind’ on the sale’s receipt. I thought I said it was too small. Eh, either way it’s all good. 🙂

I had to get the freakin’ ray of sunshine tank top instead. They had one Def Leppard tank top in size large, but it was okay. If the store is out of them next time I can always go online.

The acid-washed Freedom Flex Jeggings I tried on were a size 0. The next size up was a 3/4 and they were too big. I like to try on Jeggings for proper fit long before I ever buy them. I don’t trust online size charts because they have been wrong. So, yours truly snapped a good ensemble and this would have been very typical, I’d say, almost a ‘must have’ teenage apparel when it was brand new back in the 80s and early 90s.

GnR tee and Jeggings 7-23-2016 rue21

Guns n’ Roses T-shirt and acid-washed Jeggings 7-23-2016

I don’t recall our rock t-shirts having a cracked distressed look about them fresh off the store racks. But these days this distressed look is in vogue as well. I don’t complain and here I stated I wasn’t a fan of Guns n’ Roses, yet I wind up coming across a Men’s size small tee of a GnR t-shirt with the Appetite for Destruction album cover depicted on the front. The image is intentionally made to look cracked and old. Now back in the day if you had a brand new rock t-shirt, then a teenager wanted it to look new for as long as possible. And the way to achieve this is to wash those rock t-shirts inside out and use something gentle like Wool-Lite laundry soap and in some cases, hand wash the rock shirt. Do not ever use bleach. I can’t stress this enough. I had ruined so many good articles throughout the years even when using bleach as instructed on the bottle. And nowadays what do our original rock t-shirts from back then look like now? Some are faded, others have snags, holes, stains, rips, etc. And there’s the dead stock vintage rock shirts which are astronomically over-priced even though they’re brand new, never worn.

Back in the old days a rock t-shirt from Hastings books, music and video would set a person back $20.00 pre-tax. Nowadays similar rock tees have gone down in price: $12.99, unless there’s a sale going on this may even cost less. The acid-washed Jeggings from rue21 will run about $19.99 per pair.

I mall-walked and heard a whistle of approval twice. However, when I looked, I didn’t see whoever it was and naturally assumed the person was whistling at someone else. I didn’t think there was anything special about what I pulled on today: jeans and a tank top and sneakers. I didn’t wear the heels nor open-toed sandals, but regretted not taking a light weight jacket. The mall is kept cold and it feels great coming in out of the summer heat. But after about thirty minutes, the chill will seep into one’s bones. And I waltzed by a pretzel place in the food court. Don’t tempt me. I am off of anything containing yeast and ‘enriched’ flour products since I’m highly allergic to both. But there was an advertisement for hot dog pretzel bites. Has anybody seen/ tried these? They look delicious, however, I don’t consume hot dogs anymore and haven’t for close to five years now. I didn’t pack my veggie or fruit snacks today so I waited to have supper when I got home.

If you ever happen to go to rue21 they have some awesome perfumes. I might like the scent of Rue Rocks and Candy Girl, but doubt I will ever spend $10 or even $13 for a small bottle and the chemicals—oh, man! If there’s ever a formula for these two scents I may have to create my own using essential oils and rubbing alcohol so I can steer clear of the harmful chemicals and that dreaded, “fragrance” ingredient that can translate to mean ‘anything potentially harmful’.

Rue21’s new perfume About a Girl I wasn’t a fan of, although it’s been their hottest seller by far and it just debuted a day or so ago. I’m more of an Exclamation (!) type of gal myself. It’s a classic perfume that debuted in 1987 and that’s the only chemically-questionable perfume I’ll use sparingly from time to time.

Ever wonder how to wear perfume? I guess there’s no right or wrong way. I always heard to dab some on your pulse points: underside of wrists, behind the earlobes, etc. And then I was later told you could also spray some in the air and then walk through it this way the scent clings to your clothes rather. It made sense and tried it like that. After a while though the scent dies off, at least for me, I don’t detect the perfume as strong. Makeup I don’t bother with it even though I did create my own face powder using corn starch and unsweetened cocoa powder. Go easy on the cocoa powder when mixing. I would have sifted this, but was too lazy to go the extra step, and for some awesome brown eye shadow I would likely use a little bit of cocoa powder and to set it, a smudge of coconut oil. I haven’t gotten around to making my own all natural lipstick shades yet. The farthest I’ve gotten was a soft pink lip gloss from crushed raspberries and strawberries mixed in with coconut oil.

As always thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I always appreciate it a lot! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Heels: pretty dangerous, but oh, so gorgeous!

Published July 13, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I’ve lost count somewhere between twenty four and twenty seven pairs of high heels that I have bought over the span of a few years. This excludes my flat sandals/ flat heels. Throughout the years there have been some nice dress shoes I bought second hand and made a painful (and blistering) realization as to why the previous shoe owner donated a great looking pair of heels/ sandals /shoes.

 

I believe women have a right to own as many pairs of high heels, sandals, tennis shoes, flip flops (in my day we used to call them ‘thongs’) that she sees fit so long as she has a closet to store all of them. And mine? They’re stored away in shoe bags.

 

What’s a ball park average for say a pair of authentic Valentino stilettos? Well, if you’re a woman who’s beyond ridiculously high maintenance, then $1,000 (USD) for a pair of those original bad boys wouldn’t be an issue.

 

Now for the more *cough*, practical and seasoned shoe shopper that just happens to find a pair of Valentino knock-offs as a lucky thrift store find or perhaps does price-comparison shopping will tell you, sometimes the real deal doesn’t look or feel so sexy after all when comfort is concerned.

 

High heels are fairly standard wardrobe accessories for most women, although not all because others prefer flats as opposed to high heels. Men, don’t feel left out. Perhaps you can glean some gift-giving ideas for that special lady. And it never hurts to ask around, either.

 

It all began with a pair of open-toed high heels I purchased in a thrift store some number of years back. They’re a small size which is likely why nobody else bought them. They fit me nearly perfect. But why did I want to add high heels to my wardrobe when I seldom ever wear them? At least I never wore them daily and don’t plan to because I want to keep my feet and arches in good shape. Secondly, I don’t want to break an ankle while wearing them. And third, I want to keep them looking nice for those special occasions.

 

As a rule when thrift store shopping; if you happen upon a great find, and you’re in a financial position to do so, buy said item(s). Many times over I would happen upon a great find, and reason with myself that said items will still be there tomorrow. Well, in most of those instances the items sold in less than an hour the very same day.

 

I’ll never forget the time I was in the dressing room and my shopping cart was full, and I found a deal on one of those high brand mops with the twist handle so I wouldn’t have to wring out a mop by hand anymore. I thought $2 was a bargain considering these mops sell brand new for about $20… Anywho—I return to my cart and my mop is missing. Some random shopper had the gallbladder stones to snatch it out of my cart. Lesson learned the hard way: when thrift store shopping take somebody along with you to watch your cart contents while in the dressing room. I can’t count how many times shoppers will just take stuff out of other shopper’s carts all the time. If you’re a regular shopper of thrift stores always watch your thrift store hauls like a hawk.

 

I found some good high heels in thrift stores anywhere from .29 cents a pair up to $3. That’s the most I’d ever spend on a pair of high heels, or so I thought before I purchased three pairs of discounted new high heels from K-Mart. Now, I know what the reader might be thinking, “K-Mart? You’re kidding, right?” Nope. I had reward points that expired soon and wanted to use those. I detest Wally world with a passion for reasons I won’t get into and K-Mart has slightly better quality items and fashions. Plus I love the outdated look of K-Mart. It’s all about creature comforts and the layout hasn’t changed much over the decades, either. Whew! 🙂

 

Do I know who Jaclyn Smith is? No, but she broke off my toe nail today as I did a hobble to my vehicle after running errands. I might have spouted off how much I disliked her (brand) of high heel at first before I had a chance to appreciate the comfort level of said high heels. It’s not Jaclyn’s fault K-Mart only stocked one size of her high heels in the discount section and had no half sizes for slender footed women out there. The size I wound up purchasing do fit with ankle cushion inserts so my feet don’t slide and I haven’t experienced any further problems. And the other brand “Attractions” was out of the sleek black shinny “Zoey” high heel on K-Mart’s discount shoe section. The toe was slightly pointy not rounded and caught my eye instantly so that says something about the overall style.

I’m not trashing Jaclyn Smith’s heels nor that of her clothing line. Now some of her clothes do appeal to me. But I can’t find anything of hers that fits me. I mean it’s all very casual and still gives off a sense of “youthfulness” and class that is tailored to just about every woman of any age and income. But her clothes are very cookie cutter ‘one size fits all’ mass-produced a lot of the time.

Since I’ve made it to my weigh loss goal I now fall into the ‘hard to buy for’ petite/ misses category almost veering into a ‘late’ teenager wardrobe section, I sorted through my old jeans and donated all but one pair I saved for when I’m working. The skinny jeans are the way to go for me nowadays because unlike regular jeans, there’s not a massive amount of leg material that needs to either be hemmed or rolled up. I also like the tapered leg of the skinny jeans and jeggings although I always told myself (negatively that is something I really must break myself of), I’d never be able to ‘rock’ a pair of those skinny jeans/jeggings in my lifetime. And as it turns out I’ve been able to find my size without any problems and they fit comfortably, but some good advice when jeggings/ skinny jean shopping; what might fit you great in your average size, may not fit well at all in another brand, so always take the time to try on a few different sizes. I discovered this helpful advice online some number of years ago.

And for the longest time I did my homework when it comes to these impressive, beautiful, sexy, yet somewhat dangerous high heels and what colors go well with both skinny jeans, dresses, and/ or shorts. And the result?

Well, for starters, I pounded the pavement in a pair of chunky sandals that could pass for heels. I tried this because I knew I’d likely break an ankle in stilettos my first time out. Until a woman gets her stride down wearing a pair of those, it’s strongly encouraged to start small with either chunky heels and/or wedge shoes that have more range of stability. So, I started out small and don’t plan to make a career of walking in high heels on a daily basis because I found they are very hard on the arches, ball of the feet, back, legs, etc. Also, keep in mind those thin stilettos have to bare the brunt of a woman’s full body weight, so its no wonders our feet, arches and other parts ache and break after a long day at the office or being on the go.

Well, until you’ve mastered walking in high heels without doing the banana splits or breaking an ankle, practice, practice, practice! Practice walking at home in high heels, at least this was highly advisable by some high heel wearing pros on Youtube. And try to walk on all surfaces like hardwood floors, tile, carpet, grass is quite tricky and the heels just sink into the ground. Always use the handrails when walking up and down the stairs and take it very slow. One other helpful tip: take baby steps and its heel to toe. Your heel is suppose to go down first, then the ball of your foot. Your stride will be different and slowed down considerably in high heels as opposed to tennis shoes. And carry those emergency booties, ladies. I’ve seen these compact ‘shoes’ in Dollar General and really it does sound like good advice even if a woman doesn’t wear high heels. Never know when you might need a pair of them.

I have one little black dress that *sigh* is made of that nasty 100 percent polyester. Until I can find another dress similar in style to it in cotton and a little less “swim suit” feeling against my skin, I’ll hang onto it. I highly doubt I’ll ever don that plastic skin-tight garment anytime soon, (if ever), but it’s made by a company called “Taboo”. Don’t know the exact age of said black dress or if it was expensive. I bought it used.

What other shoe hauls other than Jaclyn Smith and Attraction from K-Mart did I find?

Let’s see here… (sorts through her shoe bags)… I have some Charlotte Russe which retail for $35 new. I bought all of mine used in ‘like new’ condition for about $4 a pair and sometimes at a discount for around $2.00 per pair. And I have some by Fioni and “Fioni Nights” which are a Payless Shoe store brand from my research and retail for about $18 new. They look sexy and sophisticated for being an inexpensive high heel. I even have a pair of Apt. 9 high heels in one size up than what I normally wear. But again, it was the color and style that appealed to me the most and they were a dollar at the thrift store.

I purchased all of my Finoni high heels for about $1-3 each from thrift stores. And there’s another brand I picked up, and even though they’re one size larger than what I usually wear, but when I seen them, I couldn’t put them down! I loved everything about those Antonio Melani high heels, a Dillard’s brand of high heel that retails between $35-109. I bought my pair second hand for $3. And even though it would take a few of those ankle cushion inserts to ever wear these beautiful high heels, I doubt I will because they’re just too ‘Cinderella’-ish to be an ‘everyday’ type of heel, I feel. That, and I have no exceptionally nice outfits or dresses beautiful enough that would compliment said expensive Antonio high heels. And then I have a pair of Gianni Bini high heels that retail for $69-98 at Dillard’s. I bought my pair for $3 second-hand. I plan to reserve those for special occasions and when I gain more practice walking in high heels.

I have some lesser expensive high heels that are a no-frills kind that likely came from a department store for under $10. But its finding these high heels in the right size that won’t make my feet slip or break off a toe nail that’s a challenge. I did see a pair of Fredrick’s of Hollyweird, err, “Hollywood” pair of French Maid/ Role play shoes for $4.99 used. I didn’t buy those because they were gigantic on my slender feet and just fell off. I have heard that Fredrick’s of Hollywood is a famous lingerie store in California. I’ve only seen maybe two other Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie pieces ever surface in thrift stores and it’s not often those stick around. And I’ve also seen a ton of Victoria’s Secret lingerie at thrift stores. Some good advice: leave those teddies alone. Don’t know who wore them before you and if lingerie is a ‘must have’, please, buy it brand new just for personal hygiene’s sake.

I have reasonably deducted that the high heels I keep coming across used must have been donated by a hooker or a trio of ladies of the night. I say this because coming across such fancy high heels (in used “excellent” condition in their boxes with hardly any signs of wear) isn’t all that common to find in my local thrift stores. I’ve seen the all-too-familiar ‘clubbing’ high heels that strippers wear. But those are usually a size 10 and up. What woman has feet that huge? I think to myself, however, my mother let me know the depressing mother-daughter fact of life that our feet grow and flatten as we get older. Thanks a lot. Now I can expect to have unattractive basketball player-sized feet when I get older. 😦

The ‘clubbing’/ exotic dancer high heels don’t stick around very long in the thrift stores. And it’s not often I do come across expensive (and well made) high heels used in my size, but I’ve come home with quite a shoe haul for dirt cheap.

My purpose of going to rue 21 yesterday was to look at their picked over selection of standard Valentino knock-off high heels. Now those gladiator sandals really don’t have any appeal to me and feel uncomfortable to try on. But the Valentino knock-offs I’ve read are worth it because sometimes they feel and look far better than the actual Italian-made, outrageously expensive high heel. And then I found the second of the last pair of Qupids that lace up and they were deeply discounted. It was a pity rue 21 only had one size of those lacy high heels in my size. I believe the next size up would run a little too big, but if they’re still there come pay day, I may have to pop in and check those out.

I keep finding Jessica Simpson high heels all the time in thrift stores, but they’re always in a size too big for me. Some of her styles I do like but wouldn’t ever pay full price for when new. Buying used high heels has taught me a lot about fashion as well. Now used sandals are another story. I’ve had to turn around and re-donate a few pairs of sandals that would blister my toes and ankles and they’d feel so uncomfortable on my feet that it was no wonders a thrift store couldn’t practically give them away for .29 cents. As always, thanks for reading, liking, sharing, tweeting, re-blogging, etc. I always appreciate it. 🙂

 

Dead Malls Everywhere.

Published March 5, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I have nothing against malls. In fact, I find mall-walking very fun compared to the marathon ‘out-of-breath’ beat the huge crowds that mill around Wal*Mart all day long. The reason why I don’t shop at Wal*Mart and haven’t for quite a while: parking spaces can’t be found. Secondly, it is crowded day and night. All of Wal*Mart’s merchandise is bottom of the barrel Made in China cheap and/ or chemically perfumed articles of clothing/ jewelry. But then so is about any place you shop.

As I approach any store my sense of smell is heightened. I usually know right off the bat if the dizzying whiff of ‘chemical’ or a plastic odor hits my nostrils is going to repel me or not before I even pass through those metal detectors. And I can get a general summary that my sinuses will love me back in the worst possible way for the entire evening and that means a migraine headache.

I am super-sensitive to certain smells and various plastics. If I linger looking at the garment tag instead of the price tag, it doesn’t mean I’m picky. I’m checking to see what materials the garment is made of. If there’s a large percentage of polyester, nylon or even rayon, forget it. If it comes to a pair of slim low-rise stretchy denim shorts that have 2 per cent of spandex or less, then I might consider it. Again, it all boils down to three things: a.) price. If the price is asking more than what I think the garment is worth, forget it. b.) If it reeks of chemicals/plastic or states anywhere on a tag that such garment can cause reproductive harm/ cancers in the state of California, then again, forget it. I realize a lot of man-made materials winds up in clothes. Heck even recycled bottles make up the garment tag that sewn into it nowadays. States right on the tag. And with all this outcry over how bad plastics are in ours daily lives, especially since plastics continually leech out toxins into our beverages and foods, the last thing I’d ever want to do is bound myself in polyester or any plastic ‘blend’. Modal is just wood pulp. Yep, essentially paper but its used as a filler because its so cheap to turn into a synthetic fabric but won’t hold up well to getting wet at all.

I’m at probably one of the last 20th century icons that’s seen just about every generation; the mall. But what makes all these malls dead nowadays? And what gems did I bring back from my own day at the mall? Pictures. A few of them and I even wrote down the prices of the items I looked at. I really should do some ‘then and now’ comparisons to show the very bleakness of what became of most malls (some struggling, others since closed and demolished).

But for now, the familiar stores struggle to hang in there. The ones that have made it through the 2008 ‘second’ Great Depression (as I term it) are Claire’s, Victoria’s Secret, Sears (which is really dwindling nowadays in 2016). I saw one browser and no sales clerks asking me every two minutes, “Can I help you find something?”

Yep, something’s wrong here.

And in Dillard’s forget it. No sales clerk even approached me my whole five minutes I was in there looking at their polyester garments. Prices were low on a few items, but not much different than Sears (Roebuck and Company).

I assume my resurgence for my local mall was like touring through a living history museum. For one, the interior and exterior hasn’t changed much (if at all) since the mall was built somewhere in the late 1970s/ early 80’s. Secondly, there used to be a second mall that went up (don’t know what year), but it was on its last leg in 1993, and most stores that were in there originally went bust. There was a lot of dead space, lack of any interior design. There was a fitness gym that went in, then closed down, and the last store to actually be in there was a place called Tuesday Mornings, and by 2010 or so, they ceased all business. The space sits abandoned. The large portion of the second mall now houses a dollar store, and on the other side of is a tack and saddle shop that’s been in the same location for ages. The second mall also housed a movie theater before the interior was re-vamped to expand the dollar store. Before renovations ever began there used to be one over-priced fabric/sewing notions store that never re-stocked their shelves. There was one popcorn place in that second mall and one very itty bitty bead store where a lady sold beads individually and they weren’t cheap. Oh, and can’t forget about the single payphone right in the middle of the second mall. From what I heard about the second mall and why it went under was due to its competition and bad design flaws. It was extremely hard to find the only entrance and exit to the second mall.

So the only remaining mall wins out, and at some point, was a victim of the changing times. Teenagers aren’t allowed to stay past a certain time on Fridays or the weekends. I can understand wanting to make the mall a safe place for family-orientated people to congregate and (hopefully) buy and/or eat at the food court. There’s only five food places in the food court: soft-baked pretzels, pizza, Taco John’s, Asian food, and a cookie place. And its  nothing I’d want to snack on since I’m a strict Vegetarian. A slice of pizza is $3.99 and that’s without a combo or a drink.

Families are some of the very last folks out there that might have some extra money to burn. But again, everyone of all income brackets have to hang onto their money. Mall shopping is nearly a thing of the past thanks to Amazon and other online retail outlets. This practically cuts out the need for the middle man; the physical brick and mortar store to go pick up said item(s) that are ordered. Why go there when you can shop at home and have it delivered to your doorstep?

There’s something ‘dated’ about every mall and it’s no different. If you ever happen to watch a Youtuber’s channel  ThisIsDanBell, he takes you (the viewer), on some spooky and downright accurate ‘memory lane’ tours of America’s deadest malls. You can check out his Dead Mall Series. It’s worth a look see. He runs a close second with Adamthewoo. Adam the woo also goes on urban explorations. Sometimes hilarious and both Youtubers are quite the historians on the locations they film. And then there’s Exploring with Josh, a young Youtuber who goes exploring. And the thing that people reminisce about and is highly requested: malls, abandoned amusement parks, abandon buildings, abandoned schools, etc. And malls seem to be largely popular with every generation. There’s a fascination with how things once appeared, the styles, mullet hairstyles, big hair, and look over there… jeans were normal denim, not the ‘skinny’ look nowadays. Yes, I’ve seen how the 80’s acid-washed and even stone-washed look is trying to make a come back. However, it’s just not the same.

Denim of the Eighties was cotton. It did not stretch or have that luxurious feel of ‘second skin’. It was heavy, and in the summer your waistband soaked up all the sweat and didn’t allow your skin to breathe. Spandex filled that ‘second skin’ in the 80’s/90’s and looked better than the crappy-made polyester leggings I run across far too often. I shouldn’t be downing leggings since I own two *cotton* pairs myself, it’s when they are near see-thru, very thin, or too thick that makes wearing them uncomfortable. Denim of today is mixed with a large polyester content, spandex (about 1-2 %), modal (tree pulp) and I’d almost say tree poop which would be no different, Viscose (again, another tree poop– eh, pulp/paper byproduct), ‘other materials’ that don’t state what ‘other’ includes. And the list goes on.

We remember the sights, sounds, smells, excitement, and Dan Bell puts a lot of special effects and great care in his videos. Adam the woo, and Exploring with Josh are equally good with giving the viewer a strong sense of being there with them on their journeys.  Sometimes there’s a clip of vintage TV commercials, sometimes a sound-track playing in the back ground with that vintage ‘era’ mall/grocery shopping music (kind of like elevator musik) was back in the day. And Dan Bell has inserted in one of his clips of an eerie sounding vintage PA announcement of specials and sales going on store wide while zooming into a closed department (anchor) store. All of their channels are well-worth checking out. They’re awesome. Yet it’s sad to see some of the last time capsules rotting away or being sold at auction where any given mall’s fate will likely be with a wrecking ball.
Forget re-habbing these malls for the ‘hipster’ generation. There’s no stores nowadays that would appeal to me unless upgrading your cell phone or some other techno device every two weeks is in vogue and plays a vital role in one’s life.

Who needs three cell phone stores in a mall? I assume this is what a hipster store is all about, and if it is, then it bores me to tears simply because I don’t see how mall cell phone stores make enough to cover the cost of rent. I imagine mall rent has to be extremely astronomical. Secondly, technology is good, but it goes overboard when all I see are boring cell phone stores and cute little cell phone ‘bling’ (accessories) that serve no actual purpose other than to show off and look cute. There’s a cell phone store on every street corner just about.

I look just like I time-traveled from 1989, albeit my jeans are skinny (modern), my jacket and shirt are ‘pulled together’ goodies bought second-hand. I waltz into Sears and it’s like a ghost town. I’m waiting to hear an intro to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly blare out of their PA system and hope a tumbleweed crosses my path. It wasn’t that dramatic, but it was eerily silent and reminded me of that 80’s film where a meteor wipes off everybody on the planet, (those unfortunate enough to have been outdoors when it hit), and yet, everyone that remained inside survived. If you ever get a chance to see that film (and the name of the title escapes me at the moment), it would be liken to what I pictured a dead Sears store would look like during an apocalypse or even nowadays.

 

So when I tired of taking a “selfie” and another picture of that same old, cracked, asbestos-tile mall floor that’s standard in almost all mall designs, I walked the full length back to browse in Claire’s and returned to the [Brass] Buckle. The Buckle is one of those things on my bucket list (if I ever sit down and actually write one up on actual paper, that is). It wouldn’t be a high priority ‘to-do’ thing, but I did miss out shopping there the first time around when it was still a new designer clothing chain and a very “Preppy” teen store. Not to mention so over-priced even for the 80’s that I never stepped foot inside of one until decades later. Originally the “Brass Buckle” never did have a boho fashion/skinny jeans/ shredded vests, shredded jeans, or shredded jean jackets back in the eighties. They had very straight-laced, high-end designer clothing aimed at rich kids and their parents that could afford to charge it to their credit cards. Somewhere I have a vague memory the Brass Buckle had a paper punch card kind of like a shopper’s reward card is nowadays. I was just reminded of that the day I was at the cashier counter.

But here again, at one time I could never have fathomed me waltzing into a Brass Buckle store now years later. Times have changed. And thankfully the styles have moved away from the plain and somewhat boring fashions for teens of the late 80’s/90s. I say boring because everything was pin-stripe t-shirts, normal jeans, some acid-washed styles minus the rips or shreds in the material. There was no tight long sleeve shirts, fringe vests, Hurley [brand] attire, or even form-fitting shirts like there’s an avalanche of nowadays.

Everything now appears to be boho-clothing, beach/ summer wear, thongs (flip-flops), sandals, hats, sunglasses, shirts, tops, tanks, shorts, Daisy Dukes, acid-washed (the second generation) that still kind of sorta resembles something that looked like original acid-washed did back in the Eighties. Oh, yeah, the rock stars back then also wore acid-washed clothing so it wasn’t strictly for the young, but even the older generation could wear acid-washed denim with style.

And that’s what my eyes fell on, two denim vests. The prices would make one shrink back in fear. But the friendly sales team at the Brass Buckle would make you think otherwise. And they do offer law-away plans, too which was surprising considering they were at one time, a very popular clothing store. I suspect though this isn’t the case anymore. There was maybe two other shoppers in there when I was there as opposed to the place being packed on any given week night years prior. But that’s a sign of the times, as the adage goes. Trends are now mass-produced straight from China, and it’s “Better hurry while the offer lasts,” kind of deal.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Thanks for reading, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, commenting, and liking. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

rue 21 Layered nail polish, mall stores, and jewelry review:

Published February 29, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I decided to review a store in the mall called rue 21, Victoria’s Secret, and another modern high-end clothing store.

I know, I know… rue 21 is a store aimed at pre-teens/ teenagers/ Twiggy super model folks that have stick figures. But since yours truly here doesn’t need anymore clothes—really, she literally has TONS of downsizing she should be working on in her wardrobe, but it’s a nice day out today. I want to take advantage of the sunshine and somewhat warm odd weather by getting my assets out there and clearing away the rest of the debris from the garden. By tomorrow though, its supposed to be very cold again and unpleasant.  😦

But for right now I wanted to squeeze in at least one blog post before I hit the great outdoor barren land known as my backyard.

I had only been in rue 21 maybe one time before I found their discount section. You know—the merchandise that was likely somebody’s five finger discount, and when its recovered, has missing parts or pieces. Sometimes if an item is boxed, the packaging is so damaged, nobody in their right mind would pay full price for it. And other times said jewelry just breaks because its so cheap and made in China.

I gravitated to their discounted jewelry, and believe me, I don’t care if the set of earrings match or are broken/ missing their mate, etc. If I happen across another pair just like them at a deep discount, I purchase both sets. But most of the earring sets they had on sale for half off were matching and nothing wrong with them. Other sets of discounted earrings were missing a pair or two. So, I bought a few feather earring sets in different colors. Yep, real feathers, but from what specific bird or flock, I have no idea. Oh, and I bought a pair of dream catcher earrings for only a dollar. But most of the earring sets will be in the $2-$3 range or under.

As I was examining the jewelry for long term wear ability (as in can it tolerate daily wear and tear) and the quality of said jewelry, I seldom buy it if its flimsy or the fake gold hoops will tarnish before I have the chance to pay for them. Starting in the 90s (about 1993 and ’94) jewelry had really began a downward spiral. Yes, the inexpensive (and sometimes even high-end stuff) was/ is very inferior. Not so much by way of design, but by quality and the pot metal used to produce it. Pot metal was supposed to be the “new” white metal that was extremely light-weight and very inexpensive to mass-produce in large quantities. Pot metal was used in everything from cookware to phonograph parts back in the day, which is why now one-hundred years later, if you happen across a broken tone arm to a hand crank phonograph, the likelihood it was made of pot metal is very great. In fact, pot metal has its origins stemming all the way back to the Civil war era of the 1860s, if not earlier.

So when the jewelry production became less and less in 1993, I quit wasting my money on it. I also had severe skin reactions to the cheap metal used in the 90’s jewelry, and honestly, I got sick of hearing everybody saying, “Oh, I’m allergic to gold jewelry, too!” Admit it, it’s not real gold. Most folks can’t afford that. And for quite some time I suspect it was something in the metal jewelry that gave me and many others skin rashes to the chemicals used when producing this 90’s jewelry junk. I turned instead to the thrift stores. I know, Ewww, gross. You’re really going to buy second-hand necklaces and earrings? What if somebody really disgusting wore them before you?

Here’s how to sterilize earrings (including used ones): mix a capful of hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of rubbing alcohol, give the earrings a quick soak in the solution and immediately place said earrings on a towel to dry. If the earrings are made of enamel-painted metals, be sure not to let them soak for more than a minute or so, or else the enamel paint will flake off and the posts or hooks on the earrings might corrode and become rusty. That’s how we did things back in these ‘old days’ when  shopping for new jewelry became too expensive in the retail chain stores at the mall.

I do remember Claire’s Boutique in the mall was the place to go back in 1989/90. Not only was it up-to-date on the [then]  trend of boys getting their ears pierced, but some of the most awesome jewelry I ever purchased in the late 80s came from Claire’s. I remember my older sister would cart me along to the mall with her (and it was only once a month, if that and whenever our parents could drop what they were doing and provide the transportation), and therefore, a special treat.

Believe me, you don’t want to make the trek on foot from one end of town to the boondocks on a sweltering, windy day to the location where the mall was constantly undergoing expansion despite that it was a far cry from ever becoming a booming metropolis.

Anywho, we make the trek out there, poked fun at all the mall walkers, and I must point out that mall walkers of the late 80’s generation were far different from the mall walkers that mill around nowadays. 80’s mall walkers looked like extras from a Richard Simmons exercise vhs tape. Seriously! My sister and I never did spot Richard Simmons running around in a sweat headband and spandex. And the mall walkers of the 80’s would literally mow you down if you didn’t ‘move-it-or-lose-it’.

And my older sister and I would make ourselves appear older than we were. We were trying to garner the attention from the teenage boys. But since yours truly wouldn’t hit puberty for another year, I couldn’t pass it off, though my sister did do an excellent job on my hair and makeup. In fact, I was still in my ‘tom boy’ faze. I didn’t go all out to dress to impress. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend yet at 12. I believe I enjoyed the mall back in the late 80s due to its exciting atmosphere. I mean the mall around this time attracted all kinds of people. I saw guys in their twenties with hair longer and straighter than mine and they sported more piercings in their ears than I did. And then if you seen a thirty-something show their face in a place like Hastings music store, they were really ‘old’. However, we failed to see that the rock bands we loved so much, all that heavy metal music, those musicians were old enough to be our parents during these times. But we still fawned over them as there’s a saying, “Rock stars are ageless.” And people, collectively seemed to age slower as opposed to nowadays, and I truly believe this is due to a change in our chemically-treated food/ fluoridated and chlorinated drinking water, chem trails…. etc. that I won’t ramble on about.

And nowhere in sight was there a hint of body modifications, lip fillers, breast implants on your average woman back in the late 80s. I mean, I’m sure there was if you were a super model, but your average working woman didn’t feel the compulsion to be driven to such extremes. We didn’t see anybody sporting huge ear plugs that stretches out the ear lobes back in the eighties, either. Those we only saw on the educational/ documentaries about different tribes. As a young generation growing up during the 80s we were slowly introduced to the ‘nose piercing’ beginning about 1989. This was made famous by one of the band members in Skid Row. (And if you’re reading this, forgive me if I don’t know who you are. All I know is my sister liked your band). I’m terrible with who played what instrument and the name of said rock star, but the nose piercing was a shocking statement of body jewelry adornment and there was more yet to come.

And nowhere was there any stores aimed strictly at teenagers called rue 21 or even the pre-teen/ little girl store “Justice”. And now even years later I never fail to shock myself bypassing what appears to me to be a store for teenagers, but in reality the store displays bras for little girls?! 😮

I read countless stories about little girls are maturing much younger nowadays and their bodies are undergoing more stress thanks to all the chemicals and growth hormones that are in dairy products, processed foods, in school-mandated vaccines that it’s no wonder the next generation are hitting growth spurts early on even long before puberty. Same goes for the shoes. I’ve been told repeatedly that shoe stores seldom stock a woman’s size 6 or even a men’s size 4 anymore. This is because women’s feet are almost as large as a man’s nowadays. Therefore, I shoe shop in the thrift stores and just hope I find a pair of shoes that still have some miles on them and fit.

And I’m so glad I was one of those girls that went through puberty at about the right age which was 13 long before any of the mandated questionable vaccines became commonplace. Long before the chemicals in our food began to sicken us (literally) though it was always there just seldom brought to light. And it took me half my life to make the connection to that. I was spared, and in retrospect, I consider myself blessed.

Back in my day they weren’t giving growth hormones to cattle or livestock or putting man-made sweeteners in the milk so kids would drink more of it. And if they were, then they sure wouldn’t tell us, the consumer about it because if we all of the sudden became ‘nutritionally concerned’, then we wouldn’t buy their products.

All I did hear about messing with food was the dawn of the GMO’s were being discussed on daytime talk shows like Opera, Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue, Sally Jessie Raphael,  and GMO’s were largely laughed at and discredited in the early 90s as I remember it. I believe it began with the genetically modified yellow corn taco shells from Taco Bell and then became progressively worse as the years went on. Yet today we have people like Alex Jones trying to wake people up to what’s really being put into our food and tap water. But that’s getting way, way off topic.

No, we didn’t have rue 21. There wasn’t a teen store called Justice either back in the 80s/90s. I didn’t receive my first ‘torture device’ known as the bra until I was 13 and it was new-old-stock straight from the 1950’s, I kid you not. I still remember the box it came in. The bra was plain, white, very stiff maybe cotton material, no stretch to it whatsoever. It was horribly uncomfortable, no underwires yet, but you really didn’t need them with this excruciatingly painful itchy undergarment. What chemicals was my first bra made from? Likely stuff that would be banned nowadays for potential carcinogen causing and/ or flammable materials, no doubt.

And bras for teenagers weren’t sexy. There was no ounce of Ooh-la,la when bra shopping with your own mother. And the bra of the early 90s wasn’t aimed at turning on the teenage boys, either. It was a garment that was supposed to support and function and nothing else, although until I made the connection with the bra and health risks it can pose years later, never gave it a second thought as to any potential damage I had possibly exposed myself to for many years.

Bra shopping back in the day was embarrassing, especially with your mom. It wasn’t a fun experience and it wasn’t intended to be one. The goal was never about, “Oh, I want that bra that unhooks in the front, has see-thru lace insets, has cute little bows, unties over the nipples…” or the “Hey, check it out! There’s nothing more than an under bust open shelf bra. My boyfriend will want to see me in that and we’ll have great sex!” Such thoughts like those, if you grew up in a sheltered household that is, you didn’t entertain until you became a legal adult and/ or gotten married. In fact, parents used to lash out on their kids if they even gawked at a naked mannequin in a store window. Nowadays, totally different mind set. Completely different world.

My mom and I made repeated trips down to a small town sundry store called Hampstead’s that was operated by a snow-haired little old lady who was in her 80s (and this was way back in 1990, by the way). I still remember it was that little old lady who laid down the law in her store the first day we met. She didn’t tolerate any loud or obscene behavior and didn’t like teenagers running unsupervised in  her store (and years later as an adult I’d understand why). I came to deeply appreciate all this old lady explained and showed me.

I immediately obeyed, and by the end of that very same summer, we were on a first-name basis. I became a loyal customer buying stale candy and comic books and would help her out when she needed to straighten up the store since I was a.) young and b.) physically able to bend down and reach things and stand on a ladder or use a long pole to reach stuff that was high up on a shelf.

Back then we didn’t do too much on computers except play some floppy copy disks games at school since the internet wasn’t around and computers weren’t in most American homes. If you wanted a job in the real world (aside from mowing lawns all summer), then you had to mentally do the math in your head, dress nice when picking up job applications, speak like an adult, and have/ show manners.

Cash registers weren’t always digital. They used to be manual and didn’t run on electricity and they wouldn’t spit out the correct amount to give back. You had to figure it out in your head and be quick on your toes.

We weren’t given homework on a school website back in the early 90s. And we weren’t so lazy with our grammar that it went unchecked by the keen eye of an English teacher. You learned about these life skills the old fashioned way through physical text books, actual paper ‘homework’ and a teacher’s short fuse. Either knew it or you were written off as a lost cause in a teacher’s eyes at the let out of the first day of school. There was a strict mentality of either you’re smart or were born a dumb ass if you needed anything clarified. I always viewed it as the sink or swim theory.

I knew where to find the best deals that was for certain when growing up, and if we found a close parking space available, then we knew it was going to be a good shopping day and we might hit pay dirt. I assume nowadays the term is “haul” and what you get a lot of for very next to nothing. I don’t create or upload any “haul” videos on Youtube. Maybe I should. But Youtube seems to have so many of those videos and the ‘live on a dollar a day’ grocery shopping videos that it can be mind-boggling at times.

And so I wandered through my local mall this month. I stopped at a junction inside the mall that used to have a beautiful water fountain back in 1993, but it had long since been removed and the space now converted into a corral for fake motorized animals that you can rent to ride for two minutes, five minutes, and thirty minutes, but the cost to ride them is excessive and priced per the minutes. I believe the fountain closed down due to teenagers who used to dip their hands in and snatch the change at the bottom. All mall cops would shout was, “Stop doing that.”

Alrighty then. And here we have these motorized animal scooters. Totally boring. I mean Showbiz Pizza was a lot more fun than these hideous rides. At least at Showbiz a kid could be a kid. A teenager could go there for the arcade games, play them until they ran out of change, and still it didn’t hurt the pocket book by the minute. But entertainment nowadays is so dull. I assume that and the Jump-for-Joy activity are the only two major pulls that keeps this local mall going. Oh, those and the mall theater which has a ticket booth on one side (never busy or open it appears), and the actual movie theater on the opposite side appears completely devoid of staff. To make the movie theater appear busy the mall has installed a few of those crane games.

And everyone milling around seem very out of shape or they look like they don’t feel well. This could very well be due to the chemicals in our foods and the medications they’re likely taking, if any to combat certain conditions. It’s sad. And the trim women are usually the bubbly, loud-mouthed, obnoxious, ‘don’t know what I want in life or care where I’m going’, stick figures with no meat on their bones, yet they show off naval piercings on their fake tanned bodies like its something new to their friends. You only live once, but your attractive artificial-tanned body will prematurely age you given plenty of tanning bed sessions.

I just roll my eyes, “If that’s what it takes to be beautiful nowadays, forget it.” And there’s the type of mall person that wants to just get in, buy their crap, and leave and the walk to get to their vehicle is staggering. But perhaps I fall somewhere in-between all this. I’m not underweight, nor am I obese. I don’t flaunt my midriff and not an inch of my body is pierced other than my ears. When I do step out I make sure my garments cover me. My hair is done up in beach curls, something of which I taught myself how to achieve at home with my home made beach salt hair spray. And I go very easy on the cheap makeup since it irritates my skin. I hope I can find some high end vegan makeup to replace the cheap stuff I wasted my money on and something that won’t make my skin irritated or raw from wearing it.

My generation is completely unrecognizable, wasted (as in lack of nutrients, bloated, pale and sickly). Flat, short cropped hair seems to be the in-style for a majority of the mall women. They bathe in the knock-off designer perfumes, wear chunky jewelry all inspired by either the Kardasian’s or some other female icon nowadays, and they are trying to impress others with their ‘looks’ and still be a ‘friend’ to their kids who accompany them.

Mall men wear baseball hats and/ or are going bald, they don snarky t-shirts that might say, “My wife thinks I look better carrying a six pack of beer, than having an actual six pack [abs]”, open flannel shirts and jeans. They appear to have a beer gut and remark, “No, Hon, I can’t have that off the menu because of my type two diabetes,” And these men should be healthy. They’re young, not old by any stretch of imagination and they look elderly in physical appearance in the face even though some might be 30 and 40-something? But they look beyond their years. Maybe society has aged them or maybe its a result of all the crappy food, fast food, beer, medications, who knows.

And there’s the all too common, young 27-year old woman wearing pajamas and thongs on her feet. She has bed head hair, no makeup on, pushing a baby stroller, another infant strapped to her chest, and yet another baby on the way. Her hair is pulled back in tight a pony tail. She oblivious to all that’s going on around her. She’s yapping to either her boyfriend and/ or husband, cell phone in one hand and busy texting, or maybe even updating her facebook status, and she’s carrying on a conversation with an older lady (perhaps her mother-in-law or her mom) and not giving her undivided attention to the lady or even paying attention to her little ones. There’s a large-sized half consumed cup of Starbucks coffee in the drink holder of the stroller, baby bottle in the other. Boyfriend and/ or husband is eyeing all the single, hot-looking ripped muscular girls with huge breasts and maybe thinking to himself, “Man, if I had to do it all over again,” or “Why did I get myself tied down with kids?”

And Claire’s has officially gone to the little girls. Long gone are the days of buying awesome jewelry, cross pendant necklaces, hoop earrings or even faux rhinestone stud earrings and black thin rubber jelly bracelets. Nowadays everything is rainbow-themed, Twilight (the vampire movie), Hair accessories, over-priced faux leather small purses, more hair accessories, and earrings with cute little unicorns and other girl-ish themed earrings that kind of resemble a throw back to the early 80s but not quite. And then there was the ear plugs that stretches out the ear lobes and other body jewelry.

I decided to stop in Christopher Banks (?). I get this store confused with Joseph A. Banks. Well, anyway, I decided while at the mall do as the aimless do, and see it all, so I did. What attracted me were the bright pastels and spring colors this store had on display. I’m getting way ahead of myself.

I’m there in leopard print leggings, suede cowgirl boots with fringe, a black sweater dress with a black dress belt, and the saleswoman takes one look at me and says, “You’re in the wrong store and not an inch of our clothing would fit you. The misses and petites are in our sister store just catty-cornered from this *plus-sized* store.”

I thanked her for her for letting me know since there was no sign stating it was for plus-sized women, and quickly left. I walked out feeling so proud and knew that sticking with my Yoga, getting in some daily cardio and eating clean food is finally paying off for me. It took me a while to find said store. I popped in for a few, looked at all the gaudy spring pastels they had displayed on plastic dress forms, and I began to feel like I stepped into an episode of the Twilight Zone. I mean, really– the clothes were so far out there I began to get the impression by the shoddy quality of this high-end clothing store, I’d never be caught dead in this place again. And their jewelry was one step down from the average “Made in China” cheap pot metal jewelry. It was so thin, I was afraid to even look at it.

Every inch of fabric was my newest ‘no-no’ when clothes shopping: Polyester—the woven plastic that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and release toxins naturally as the body should. Rayon, spandex, and nylon are in the same ‘plastic’ family as our good ole’ carcinogen buddy, Polyester. Yuck! Absolutely not! I think to myself.

And I could be wrong here, but it seems like the plus-sized clothing had more to offer—design wise as far as fabric and choices went. In the misses and petite sister store the styles were an eyesore. There was no originality that I could see. Screw this, I’m mall-walking past the food court to head back to rue 21.

At the misses and petite store even I found myself at the center of scrutiny by the stern-faced, average stressed out saleswoman. My attire screams… actually, I don’t know, maybe out-dated or perhaps its not typical mall walker/ regular shopper attire. I don’t keep up on trends anymore. And their attitude in the misses and petite store was rather “Can I help you find something?” of an order, very aloof and not at all a friendly greeting like I had gotten from the other sales woman at the plus-sized store. I quickly replied, “Actually, I’m looking for your discounted jewelry.”

And the saleswoman pointed to a very small rack of bracelets and necklaces sandwiched between the towering dressing rooms and right behind the cash register counter. Something about stepping behind the cash register to see a section a store has to offer has always creeped me out. Maybe its just me, but I feel that’s crossing hallowed ground in the retail world even when permission is granted. I personally rather like to see discount jewelry displayed out front or within a few feet from the cash register not behind it. Otherwise its located in an awkward area that you have to contort your body in weird angles just to see the selection. Enough was enough. I hope I never have to shop at Joseph A. Banks, or Christopher Banks or even any “Banks” store at all. I received the distinct impression this wanna-be high end store was for the late forties/ fifties crowd with a more moderate income to play around with. Not necessarily rich or well-to-do to shop at Dillard’s or J C Penny’s so this wanna-be high end clothing store kind of pacifies that high maintenance lifestyle.

And coming back to the old lady with the snow white hair that didn’t like unruly teenagers. I could begin to see why the mall posts a sign that anyone under the age of 16 now has to show proof of photo I.D., and if they have parents that work in the mall, this could be waved, and all 16 and younger teenagers either had to be accompanied by an adult in no more than a group of five kids total and/ or be escorted to the food court and off the mall premises by 6 p.m. on Fridays and weekends or said underage teenager(s) would be ticketed for trespassing. And this is supposed to teach another upcoming teenage generation what? More than likely if they aren’t employed, then their parents will be paying the trespassing fines, and how is this supposed to make the mall safe for others to shop in or curb any type of violence and/ or retail theft due to shoplifting? So between the hours of 6 pm and closing, I presume this makes the mall extremely safe and a fun, family-oriented place after dark? Violence can happen anywhere. Shoplifting is a crime, but it still happens everywhere. I kind of do see the logic in this, but I don’t see how a list of rules in small print will curtail this.

And when have teenagers become so out of control that such strict laws now must be put in place? It’s sad what this generation has become. I know the same thing was said of my generation, my parents, my grandparents, and even my great grandparents. Instead of bringing kids up with morals, respect, and a structured family and/ or religious life, we are now desensitizing kids with violent video games and online B.S. instead. And when violence happens in a mall? Oh, well, if there not out of here by 6 pm, we’ll fine them for trespassing. That should nip it in the bud.

“Attention shoppers, mall curfew will be in five minutes. If you are 16 or under and don’t have a ride, call for one and wait in the food court. A rent-a-cop will escort you out.”

Its no wonders teenagers are the way they are nowadays. They have only one hang out, but it doesn’t stay open very late and only allows in certain ages to congregate there in small numbers. Everything has boiled down to restrictions, no fun to be had anywhere, and when teenagers act out or cause destruction, violence, or shoplift everybody pays somewhere down the line.

How about instilling some positive role models or some good old-fashioned family values in a teenager’s life? Do any still exist nowadays? Maybe so and perhaps not anymore.

Back in my day teenagers got lost and the mall was the place to hang out on weekends at least for a couple hours before supper time. We’d hang out in the food court, down an orange Julius without getting an ice-cream headache, maybe share a slice of pepperoni pizza, ration our gummy colas and sour patch kids, go discover the hottest new rock/ heavy metal band. Heavy metal as I recall was on its way out as far back as 1987, but there were a few bands still on the charts in 1989. And the round-stop trip wouldn’t be complete without shopping for black thin jelly bracelets or finding some dangle cross earrings or silver/ gold hoops.  But it was a different time and enjoyable. I don’t remember ever hearing about mall violence back then unless if it was in a big city that had more than one mall to go to, then I heard about it happening in sporadic, rare instances and the said teenagers were nothing more than thugs.

A 1980’s mall had a much more relaxed and lax social gathering and set of business hours. And there were mall rules everybody had to abide by. They were posted on the entrance and exits in large print. Nowadays all I saw was one measly small-print sign tacked to a store display outside of a book store about teenagers 16 and under had to be off mall premises or risk being fined for trespassing on Fridays and weekends. What teenager is going to stop to actually read and obey that? How are they going to collect on these fines if there’s no court case? Teenagers of today will likely knock the sign to the ground, stomp on it, be kicked out of the mall by a rent-a-cop, and be back in the mall the following week like its some kind of new pastime.

Granted, teenagers in my generation were obnoxious and some non-violent rambunctious behavior could get out of hand at times. But never did I see a teenager or a whole pack of them storm into stores to smash, grab, and then leave.

Perhaps I perceive these new mall rules completely wrong and need to watch a few teen mob videos on Youtube to educate myself. I can see it as heading off potential trouble at the pass before it has a chance to happen.

What I do hate is seeing what’s become of society nowadays. People don’t seem happy anymore. There’s no more ‘care-free’, let your hair down, pull on your tightest jeans, tuck in your plain shirt, style your hair big, apply makeup, bangle bracelets, earrings, a necklace, and your beloved acid-washed jean jacket and lets go try to reel in the men. Eh, where exactly is a good place to meet a man anymore these days? And no, bars do not count. You will never meet a decent sober man in a bar. You might wind up with the loser, a bar fly, or some older man who still thinks he’s Mr. “stud muffin”. And you might wind up with an alcoholic, and even a creeper but that’s about it.

I trekked to Earth Bound Trading Company. I mainly stepped in to see a real life Tibetan singing bowl. Has anybody seen or heard these in person? They are so loud it hurts the ears. But the ‘ringing’ hum they produce lasts for hours. I do like them when they’re combined with meditation music. On this day, however, I didn’t carry my camera phone so couldn’t get a pic of the singing bowl. But it was still a sight to behold. And I saw beaded curtains which are super cool, but the $39.99 price and the fact that the said curtain could not be adjusted to work in my small place made me quickly reconsider. That, and they didn’t have many different intriguing designs. And if you like Bamboo beads, go for it. But I heard more bad about the bamboo beaded curtains than good. The bamboo curtains tangle something horrible and they don’t last as long as their acrylic (plastic) counterparts. Plus the bamboo beads fall off.

Nah, I think I will mosey over to the clothing section. What do I see? A faux leather fringe purse for $58. Well, boy howdy! I could see dollar signs evaporating before my very eyes and I was still a week away from getting paid next. And the fringe was extremely long. The said purse kind of resembled a boho style marries a ‘possibles’ pouch from the Pioneer days. It didn’t appeal to me. Discounted jewelry at Earth Bound Trading Company was varied, and not much of a savings in my eyes.

So, I skimmed through their essential oils list. (And if you don’t have a vitamin store in your town, you’re going to pay double what essential oils generally cost). $14.95 for unscented lotion. Essential oils (depending on scent) were anywhere between $10 per bottle on up to $16 and so on. And the size of the bottle is tiny. You don’t get much for your money. I believe I’ll check back in with Hobby Lobby at this rate. Oh and the clothing was made of Viscose which falls in I believe the wood pulp/ paper family. It’s a chemically-treated cellulose material, that when wet, doesn’t allow your skin to breathe and soaks up sweat and oils like a sponge and traps them. Also, any garment with a high Viscose content will state: “Dry clean only”. I wasn’t about to waste $26 on a summer dress that likely would fall apart once I got it home. I was ready to leave. I head back to rue 21 where I purchased some sturdy-looking bangle bracelets for $2, one bottle of their discounted $1 layered nail polish, except the color I picked out is bright construction worker orange, yellow, and hot pink. I knew that it wasn’t free of the embalming chemicals, but did buy it for painting stuff outside my house. And I also bought another pair of teal-colored feather earrings. I figure once summer hits, I’m bound to find a cotton-made teal tank or summer shirt to go with it from the thrift shops.

As far as shopping on a budget rue 21 wins out as far as discounted jewelry is concerned. As far as rue 21 clothing is concerned, let’s face it, discount racks are the way to go. Sometimes you’ll find a great starter summer wardrobe, or even add to an existing winter wardrobe, but nearly all of their garments will be made polyester or similar plastic blend. I check the tags before I purchase or even try on. And most of the time I go by feel alone and if the material is scratchy, itchy, stiff, too soft like artificial silk, then I don’t even waste my time trying it on. I know that sounds crazy but it does help so said garments don’t wind up in one of my donation bags and I won’t be out any money.

Oh, and Victoria’s Secret is another place I have seen parents dragging their children into. Back in my day such stores were very off-limits and it astounds me that a parent nowadays would expose their children to seeing thongs, g-strings, and racy lingerie. And I must realize that everything nowadays is hypersexualized for a kid growing up and there’s no avoiding that. Sex sells and its everywhere you go. I also see young women in their twenties and older women dragging their boyfriends and husband’s in VS. But their attitudes are what make me take notice. Their ordering their significant others to stay put, they tell their xxx amount of kids to “Shut up, mommy wants to see if this fits so she can look like Kim Kardasian!” And the woman saying it is in her forties and frumpy. She let herself go, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Looks aren’t everything. But as a society I see it with crystal clear vision: the price of beauty and to look beautiful is staggering! And the competition given way to breast implants, tummy tucks, body augmentation, plastic surgery even dental implants to retain that flawless pearly white smile is even more prevalent than it was a decade or so before. And it’s making it harder on women of all body types to achieve. It’s too expensive, way overboard ridiculous, and mind you, I’m light years away from being “old”, but it will happen to me. That’s a part of life.

Once upon a time for a couple of bucks you could shop at home through a mail order racy catalog, receive said lingerie products and you’d be reaching for the Louieville slugger to conk your boyfriend and/ or husband over the noggin’ that very same night you model the lingerie for his eyes only in the privacy of your own home. At least that was the ‘censored’ world of old. Nowadays, babies, toddlers, pre-teens, and teenagers mill through VS like it’s nothing new. And me? I’m gawking at the $22 price for a single pair of thong underwear that isn’t even stocked in my size. I like the spring colors and neons, but simply hate the crotch floss. This doesn’t look sexy on a plastic dress form and it doesn’t look remotely hot. And did I mention uncomfortable as well? And going back to the attitudes I seen while in VS. Women weren’t happy. They seemed stressed, restrained by the slim-pickings available, and there was the non-stop yelling at their kids who were wanting to go see something else in the mall than be babysat by their mothers. The husband and/ or boyfriends were made to buy said racy lingerie. They all had looks of boredom, and believe me, I have never, ever seen a man become bored in a lingerie store when he’s with his significant other, at least I can only assume this to be true. So, there’s the bickering and fighting from the mom tied down with five kids and one in a push-stroller. There’s the bored young couples and the poor men who want to shield their eyes and leave all the chaos behind. They don’t want to pay for it much less argue with their significant other about it for the rest of the week.

I see this as an outsider because I don’t have a man in my life, yet. In fact, why am I even in VS in the first place? Kim Kardasian sure didn’t make me go here nor did any other air-brushed, photo-shopped VS model for that matter. I guess I was wanting to see if there’s any normal ‘cotton’ underwear that still exist this day in age. And I suppose I had my question answered when all I came across were boy shorts, the ‘sensible’ thong, and g-strings and none of it made of cotton. I’m not talking old women underwear that’s 80 cents at K-Mart. I’m talking something appropriate to wear with Daisy Dukes that won’t have me checking myself over every five minutes, or needing to make pit stops in women’s restrooms to adjust said attire in private. As always, thanks for liking, re-blogging, tweeting, sharing and commenting. I truly appreciate it! 🙂

Abide with Me book.

Published September 16, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

Writing, updating, more revisions… other website takes forever to update and load new content. So, here it is: a list of my books and short stories along with links where to buy them. I figure wordpress is faster than the other website I was trying to use and update which ran at a snail pace.

Abide with Me took me nine years to write and an additional two more years or so to self-publish. It was my first labor of love. I started out with the concept of a ‘good guy’ vampire romance that was geared around being a little old-fashioned and set in modern times. Then I wasn’t happy with how the original rough draft read and totally overhauled it and gave a twist on the religious aspect that I have yet to see in any vampire book or movie. I just didn’t see or read about any good guy vampires other than watching a few episodes of Forever Knight when it originally aired. I was getting burned out seeing vampires nowadays being portrayed as these demonic-looking creatures with no compassion, passion, good guy personalities, or even sensuality. They’re inherently evil, let’s not forget, but…

“What became of Frank Langella, George Hamilton, or even Barnabas Collins (late, great Jonathan Frid) type of vampires in modern culture?” I thought to myself. Therefore, I was determined to create my own good guy vampires. I didn’t add in the religion until about a year before I self-published Abide with Me and really began to flesh out my characters and where I wanted to see them go as they evolved.

Abide with Me available at Amazon and Abide with Me on Smashwords. Enjoy and as always, thank you for re-tweeting, liking, re-blogging, sharing, commenting, etc. I sincerely appreciate it. 🙂

Abide with Me book cover.

Abide with Me book cover.