I have a habit of going to the malls and movies alone. I even go to the restaurant and eat alone. However, thanks to the pandemic, I had not been able to do this for a very long time. Finally, this Sunday, I managed to have a lunch date with myself.
My son wanted to watch the movie Uncharted with his friends. The movie theater that was showing the 4D version of the movie was almost 10 kms away. Honestly, I was not comfortable leaving 4 teenagers go to a place 10 kms away all by themselves. The helicopter mom in me took precedence and I said they can go only if they allow me to accompany them. Initially, they didn’t like it but finally caved in. I allowed them to book a cab and followed their cab like a typical sleuth Momma. Inside the mall, they went inside the movie hall and I decided to spend 3 hours window shopping. 3 hours of absolute ME time.
Well, I couldn’t restrict it to window shopping and bought quite a few things that I had wanted to buy for long. However,the best part was drinking coffee at a Starbucks while reading a book. My friends often ask me how can I concentrate in reading inside a noisy cafe. They feel it is some kind of intellectual showoff (read: antlami) to read inside a cafe. But the truth is that the cacophony inside the cafe is like a white noise for me that helps me forget my pain and focus on the book.
I love to observe strangers in a mall. Each person is like a new book and I like to read them. You may find this creepy, it is actually creepy that I eavesdrop conversations. Like I was sitting opposite two young girls in their late teens and overheard one of them complaining that a boy named Heet literally stalked her. She seemed amused at the boy’s behavior but the fact that she is aware of the term stalking was reassuring. We grew up at a time when stalking was considered macho in Bollywood movies and so we grew up thinking it was okay if a person stood below my window come rain or sunshine. Thankfully these girls know that it is wrong. And that is reassuring.
This trip also made me realize that my sonny boy has grown up. This was the first time we visited a mall and instead of going to Hamleys he went to Apple store. I realized he has left behind his toy days. He also did not demand a Mcdonald’s happy meal. I realized that the kids have really grown up during the pandemic. The first mall visit after the pandemic was so different from the visits before the pandemic. The son may have grown up but the mom is still young at heart so I ended the mall visit after buying this quirky cup.