I went to Sandton City today. Not an everyday occurance. But the kids are visiting their grandparents so I have ample time to endure traffic and have some me-time. Not that Sandton City is my IDEAL me-time outing. Despite the distance and traffic, another reason I don’t go there is the general uhm, what’s that word….snotty(?) feeling I get when I walk in there. To make matters worse, a lot of private schools are still on holiday at the moment so inevitably a place like Sandton City would be crawling with kids. Wow I’m getting old. Save your comments for when I’m done, don’t start swearing at me halfway through this post….but my GENERAL feeling is that MAJORITY OF people who hang out at SC as well as Hyde Park Shopping Centre is a breed on their own. Man. It’s so strange. I don’t get intimidated easily. And when I do, I pretend that I’m not. I play the intimidator role right back if I have to. But THAT place!
I got the feeling in more than 1 store that one gets checked out immediately as you step inside the door of the shop. I am sure they distinctively place checker-outers throughout the shop. Like field workers almost. Some dressed in “shop” uniform; others under cover. They have a secret sign language. Flick of hair towards left = cool chick. Drop of wrist downwards, palm up = not interested chick. And obvious shake of the head = poor chick. I suspect I fell into the poor chick category more than once. You know that feeling you get when you get checked out to SUCH an extent that you start feeling GUILTY for some obscure freaking reason?!?!?! All you did was walk into the store and you got a quick once-over and then the guilt begins….do I LOOK ok? Why do they stare at me and when I look at them they smile VERY WIDELY? Why are they following me EVERYWHERE?? Now I’m pissed. Now I will have an attitude with them. Remember, this is all just going on in MY head….
I scan for the most expensive looking jacket. I spot it. It’s long, it’s real fur (grrrr) and it seems so expensive it hasa halo sitting above it? I ask to see it. She (reminds me of Cruella de Ville….) gives a TOTALLY plastic, botox smile, walks towards to hanger and takes it down. She says, “Zis won ees pricee”. I say oh, well it’s totally worth it, ’cause I see it’s fox and rabbit…? I made that up, but it turned out to be correct! Rene 1, She 0. She drapes it over my shoulders. Oh. My. Word. It fits like a freaking glove! A genuine fur coat that LOOKS nice, feels like silk, as light as a feather and hanging over MY shoulders! I love it. I should hate it, but I LOVE it! I want it. Which is a problem ’cause I picked it for it’s expensive look, not because I ever thought that I would Like it, let alone LOVE it! But i LOVE it. She brings me the belt and we turn it into an evening coat. Oh. My. Word. It is breathtakingly beautiful!!! It was made for me. She comes floating towards me and whispers (well she spoke but it was all a haze…) “it ees also reversable…”. Before I could think I say “stoppit!!!”. And she says, “Reaaally”. And we flip it and it is just as beautiful on the inside!! All brown and soft and fluffy around the neck and wrists…and i LOOOOVE it. And i finally ask, “this was how much again…?”. She whispers (bellows) “R16, 352….”. I say (whisper) “O yes, but it’s SOOOO worth it….”, without blinking, swallowing, blushing or peeing my pants. Just poker-faced comeback. Then I hug it, and stroke it and say “I will bring my husband here later…thanks for your time, see you later”. I leave with a headache and buy the Sarie at CNA.
These shopping centres are a flipping scream! I am able to sit and have coffee for hours, literally cup after cup – ok maybe not JUST coffee, say 2 coffees and then some water – but just sit and sip and watch them. The mall-trawlers. The kugels. The business men. The mutton-dressed-as-lamb. The 13-year old girls with minis, mobiles, tart-heels and make-up. The mothers of the tart-upped 13 year olds. They fascinate me. And I wonder. I wonder what on earth is the meaning of all of this? All this earthly stuff? The designer heels on sale for R2,500. The fur jacket for a bond payment. The painfully skinny girls. The 5 year old throwing a tantrum and getting his way. Am I missing the point? Or are THEY missing it?
And when I breathe a sigh of relief when I finally leave through Entrance 14 I realise that I am not missing the point. I am who I am. But I may not be judgemental towards how others choose to live their lives. They might look at MY life and have the same opinion I have over theirs (just completely different, if you get my point?). But we all choose different things in life. My life is different right now because of me, my circumstances and my decisions. Someone elses life is completely the opposite due their own plans and choices. And that is all OK. In the GREEEAAAATER scheme of things it is all OK.
I want to leave you with something from The Shack: “Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being” .