Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Drinking myself silly in the middle of the mall

Mall walker obstacle
London, ON
March 2012
Click photo to embiggen
About this photo: We're sharing our favorite photos of the past year all week long, and we'd love if you shared yours, too. Just go here.And while we're at it, please accept my wishes for a happy and healthy new year. I've never been one for resolutions or whatever - too predictable and ultimately senseless - but sending good vibes into the universe as one year turns into another has got to be a positive thing. Only goodness for us all, this year and every year. Now, on with the show...
Allow me to be cryptic for a moment. This isn't so much one of my favorite pictures as it is one of my favorite days. I know that sounds odd. But if we're being photographically honest, there isn't a whole lot of memorable surrounding a picture of a Starbucks cup shot on the floor of a mall while I deftly try to avoid being run over by hordes of determined mall walkers.

Instead, this rather ordinary photo reminds me of a really good day. And in that context, it's become one of my favorite captures of the year. Make sense?

It was really simple, actually. Forever 21 was opening its first London-based store in Masonville Place, a fairly large mall located not far from the house. As historic milestones go, it wasn't a big one. Or even a small one. It was a store. Selling clothes to teenaged girls. In the middle of a hypercommercialized space where good taste usually goes to die. It shouldn't have been much cause for anything.

Yet it was. My daughter wanted to be there. All of 14 years-old at the time, she and her best friend didn't want to miss the retail event of, if not their lives, at least the month. And if they wanted to be a part of it, then it was meaningful to me, too.

So off we trooped too-early on a barely-dawn Saturday morning where the ladies waited patiently in an ever growing, velvet-roped lineup of similarly jazzed teenaged girls. Being the worrywart that I am, it just didn't feel right to simply leave them there and head for home. So I stayed. But I couldn't wait in line with them. No. You see, I couldn't dampen their cool. So I found a comfy spot in an adjacent mall corridor and settled in.

I had my smartphone for the ladies to ping me, and my tablet to catch up on the day's reading. Thanks to all this mobile geekery, I was able to text my wife and Dahlia's friend's mom through the morning, letting them know what we were all up to and what was going on. Technology as connector. Neat.

They were there for a few hours as the crowd continued to grow. They got hungry. I brought them breakfast and treats, and then retreated to my comfy chair. With so much free time on my hands, it was inevitable that a little impromptu photography would result. The mallwalkers were not amused.

In the end, the ladies had the experience they had been talking about for weeks. I had an experience I hadn't quite expected. And the memory of that delightful morning is now locked away, for me anyway, in a picture of a coffee cup on a cold marble-like floor. I'm good with that.

Your turn: Ever take a so-so picture of a really memorable event or day?


Betty said...

Sounds a wonderful day and I think you had the best of it, sitting with coffee and camera rather than shopping :)

21 Wits said...

What a warm hearted story! It's so cool how some of our most memorable photos can be just a cup of coffee sitting idle to everyone else, but to us it's a wonderful reflection! I didn't know the back story to this before now, but I find it cool just the same!

Pamela said...

I like that idea. I don't like to shop - but don't like to stay home alone, either.

Unknown said...

A photo with a story to tell. Well done.