Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A mauling at the Mall

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A mauling at the Mall
I mentioned in a Facebook posting recently that my Mom likes to sit in the local Mall and simply watch people.  An old geezer across from us also just gazes at the sites.
The other day we were sitting not far from a group of buzzing teenagers.  With both boys and girls mixed, the girls were definitely more aggressive. The passive boys who seemed to just be coming out of themselves, were grinning from ear to ear as the girls ‘mauled’ them. (Note: that isn’t ‘Malled’ them – although that could be another way to describe what was happening!)
The unique thing was the teens were, on this day, declaring their team spirit/school spirit.  They all had on some identifying piece of clothing from their school.  The name of the school was emblazoned on their shirts or caps.  They had chosen colours to match the school colours as well.
From their size and attitudes they had to be about Grade 9, maybe with the odd Grade 10 mixed in.
All told there were about 14 teens at the long tables.
I had noticed two of the girls in a line up for food in front of me earlier.  They were particularly wilder and noisier than the others in the larger group.
I had also noticed a boy their same age that was also wearing similar colours and clothing… same school for sure.  This boy was behind the girls in the food line up but not talking with them as they kept their backs purposely turned to him as they agitated back and forth.
My gaze wondered from the noisy crowd of teens… to a table with that same boy sitting alone and eating his just purchased lunch.  He was the same size, roughly the same age group and the same school… but he was not allowed to be one of them. They were apparently cool according to the girl’s standards but he was not allowed to join in the fun… or activities. Not cool maybe…
As we watched the table of noise, I noticed that the girls were dominant in almost everything they were doing.  The boys sat grinning and doing nothing to react to the hitting, stealing of their cell phones, leaning over them with the full-breast rubbing by the girls… they just grinned. And the other boy that ate alone never looked at them… or if he did he never showed what his own reaction to the group might be.
The hormone problems at that table left me thinking that none of the kids were really good students. A passing mark maybe… but never too high of a mark so the rest of the group might reject you.  But the kid sitting alone likely is an ace in school and above the idiots that jiggled, rubbed, giggled and mauled each other.
I could say it was a rush to sit and watch a scene being replayed from my own High School days – but I am sure that we never acted that way.  Or maybe I was the single, lone guy eating alone.  But it couldn’t be back then… there were no Malls to be mauled in.  No cell Phones and no places to gather like this.
Truly as my Mom watches on I wonder what is going through her head. Her High School days took place in a very small town that was twice the size of her own town.  She had been granted the privilege to go to High School by her dad, letting her out of the farm chores and helping her mom with all the other kids. Mom was the oldest girl and like a second mother to the other kids.  It was a busy farm and house to tend to.
Mom moved in with her aunt and uncle.  Her aunt was her mother’s sister. The uncle was a banker.  They lived well and all by themselves – just the two of them.  Mom loved High School and loved living with her aunt and uncle – away from her siblings and the chores of every day.  To think about sitting in a Mall and acting silly with your friends, nagging on to boys and acting totally weird for the world to see – is not something she understands. I am certain of that fact.
The old geezer sitting not far away from us and watching the mauling at the Mall… shook his head. He was older than me and younger than my Mom.  He got up and walked away shaking his head.  Oh do I ever wonder what he was thinking.
I have been thinking a number of days of these young people… the Mall… the reactions of my Mom and the old geezer… and my own reactions to what happens with these youth.
The teens will have about three years more of High School. Then if they have actually buckled down with studies they may go to University.  After four to seven more years at that school of higher learning, they will graduate and become experts on everything in my life.
Between seven to ten more years from now I will be in my late 70s and close to 80. I will walk into an office of Dr. White or Dr. Brown… and remember them as some of the teens from the Mall.  Good Lord – what a thought!
No wonder my Mom just stares at them now… along with the old geezer at the next table.  Oh boy!
~ Murray Lincoln ~
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