Opinion: Day at the mall not like it used to be

Lord & Taylor at the Westfield Trumbull shopping mall, in Trumbull, in 2020.

Lord & Taylor at the Westfield Trumbull shopping mall, in Trumbull, in 2020.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

I haven’t shopped in the local malls in a few years. I finally had some rare spare time and thought how great it would be to browse the shops as I had done often in the past.

I scooted out to Trumbull in the hope I would follow my old route starting with parking outside of Lord & Taylor so I could pass through on the way to Macy’s.

I often found the most unique gem that I would scoop up to begin my spree and onward to Macy’s for another treasure hunt, always with a happy ending.

I had prepared myself for Lord & Taylor being closed, but I still felt a pang of sadness as I drove past the empty parking lot. I corrected my melancholy attitude — one that we tend to acquire in our older years. I pushed through while my protective inner voice decided it would be the only surprise I would face on this day. (It’s my inner voice, I can tell it what to say!)

I parked in the structure and entered the mall excited for what I would find reconnecting me with a part of my past, my youth.

My fist shock was that the shoe store looked like all the others, row after row filled with boxes. Of course, nowadays it makes more sense to let people help themselves — it’s more cost-effective.

However, I wanted some attention, someone to bounce my thoughts off of. I would miss the excitement while waiting for the clerk to disappear into the back room to retrieve the perfect shoe I had been salivating over for 48 hours. I even missed the process of walking past shoes carefully placed to draw our attentionl at one time, this type of marketing would have insulted me.

To my delight the sweet man at the register would certainly help me, but between him being short of help, (another byproduct of “the new order of things” and other’s needing his attention, I felt rushed.

OK, so I should get over myself, right? Don’t worry, I did. I self-corrected my attitude with the loss (of it all) reminding myself that everything changes, especially after the few years we have had.

I understand every generation will go through something similar, while I prayed that a new style of shopping will be the worst that happens to them. Still, it leaves many of us with a feeling of displacement.

Maybe people don’t think like this anymore. Maybe it’s an “old fashioned” process to feel a sense of sadness in change. I admit I am in awe of that rational perspective and at the same time saddened for what gets annihilated in the process.

Oh well, as I did with every trip, I did a full circle on the top floor — took the escalator down to another full circle, at which point I would pick up a coffee and a snack to go. Or if I was really daring — a cinnamon bun.

Deb Torreso lives in Bridgeport.