Most of the time, I really like where I live, generally speaking. I mean, I'd like a bigger apartment, and I'd like to own it rather than rent, but it's a pretty nice place, my commute is reasonable, and it's convenient to just about everything -- especially the mall.
Sometimes, however, the mall is more trouble than it's worth. And no, I'm not talking about Christmas -- because around Christmas, people are generally on a mission, and, as a result, move through the mall with some kind of logic and purpose. Nope. The real problem is this time of year, from about mid-March to mid-April where the mall is filled to capacity with teens (and pre-teens) on various school trips.
In the mall, teenagers mostly just hang out and talk and giggle. And they pay absolutely no attention to their surroundings, which often includes commuters trying to get around them in order to get home. So, every day, I have to carefully navigate my way through a bunch of kids in matching t-shirts standing in clusters between the escalator and either the video game store or the candy store.
I want to push them out of my way, but, sadly, most of them are bigger than me.
Today, I came to a realization, though: I should cut the kids some slack. I was probably just as annoying as a teenager, and I know with certainty that I spent a lot of my leisure time in malls. (Okay, most. Whatever.)
More importantly, the annoying blocking traffic thing? It's not really the kids' fault.
See, in the midst of being caught in a larger than usual traffic jam right in front of the escalator, I concluded that the blame really lies with the chaperones -- the adults that, under the guise of being responsible, let a large group of teenagers loose on the mall with instructions to meet back at a certain place and certain time. Generally, that place is either right in front of the escalator that leads to Metro or right by the front entrance.
Time after time, these adults do this without ever entertaining the notion that their large group might wind up impeding traffic. And once their group is assembled, the adults generally don't notice -- or don't care -- that they're in the way. And, in the very unusual circumstance when they do become aware that they're blocking the way, they don't/can't/won't do anything to fix the situation -- like perhaps moving their group closer to one side or the other.
These are the people that you send your kids on field trips with, America. They're not even smart enough to get out of the way.