Discovering the Real Mall

Spring is creeping up as fast as a dandelion looses it seeds in the wind. Greenbrier Mall prepares for Virginia Beach’s entrance into springtime with subtle and (not so subtle) hints. A portion of the ground floor is home to a large Easter display. There stands a man in a bunny suit waiting for crying children to sit upon his lap as eager mothers urge them to smile for the camera. The Easter bunny is surrounded by 5-foot tall painted eggs and child-sized bunny statues. A wicker basket serves as the backdrop to the display, host to dozens more brightly colored eggs. Grassy green, sky blue, violet, magenta, chickadee yellow, and orange as majestic as a sunset.

Store owners put up flashy signs to draw in the window shoppers. “Enter to win your dream vacation!”, “Take a trip to Catalina Island, California!”, “Spring into action!”. Mannequins are adorned with the newest fashions for the warm season: itsy bitsy, teeny weeny bikinis and wedge heels, cuffed shorts and nautical prints, stretchy jogging gear. Formal dress stores entice girls going to prom with sequined frocks in various jewel tones. Stores encourage buyers to get their “Sunday Best” just in time for Easter. Teenagers stop to ogle at the belly button piercing sign.

Groups of giggling girls sit and eat frozen yogurt as they chatter about summer plans. Little girls sit in waiting at their Girl Scout “cookie table” and stare with hopeful eyes at the passing people. Men sport no-sleeve denim vests and a woman with green eye shadow in honor of St. Patrick’s Day is spotted talking to the man selling Mother’s Day jewelry. Men prepare for America’s favorite pastime. New baseball caps are sold to eager men, waiting to break the bill in and get the hat dirty in the field. Small children jump up and down in front of the pet store, crying out for the fluffy rabbits. Parents carry infants into the portrait shop to prepare a photo shoot using giant prop sunflowers and sunny beach backdrops. Women pick up lotions and body sprays at Bath & Body Works, testing the scents on their wrists. “Escape to the Tropics!” taunts the sign hanging above the store’s entrance. Women browsing the store smell like a farmer’s market. Only the freshest strawberries, peaches, lemons, mangos, and pineapples!

The air is fresh and the idea of spring looms in the air. To take a step back and enjoy the bright displays and special spring deals is to be bold. Winter is behind us. Ahh, spring!