My introduction to the Lloyd Center Mall was in 2007, when I was working for Starbucks. I had been scrounging our district for extra shifts, and I snagged two opening shifts at the Lloyd Center Starbucks.
The morning rush was customers you might expect: other clerks on their way to open their own stores, and power-walking seniors in velour joggers who were allowed early entrance, to walk laps. Then, a girl came in followed by another and, though they were not together, they were both dressed exactly the same—wearing tutus. Not just tutus, but also puff sleeves and nude tights, with sparkles. Their hair was pulled back, and wrapped into tight, waxy buns. They looked almost identical, tired and pissed off. Then, another girl joined the line, a third girl, who was dressed the same.
There were three of them, like Russian figure skaters, standing in line.
I have never been very current on fashion and, while my trips to the mall usually included eye-opening updates on trends, I still thought the three sugarplum fairies standing in line were noteworthy. I stole a moment to point out the girls to another barista. But she just shrugged and said, “What else should they be wearing?”
On my first break, I ventured further into the mall to have a look around and discovered, to my astonishment, an ice rink. The rink (where Tanya Harding started lessons at age three) was abuzz with figure skaters congregating at Lloyd for some kind of invitational. Their costumes actually were figure skating outfits, and not, as I had concluded, indications there was some huge fad for czaritsa chic going around.