Mall Crashing

Jose-Anthony - Dedham, Massachusetts
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in spontaneity.

I was once in the shadows of society. Not able to interact with anyone due to my shyness, I would walk through public areas alone. But I believe that everyone is able to break out of any social chamber they find themselves in.

During my early teenage years I started a band. The naïve, shy, and lonely kid that walked among the public shared a common interest with other teenagers and started to play music. The band introduced me to social situations that I was never a part of. There were random events that tested my social barrier that guarded me from the world. Since I was the shyest person in the group, the other members wanted me to participate in these games in order to break free. The premier event was the game we called “Mall Crashing,” a game that capitalized on the movie “Wedding Crashers”.

This event consisted of a member of the band going up to a random person of the opposite sex in a mall alone to try to start a spontaneous conversation. Getting a phone number from this girl was a bonus. But completing this task was easier said than done as I was crippled with paralyzing shyness. As we went from mall to mall to accomplish this task, I was always made to go first.

With knees buckling and sweaty armpits, I would walk over to my mall crasher women. I didn’t know what to say when I got there. I would have to live in the spur of the moment. During my first ever mall crash, I was a nervous wreck. Messy, greasy hair with Jello knees epitomized my walk to the girls I was about to talk with. As quick as an Olympic sprinter, I came up with something to draw their attention. A childish teenager squeal was all I came up with.

“I can see you.” I said.

The young, beautiful woman would laugh. “Uh, yeah?”

“Great! Then how about tomorrow?” I randomly asked.

She walked away. I came up with even more lame pickup lines on the fly when going into these random conversations.

“Hi, the voices in my head told me to come over and talk to you.” I said.

They walked away laughing and giggling.

Every time I would go up there alone, I would come back to my band mates and say that I succeeded even though I failed. I was accepted. I was loved. I fitted in.

To me, it didn’t matter that I failed; it felt good to be accepted even if it was awkward. Eventually, I conquered social shyness. What could be any more embarrassing than that? Now that I am in college, I can look back at this experience as a pivotal moment in my life. I am more relaxed and social. I can walk up to people and talk without fear. I believe in spontaneous actions to achieve life goals, to lose your inhibitions and to lose your innocence.