I spend much of my time walking around the mall these days. Let me rephrase that: I spend much of my time following my 11- and 13-year-old daughters around the mall these days. They are old enough to recognize that I am a convenient mode of transportation, but not old enough to be left to their own devices. So I, the embarrassing mother, trail behind them 20 paces, allowing them a sense of protected freedom and me the chance to observe the retail landscape. About that landscape — ...

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