Mall Walker

Today I went to the mall. I couldn’t remember the last time. There are easier places to shop, and face it, if it isn’t available at the supermarket, it’s probably out of my price range. But today, the thing I needed required a mall.

North Star was once the epitome of cool. Was. I found an empty parking place next to Macy’s. Times have changed. When you walk around in your own Great Recession, self-preservation dictates geographic restrictions. Too painful to shop at Ann Taylor or Talbots? Go for half-off at Marshalls.

My old favorites are gone. No more Baby Gap or Pottery Barn Kids to waltz through. Sharper Image, Bombay Company, Picture People–no more. The bookstores disappeared long ago. Coach is still alive, along with Williams-Sonoma and The Brighton Store, but with their mark up, they can afford a few looky-loos. I was the only customer in J. Crew, despite Michelle Obama’s endorsement. Though, forty-three dollars for an embellished tissue tee is a reach for me. I’ll be scouring Target for the knock-off.

Nothing I’m saying is new. Those of us, formerly of the middle class, live with it. Everyone else can read about it on Huffington Post. But seeing is the shocker. This broken-hearted consumer forgot a maxim. When I can’t buy, they can’t sell.

I found what I went for, but I missed the mall of 1996.

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