It was raining today, and although it eased off enough for me to wander around the Wright Memorial overlooking Huffman prairie for awhile, I still needed to get out more. (I guess I really have soured on the treadmill.) So we went to the mall. Other than popping into Macy’s at Christmastime, I really haven’t spent any time in a mall for well, a long time. There’s a mall on the edge of Copley Square in Boston, where we used to go to the movies, that was the last mall where I really shopped. It had a Rizzoli bookstore, a Crate and Barrel, a shop that sold nothing but fountain pens, a Williams Sonoma– all kinds of interesting things. While I didn’t expect the mall in suburban Dayton to have quite so much, I was pretty shocked by what I did find.

There was nothing there for anyone over 30. In fact, most things were aimed at the 13-18 market. Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Justice, Buckle, Claire’s, stores selling video games, sunglasses, and shoes. Tucked in occasionally were big chain jewelers and stores for little kids. There was really not a damn thing there for an adult. Yet we had to look for a parking space, and the place seemed to be teeming with shoppers, though not all of them had packages. What kind of society have we become that the most important retail segment are people under 25?  And even then, what are we selling them? Nothing of any lasting value. All those gadgets and shoes, hoodies and shrugs and cardis, all will be dropped off at Goodwill soon enough.

I met my husband and son in the Food Court where they were enjoying some kind of stir-fried chicken and noodle thing. They pointed out that the stall where they’d bought their food. It was quite busy– a Chinese man, an immigrant from Fukien, leaning out towards passersby with a piece of chicken on a toothpick. “Yummy, yummy chicken,” he called out. “I make this just for you.”  Across the court, another Asian food stall is trying the same, the women frantically waving at shoppers to come closer. Over there, a caucasian teenager shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot outside the Chick-Fil-A. She stands with a tray full of samples, hoping someone will take them so she can flee back behind the safety of the counter. As I had walked the complete length of the mall I’d had to dodge salesman leaning outside the fronts of their stores– howyadoin today?  So hungry to sell.  (I didn’t actually have to try very hard to avoid them, as being overweight and middle-aged I didn’t make a blip on their radar.) If the shopping mall has become a microcosm of America, we truly are damned.

I did manage to get in 5324 steps. Doesn’t make up for yesterday’s shortfall, but I’m getting there. Target number is down to 73.

Consumed (and no nothing at the Food Court): Brown Cow Maple yogurt with quarter cup granola, hard boiled egg, three mini sweet-peppers, packet of Energy Mix nuts, 3 homemade shredded pork soft tacos (with avocado and salsa) and half a cup blood orange sorbet. I think I didn’t actually eat enough today, but I am trying to not eat anything three hours before bed, so I guess I’ll have a hearty breakfast in the morning.





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