Itís been a long time since Iíve gone shopping for anything other than groceries or office supplies. Iím not much for shopping, and Iím even less for wandering around stores rubbing elbows with other people. I like to avoid that kind of contact unless itís absolutely necessary (as it sometimes is when I run out of groceries or office supplies).
Sometimes, though, I get to go to a toy store, and things donít seem so bad. We have a family birthday next week, and I failed to get ready early enough. Ordinarily I would find a way to do my shopping on line, where there are no elbows to rub (other than virtual elbows). But the deadline — and you know how I love deadlines — got here, and I needed something. Thank goodness August also got here, or I donít know how Iíd find time to shop.
Weíre not celebrating Dakotaís birthday (which is Sunday) until Tuesday, but it felt like a real deadline, so I made my way to the mall today. And oh my, was I ever shocked. This is what comes of never going out shopping, because I couldnít believe the number of empty store fronts and boarded up windows in what used to be a pretty vibrant place.
The good side of this was that I had no trouble finding a parking space. The bad side: no card shops! I still donít have a birthday card for our boy, which means another trip out before Tuesday. Lucky for me the drug store carries greeting cards.
The actual in-store experience was quite enjoyable in the end. It wasnít crowded, for one thing. In fact, the whole mall kind of echoed with the sound of the rap music coming out of the jewelry store. The older gentleman behind the counter in the toy store was helpful and friendly and efficient, just as I would have expected, if this had been 1958 and not 2008. And by ďolder,Ē I of course mean older than I am, which is old enough.