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The Mall on the Saturday before Christmas

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Lionne posted 12/21/2013 17:25 PM

I never go. I generally hate to shop anyway but this year I ventured out. It was a warm day, I had a few things I was looking for, no pressure, just a day to wander around...

Southern NJ. I know we often get a reputation in Jersey for rudeness. I don't find that to be overly true. I do find it in the local city (not in Jersy) as a driver, not when I'm walking or shopping, eating, that is, face to face. We edge on a rural section, there are lots of active farms mixed into our suburban developments.

The mall was crowded, the road to it very congested. The ride was slowed by merging tragic as EVERYONE allowed one person to get in line in front of them. It was all so polite and civilized. The parking lot was crazy, the traffic patterns there are not well designed. One young man inadvertently cut me off, stopped, apologized with gestures and continued. I parked far away, enjoying the weather.

Once in the stores, the crowds were manageable. I shopped a bit, stopped to watch Santa with the kids (really longing for those days and hoping for grandchildren someday) and had a bite to eat. I watched a few frazzled parents with tired, boneless kids. All were blessedly patient.

The biggest challenge was the long lines at checkout. I only bought a few things at three stores but the wait was long. Shoppers were friendly to one another, joking about buying swim gear instead of the scarves and mittens we had, the weather was that balmy. NJ is odd like that, we'll probably have sub zero temperatures on Monday.

All in all, it was a nice day. Oh, I could have done without the annoying "jazz" caroling of the portable organ in one store that competed with the Muzac, and that slice of pizza is reminding me that dairy isn't my friend. I'm happy I didn't NEED to shop, and greatful I have the resources to pick up those few extra things I wanted for family members (and a new sweater for me)

But it was gratifying to see that we humans are capable of treating each other with respect and kindness under stressful conditions. Even in NJ!

[This message edited by scaredyKat at 5:26 PM, December 21st (Saturday)]

nowiknow23 posted 12/21/2013 17:55 PM

What a lovely post, scaredyKat! True holiday spirit on display today.

thebighurt posted 12/21/2013 18:09 PM

Glad to see this, SK.

I had a similar experience going out today. The 1-1 merging, the traffic cop causing the tie-up by not allowing left turns at a busy mall intersection who waved and smiled. I parked far away too and wandered a bit inside. Everyone was smiling and it didn't seem like any were annoyed or impatient in the lines I saw. Just glad to get what I needed and be leaving when it was still that way because it was getting busier.

That was after having a very relaxing champagne breakfast at a nice café with DD and DGD. Great food and service, too. All three of us needed that.

thebighurt posted 12/21/2013 18:11 PM

I watched a few frazzled parents with tired, boneless kids.

OK, what is this? I tried to think what a typo might have been meant to be, but....... I hope it wasn't really boneless kids!

jo2love posted 12/21/2013 19:34 PM

thebighurt - The kids were floppy, tired,etc... They had bones, but looked like a wet noodle.

Scaredy, That sounds a wonderful day!

Lionne posted 12/21/2013 19:52 PM

I stole that metaphor from a favorite children's author, Mo Willems. In Knuffle Bunny;a cautionary tale, (the k is pronounced) the main character is a little girl who cannot yet talk. When she gets frustrated because she can't make herself understood she throws herself to the ground and makes herself "boneless" so her dad cannot pick her up. Whenever I'd read that part to first graders they'd get it immediately, remarking on the various times they'd done the same thing and demonstrating it all over the library.

thebighurt posted 12/21/2013 20:06 PM

OK, thanks. I totally get that. Had that with mine more than a few times, but it's been years - decades, even, so didn't connect. My grandkids are so full of life, they would be hopping around instead, even if tired.

Poor little ones.

SoVerySadNow posted 12/21/2013 23:13 PM

The traffic around our mall has been awful, but generally not too bad inside. Largely due to the forced traffic flw oatrerns that are stupid. We wondered where the people were. A couple of stores had long lines (Vict Secret, Bath and Body works) but they moved quickly. Today, WH said the two malls he went past were not overly busy and it surprised him.

We are wondering if the Tampa people decided to shop online and hit the beach instead. It was mid 80's here today.

tushnurse posted 12/22/2013 14:50 PM

Ran to the mall yesterday which I stay away from like the plague normally unfortunately DS wanted to get his girlfriends present an could only be found at a mall store.

It was insane!!!!

Oh and the boneless kids. I remember those days!!! Ray Ramono does a great bit on this in his book "Everything and a Kite". Talking about his then toddler twins.

Merry Freaking Christmas!!!

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