I am afraid of this weekend. No, not of New Years Eve or the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012. I take New Years in a Doris Day sort of way – Que sera, sera. That’s French for WHATEVER.
But no, I’m afraid because I have to go back there again. To the mall. With a return.
There are two shopping malls not far from here Tysons Corner I and Tysons II. Tysons I is a normal mall. Homogenized. Pasteurized. It has the same stores as every mall in the U.S. Macy’s. Brookstone. Ann Taylor. Nothing different there.
Tysons II, however, is different. Very different. Tysons II, The Galleria, is filled with outrageously priced stores and a Macy’s. Nordstroms, Cartier, Montblanc. The Ritz has a direct entrance.
The only attractive feature to someone like me is that there is always plenty of parking and no traffic. It’s seductive. So Every year at Christmas time, I forget that I don’t belong and go for one last gift. I vow never again to go. But by the next Christmas I forget.
This year was no different. Two days before Christmas, I needed one last gift, a scarf for my mother-in-law.
“I know,” I thought, stupidly. “I’ll go to the Macy’s at Tysons II.” I am an idiot. But, remember, lots of parking, no traffic. Christmas Magic, right?
There were no employees in Macy’s. I tried to buy a couple of things, and nobody would take my money. So I went out into the mall. I stopped in one store and found a nice scarf for Helen. Looked at the tag — $198. For a scarf for an 85-year-old lady who sometimes dribbles. Nope. Don’t think so.
So I continued down the main hall in the mall, occasionally stopping to look at something equally overpriced.
Then it started snowing. In the mall. INSIDE the mall. On me. It was 64 and sunny outside that day. No snow THERE. But inside, well, it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
I continued walking.
You know how car dealers show their latest models in shopping malls sometimes? Well, this one did too.
I did not buy a car. I did not buy a $200 scarf. I didn’t even get the Clinique skin cream I needed from Macy’s.
I did get a small gadget from the only reasonable store there, a kitchen store. It doesn’t work, though. So I have to go back.
If you don’t hear from me for a while, please send snow shoes.