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Archive for January 2, 2023

Jan. 2, 2023 — When “retail therapy” becomes a workout

Yesterday, I trundled down the steps to my car, ready to drive to a couple of locations in order to pick up some things we needed.

Part of the return to normalcy (such as it is) after the global pandemic is the fact that shopping centers, which were seen as a possible center of the spreading of Coronavirus, were back open to pre-pandemic hours. Near my apartment is a mall which runs about 3/4 of a mile from one end to another.

The mall says a lot about us as a civilization. There are colorful stores which are meant to gain the eyes of small children. There are brightly-lit stores with thumping music meant to attract young people. There is a bar, several restaurants, and a couple of places that sell bubble tea.

It’s a lot of sensory overload.

But I did notice that there were a couple of spaces in the eastern end of this shopping center which had been walled off from the central hallway: these were a pair of big-box stores whose corporate overlords have seen better days.

As I’m a child of the mid-60s, I spent a lot of time as a teen in malls. Time in a mall was time to explore, to get lost in a retail fairytale space, to get enraptured by new technologies.

But everything in this mall is spread out, with empty spaces interchanged with themed spaces which might look like a children’s playground, others which look like a Swiss ski lodge, others which look like a Las Vegas bordello in the days before the big hotels came.

About an hour into my trek, I started feeling really tired. I wasn’t sweating, my heart wasn’t going over its usual rate. But I didn’t sleep well the night before, mostly because of a small virus (non-COVID-related) which takes away from my ability to go into a deep sleep.

About five minutes later, I got back up and looped back to where I had parked my car.

I drove home, got a cup of ginger tea, then plopped back into bed.

Sometimes this retail therapy thing can be exhausting. But nothing that I got yesterday were readily available via an on-line delivery service.

Well, except the pizza.