Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mall Visit

Like the annual physical, my annual visit to the local mall came due last week. Upon leaving the parking lot, I genuinely felt like I had been in another state if not a foreign country. It had nothing to do with nationalities. You see, we are country around here. Some people try to be something else but when it comes down to it, they're country. But you go into the mall and it is like dress up day and 'fool your friends' day.

For one thing, people are territorial. They have their direction and destination and you better not be in their path. For another, there are those who never buy anything, they just walk around, the guys looking tough and the women putting themselves on display like an advertisement or something. Their faces are frozen their manner is stiff and it looks like the night of the living dead. Spooky.

Then you go into a store, where do they get those styles? Do people really wear them anyplace besides the mall. And the sizes, it is like shopping in the land of the giants. "We have one pair in that style and we lost the sole off one shoe." "Those are seasonal, come back in the fall." Don't people wear work boots in the summer?

I once walked through Harlem, (got lost on the subway), it was okay. Back then I didn't know we all hated each other. I just thought people were people. But I admit, I felt a little out of place being one of only two white people there. We didn't get mugged or robbed and people smiled at us. Anyway, there is no comparison to the alienation I felt in the mall. One oasis of reality came when we stopped at the Chic-fa-la (if I even got close to spelling it right). The people were down home and went out of their way to be nice to us. Food was good too. We had the salad with chicken tenders. Um.

Finally let me say, if the people went to as much effort to please the customers as they do in rubbernecking to see if you stole something, it would be a much more profitable place. Some local people for marketing ideas might help too. I fully expected a squad of uniforms to jump out of every hiding place. I felt like confessing to something but we paid for everything we got, probably even the bags although it was not on the receipt. For all those watching eyes who think every country boy or girl in denim are thieves, I would like to say 'I am not a thief.' I got money. As Jeff Foxworthy said, (I paraphrase because no one can do it like Jeff) 'I got checks so I can't be out of money.'

I said y'all, yep, howdy and I reckon, to myself all the way home just to get back at myself.

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