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As a "recovering" middle school teacher with a unique outlook on life, I stopped active teaching in 2010 and moved into another career path... writing! Here goes! In addition, I am a travel buff, forever baseball addict, movie fan, music fan, foodie extraordinaire, NCIS devotee, gardener, and more.

Just love writing for kids, travel writing and basic journalism. Pretty unusual, since I taught Home Economics! But there's a story here too - a non-fiction one or more...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Retail "Therapy"?

Rule # 22 – Question everything

     I never really got what was so great about shopping. I’m not talking about those procurement missions where you are out for specific reasons. I’m talking about the sport of shopping – those who have nothing better to do than to walk around a mall and buy stuff.

     “Come on, Martha. Let’s go see what they got at the local WalMart (or mall) this week.” Buddy, it’s the same old stuff that was there last week. The only thing that changes is where they put it.

     “But this is ‘on sale’. We gotta take advantage of the sale. I mean it’s 20% (or 30% or 40%) off!” Buddy, EVERYTHING is “on sale”. Some prices are just higher than others on a regular basis. By the way, if things are marked down so drastically, how much profit was the store making BEFORE the sale. Don’t know of too many companies willing to “take a hit” in this economy.

     I have to admit, that if you are a sincere people watcher like I am, a trip to the mall or the store is great entertainment. You see some of the craziest people there. Some pictures of the more bizarre outfits have been circulating on the internet. And they have been doozies, too. I’ve seen more body parts in those pictures than I did in college semesters of biology and anatomy and physiology. Many of the subjects still need to be able to say “no” to crack… and not the drug, either.

     I guess people really don’t know how bad they look in some of the latest fashions. It’s hard to deal with people who wear spandex over obesity. These people have more rolls than a bakery, and they have them shrink wrapped in leggings, sweat pants, spaghetti strapped tops, cleavage-displaying tops and “wife beater” tee shirts. Mental eraser!!! Mental eraser!!!!

     This penchant for perusing retail establishments begs the answers to a few philosophical questions:

  1. How much stuff can you really have?
  2. Are you replacing stuff or adding to the collection?
  3. When it’s a gorgeous day, why are you inside a store and not outside enjoying life?
Like I said before, I just don’t get it. Why do people just shop?

     Now I do remember spending time at the mall as a teen. My first job was at the Woolworth’s in Moorestown. The mall was a great place to meet other teens. In Philly, it was the street corner. In Jersey, it was the mall. We hung out, walked around, maybe looked at stuff in the windows, but usually we were too busy trying to look cool, and attractive to care what stores were around. We’d visit the food court just to sit down and look cool and attractive. It was a place to meet people that didn't go my school.

      Now as an adult, the mall is the last place I want to be in a spirit of fun. I find those same teens (like I was) who are slowly strolling – or parading- very irritating. I want to get my stuff and get out. And the stroller people… I know you have to have a place to wheel your little ones, but please treat the stroller as a wheeled vehicle. Drive it and pay attention please! I’m tired of getting my ankles bruised by people not watching where they are going.

     More questions for mall peeps:

     Is your neighborhood so bad that you need to have your kids play all day at the mall playground? Ok, once in a while, but I know some people who make the mall a regular destination.

     Must you be on the phone in any store? I can understand a quick “Honey, is this really what you want?” But I’ve been privy to some wild and crazy conversations at high volume that take place on the cell in the produce section of a grocery store. And while choosing cucumbers too… (use your imagination!)

     And please, when conversing in any tone, be careful what you say to others. Profanity does not become anyone, regardless of race, creed or orientation. So please stop dropping the F-bomb. Have a little more respect for the mouth that feeds you than to speak such garbage.

     Gee, as I read this over, I keep looking over my shoulder for Jeff Dunham. I’m sounding more and more like Walter with every sentence. “Hi! Welcome to WalMart! Get you sh.. and get out!”

     Or maybe Walter is on to something…

     I know I was raised in a different time and place. Or was it really so different? Or is it just people who are different now? Or society as a whole? Where is courtesy?


      It’s nice sometimes to vent in the form of philosophical questioning. It helps to solve some of the overarching questions of life, at least in my own mind. I have a strange feeling I’m not alone in my thoughts, either. We all talk about it, but what do we do about it?

     Some people go shopping.

     I come here…and write....

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