I just returned from a day of shopping with my mom. We walked the mall for three hours, and I'm feeling it. The shopping headache hit at about 3:00. Why shopping never fails to give me a headache I don't know because I do enjoy it. I love walking. It's the best exercise and it's nice to have things to look at while walking, unlike time on the treadmill where there's not much entertainment.
Shopping is certainly entertaining. There's no place like the mall for people watching. I don't know if you'd call it eavesdropping, but I love to tune into the conversations that are going on around me as I walk the mall. The way people look at one another, the things they say and do. I'm fascinated by all that stuff in a curious sort of way. I witnessed an argument between a man and a woman. She stood directly in front of him while loudly accusing him of something. He showed no emotion while trying to change the direction of his steps so she wasn't right in his face.
I'm not sure which group is more entertaining, adults or children. Kids love those fountains that you throw money into, and every mall seems to have one. When my mom and I sat near the trickling water, just before heading home, a young girl came running up to the fountain with such enthusiasm that she leaped across the outer perimeter and jumped up onto the water's edge. She had a wish to make and it should have been that her mom would take it easy on her. After throwing in her coin, the girl was met with a verbal punishment and a yank of her arm that sent her to the floor.
Why pay money for a movie ticket when there's a free show in the mall? Walking among so many different people allows you to see glimpses of who they are. Some of it isn't pretty, but other times you get to witness joyful moments, acts of kindness, or glances between couples that are obviously in love. While coming out of J C Penney, I saw a man looking over at the woman who walked beside him. It was a look of adoration that any woman would love to receive. He was saying something to her I couldn't hear, but it didn't matter because the way he looked at her said it all. Love walked by me and made me smile.
Then I overheard a conversation in the ladies room between a mother and her son. I was standing at the sink while they were chatting in one of the stalls. The boy was telling his mom about the mean kids at school and she said, "When someone talks to you like that, just say, Don't talk to me and walk away." I caught a glimpse of them coming out of the stall as I was leaving, and again I had to smile. It was a sweet moment that reminded me of the days not too long ago when my son was young enough to go with me into the ladies room. It's funny how watching and listening to people can spark memories you weren't expecting to recall.
Shopping is more than looking for items to buy. A day of shopping can be filled with all kinds of wondrous surprises. Like running into someone you haven't seen in a long time, someone you would want to run into. Or free samples of really good pizza. We happened to be in the right place at the right time when we noticed a sheet of sliced pizza, fresh from the oven with a "free sample" sign nearby. People were gathering quickly, but we managed to snatch a slice. I especially enjoyed the crust. I don't get people who chomp pizza up to the end crust and then toss the best part. This pizza crust was crispy and thin, just the way I love it.
But the highlight of the day was when my mom found a red Christmas blouse with a touch of ruffles and sparkle. She tried it on and loved it. It was so her. But the price tag said No. Forty eight dollars is a lot for one blouse. After carrying it around for a bit she decided it's okay to splurge once in a while. I watched from a distance as she paid for the blouse then headed toward me smiling with her arms in the air, waving the register tape. I knew what had happened. "Nineteen dollars!" I said in disbelief. She saved almost thirty dollars. "Now we can go out to eat," I joked.
I think that maybe my headache today was from taking the whole day in. Shopping is drama. I only mentioned some of the drama, but it was a good day. And the thought that kept nagging me on the way home was why we don't go shopping together more often.