Thursday, December 18, 2008

Driven to the Robe

I made my first holiday-shopping trip to a mall yesterday, to the Galleria in Roseville. I’ve done almost all of my shopping in Japan and online, so I needed only a couple of things; and so I bit the bullet and drove out to Roseville in the late afternoon. It’s not far from Andrew’s office, so I picked him up first and we went together.

I hadn’t been to the Galleria in months. The last time I was there was in the summer sometime, and it’s since gone through a mammoth expansion—a huge new complex has been added to the mall itself, and across the street from the mall is an outdoor “shopping and lifestyle center” (an outdoor mall) called The Fountains.

I don’t particularly like either of these shopping options, but last night they seemed especially terrible. The Fountains has a few good shops—Anthropologie, Whole Foods, DSW—but the layout of the complex is so desolate, so off-the-map, that as I walked around I felt like I’d dropped off the edge of the earth. It didn’t help that almost no one was there. The stores were pretty much empty, and the “dancing fountain” in the middle of The Fountains, rising and falling along with piped-in Christmas music, had a deafeningly loud motor. It all just made me want to go home and put on my Valley of the Dolls robe, an ice-blue, flannel-lined satin bathrobe that Andrew claims to be frightened by whenever I put it on.

We headed next to the mall. The new complex features a small-ish H&M, as well as several new food-court-type restaurants—plus a Louis Vuitton and, soon, Burberry and Tiffany. I can’t make sense of this mall—or Roseville itself, for that matter. The feeling of the area doesn’t fit with the shops that are popping up—it’s like a Louis Vuitton store opening at Westmoreland Mall, for those of you who know Greensburg. It’s quite discomfiting. I understand that there’s money in the area (or was; who knows now), but if you are one of the people with said money, why on earth would you choose to live in a town made up of a desolate combination of strip malls, shopping centers, vacant lots, empty fields, and cookie-cutter McMansions? The mall, too, was nearly empty, and we quickly made our escape…

…to an even more depressing strip mall containing my final destination, Jo-Ann Fabrics. I needed some crafting supplies. It was busier in Jo-Ann than in any other store we’d been in; but once outside in the parking lot, it was eerie and dark. We capped off our shopping excursion with dinner at Chili’s, where our enjoyment of our sandwiches was dampened somewhat since we’d watched the Biggest Loser finale the night before. (The fact that there was a time in our lives, not so long ago, when we would have no cause to write a sentence containing the items “Chile’s” and “Biggest Loser” will go unremarked on in this post.) Then I went home and put on my robe, which, I think, was well deserved.

Two days until two weeks on the East Coast—yay!

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