We made a trek into the city this past weekend. Our destination was the theatre, but he headed in early to stop at Pentagon City Mall to check out the Apple Store with questions about upgrades and new products. Yes, you can get all this on line, but we are too old to understand what half of the data means, and we still like to hold something in our hands before making a decision.
The weather had been dicey the night before with snow and sleet in the mountains, so we headed out after our breakfast and feeding the critters. The drive was uneventful, and we even breezed through our Trader Joe’s run in under 30 minutes. That put us at the mall an hour before any of the stores open. But, the coffee shops were open, and the early bird customers were milling around.
We have not been to a mall in years, except for a couple of familiar locations when we went to specific stores. We realized how out of sync we are with the suburban culture, as we took a stroll around levels 2 and 1 on our way down to the food area. I did not recognize most of the store names, let alone fashions in the windows. We even had difficulty figuring how you got cream cheese for your self-service bagel at Au Bon Pain (is that French for, “This is a Pain”?). When we asked at the cash register, we did not understand what the woman said, though we spotted what she was pointing at. Cash? As I handed her a $20 bill to pay, you might have thought that BofA had a shock collar on her to punish her for not making me pull out a credit card to pay. I felt badly that I nearly depleted her of her cash drawer for $13.93 in change. Well, I doubt anyone else tried to pay with cash after me.
The food court area intrigued me with the social behavior at 10:15 on a Sunday morning. It is a triangular arrangement with Starbucks in the middle hosting circular tables. I thought we would be rude to sit in front of that coffee shop with our coffee and bagel from the neighboring vendor. Each side of the triangle has rows of tables. I moved us toward the middle of the row, as we would be sitting for a while sipping our coffee and eating our bagel with the found cream cheese, and reading travel books which we had brought.
I noticed that we were a minority in several ways. First, we sat in the middle of the table, where as most others sat on the ends of the rows. We were a couple where as most of the rest were by themselves, though sharing companionship with someone on their cell phones, i-Pads, etc. A few read books. We sat across from each other, chatting about future travel plans, while nearly all the singles sat facing Starbucks, from either wing of the triangle. We are of the supposed majority ethnic heritage, while more than half of the other folks come from ancestry somewhere else in the world. We come from a county, which probably houses fewer people than will be inside this mall in two hours. We were probably the only ones who would slip out of the mall spending only $6.07… Except that Linda just went off the Nordstroms, while I sit here and blog.
Have you felt like an outsider somewhere recently?