We do this every two months or so...
She had to have her hair "Foil-Wrapped" last night. And of course, there is only one person in the entire State she will trust to do this procedure. We're getting ready to visit Big Bubba for a week in Arizona and of course we want to look our best, and the whole process only takes three hours...
So it was off to the mall.
We're both on a mission...
She needs to beautify. I get to run errands... for her.
Her Macy's bill that we SHOULD have put in the mail three days ago must be paid. TODAY. So once she is comfortable sitting upon her throne in the salon, I'm off to keep her from receiving a late charge on her next bill. With that done, I'm off to return the OLD NAVY jacket she bought two weeks ago that she has now decided fits too tight across her breasticles. I'm to check see if they have a larger jacket and exchange if possible. They don't have the larger size, and credit our account.
"She who must be obeyed's" errands completed, I check my watch... it's 5:20 P.M., and I now have 2-1/2 hours to do anything I want, (except be home doing what I want.)
But the mall is an interesting place to be, and a great place to get a feel for how life is unfolding.
The Beauty Salon is full-to-overflowing...
All chairs full, with a waiting list and at least one person for each chair waiting outside for their turn. But the rest of the mall is a different story. I take into consideration that it is dinner time, and walk to the food court. There are spaces for eight vendors in this court. Six of them are vacant. In the two that are open, the employees are standing idle, looking bored. Forty tables with four chairs each in the court, there are three individual couples seated and eating. The place is so empty it echos.
There is little activity at the Movie Theatre.
I use Sara Jean's method to determine if people are buying... Are they carrying bags full of merchandise?
No. Most of the people walking around are kids, "seeing and being seen". There are a few "Mall-Walkers"... folks obviously walking for exercise with no intent to help the economy.
I take notice of the stores-
"Steve and Barry's"... closed.
Two jewelry stores... closed.
Two bookstores... closed.
The Game Arcade... closed.
My favorite restaurant in the mall... closed.
Maybe 15 percent of the stores in the mall are boarded up and dark. I look around in the stores that are open like Macy's and wonder how, with so few customers, they can even afford to keep the store so well-lit, much less pay all the employees standing around talking to one another.
Not much on sale... it's like all stores have cut prices to the bone and realize there is no more "fat" to cut... they are hanging on for dear life and hoping the masses are on their way to make the cash registers ring.
It's pretty depressing. I can't imagine how retailers are feeling in this environment.
If our mall is any indicator of the future of our economy, we're in for a rough ride.