I’m here in beautiful Baltimore, chock full of dinner and feeling the kind of tired you feel when you’ve done a lot of walking. I’m on vacation, the weather is fabulous, and I’m back in a city I love after three years. There isn’t a lot NOT to be happy about today.
I’ve talked some about how I used to be in debt, the kind of credit card debt that makes your stomach hurt when you think about it…if you ever do. Part of this was because I worked in shopping malls for a long time and there was always a sale of which I had to take advantage. I rarely shop for clothes anymore, except online. Sometimes I go to the Gap and find there is not one thing I want. That’s also a function of growing older plus the horrid selection they seem to have nowadays, I must admit. Today I went back to the Gallery at the Inner Harbor and suddenly, there were a million things I wanted at the Gap! I went into the dressing room with ten garments, I kid you not. I only bought two, though. Then I went to Anne Taylor Loft and bought some more. Folks, I have figured it out. It’s.just.this.mall.
Cashing out at Anne Taylor, I made some comment to North about how we needed to eat after our busy shopping morning. Then I looked at the cashier who was passing me back my credit card and she smiled politely. And then I remembered. What it felt like to work at that very mall, trapped within the four walls of your store and unable to leave, standing for hours, waiting for your 30 minutes off in a long day so that you could eat. And then people would come in all day who were at their most leisurely moments and complain that shopping just wore them out. “Let’s go eat!” they’d say and walk away through the doorway that confined you. So I said, “I used to work in this mall. At that store that’s now A Dollar. It was a record store.” She smiled politely again. OK, Grandma.
So much for that. But my happy thought is this: everyone, even this woman, gets to go on vacation some time. And then your time is your own. As I said yesterday, it’s nice to be happy in your job. But your own time is the awesomest of all.
Title comes from:
Culture Club – Time (Clock of the Heart)