On Saturday, after trying on every dress I own, I came to the sad conclusion that I would have to make a visit to the mall to purchase a frock for an upcoming wedding.
Now malls might be dying in general, but this one is always busy. At least, its parking lot is. The previous time I’d visited, we drivers resembled a bizarro amusement ride, going up and down the same lanes again and again in the futile hope that someone would choose to leave the mall. That time, I was the one who chose to leave–without setting foot inside.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. I drove there, drove through the full parking lot, and back out on the street. Maybe I wouldn’t go to the wedding after all.
In its never-ending expansion, right now one store is totally cut off from the rest of the mall. I pulled into its parking garage, and there were parking spaces. Not a few, but hundreds. In fact, there were so many that, at first, I couldn’t believe I had found open parking and thought that they had to be reserved for some purpose. And, let’s face it, the only thing worse than having to buy a dress the day before Easter would be having to buy a dress AND having my car towed.
Luckily, as I was wondering what to do, an employee walked by. She assured me that the parking lot was for everyone. “It’s just that if you want to get into the mall itself, you’re going to have to walk around the building.”
I thought about that as I did start my walk around the building. Were people not aware of all the parking spaces? Or did they prefer to drive around a full parking lot, risking their emotional equanimity and their bumpers, hoping to get a close parking spot?
After my walk to the mall (which was less than 10 minutes and added some steps on my Fitbit), I walked into a store, found three dresses, tried them on, and bought two. Then I walked back to my car (more Fitbit steps) and went home.
And, unlike during most of my trips to the mall, I was in a good mood. Taking the long way is sometimes the best way.