I can’t remember the last time I was in a shopping mall. It probably was a day when I could no longer resist the call of Anthropologie – undoubtedly the most interesting, artsy store I know of. I don’t buy much there – I just look and soak it all in. Occasionally I pick up a treasure but not too often. It’s not just the clothes or the housewares that get me excited – it is the design of the store and the way each item is displayed. I get giddy now just thinking of some of the unique decorations I have seen there. Even the windows are works of art. You can find photos of them on the internet if you search. They are all unique – even between stores. Unfortunately, the closest stores to me are both over 50 miles away. Maybe that’s a good thing – it could be dangerous if they were any closer.
Paper Source makes my heart go “pitter-patter” too. Walking into one of their stores, being surrounded by dozens of styles of gorgeous paper, office products and fun “stuff” is my idea of my personal “Happy Place”. It could be because my father worked at a paper mill. He would bring home bags of oddly shaped, different papers. They may have been scraps, but to us, they were wonderful presents – bags full of possibilities. I still collect pieces of paper. I can’t stop myself. Unfortunately, the nearest Paper Source is in Chicago – half a day away.
I see a lot of beautiful things on the internet now. Many vendors don’t have a physical store to shop in. The web sites are convenient. Shopping this way is ….. efficient. The world (and shopping) has changed drastically in my lifetime. As a child, we would put on our best clothes, hop on a bus and go downtown to shop. There were no malls, no internet – not even fast food! Every shopping trip was an adventure – an event. The stores were full of amazing sights, smells and out of the ordinary adventures. The memories are still vivid to me – even such simple snippets as holding my mother’s hand and watching the “do not walk” sign change as we stepped off the curb. I remember the sights, the smells and the adventure.
This Christmas, I may shop downtown again. All the major department stores are gone now but there are many wonderful boutiques – mostly centered around the historic district. The shops are small, privately owned. Each one unique. The streets are brick-lined and bumpy. The restaurants are cozy and crowded. Small stores are filled with treasures and curiosities. I’ll shop here and pick up an adventure along with my presents. Let the season begin!