So today Aunt Susan and I were at Fashion Square in Scottsdale. By Square, they mean a square mile (or more) of indoor zero-lot-line retail establishments designed to strip you of your disposable income in exchange for Really Cute Shoes. Or a Really Cute Watch. Or a Really Cute Espresso Maker. Or maybe an after-shift meetup with the Really Cute eighteen-year-old server behind the counter at the Nordstrom Cafe. A high point of the day: seeing two men taking a break from shopping. One old, the other older. At each set of thin white ankles sat a Hollister bag like the ones pictured above. A lovely juxtaposition. A study of our time. Of our culture. Of human nature. Maybe the men had bought polo shirts for their grandsons. I doubt it.
I bought a garlic press. Over a pair of 5″-heeled $790 Prada suede sandals, I discussed the possibility that I may be being colonized by an embryonic bunion among the metatarsels of my right foot. Entering the Tahari department of Macy’s, Aunt Susan (not MY aunt, the bots’ aunt. My sister, in town briefly for a conference) observed that distribution of body fat seemed to make a very big difference. “Location, location, location,” we both intoned together, and then laughed hysterically.
Awkward moment of the day: After dessert at the Nordstrom cafe (having NOT picked up the eighteen-year-old in charge of Salad Orders), our server, Xavier, who could have been in the Cirque du Soleil for all the cartwheeling he was doing to make sure our every dining need was met, finally asked if there was anything else he could do. “Now that you mention it,” I said, “A massage?” Then I quickly added, “A shoulder massage?” I mean, he was so eager to serve, and our shoulders were a little sore from carrying our shopping bags. Across the table, Aunt Susan was again in hysterics. Let the girls out of the zoo for six hours and they go wild.
Poor Xavier laughed, sincerely, not dutifully, but there was a note of nervousness that led me to believe I wasn’t the first mall matron that had suggested he might be able to provide something more than an apres-meal mint.
“Whoops,” I said to Aunt Susan.
We found our car, I dropped her at her nearby hotel, and I drove across town toward home, wondering: Is everything at the mall–from shopping bags to salads–pregnant with sexual innuendo? Thinking about how much a part sex plays in our consumer society, and how distanced I am from it, due to, well, the consequences of having sex.