The weekends in the magnificant mile don’t do a good job at fostering tolerance in me. I will stereotype. I will blanket judgment. Every single weekend, for two years, I walk through people who apparently have never set foot on a public street geared towards consumers. EVER. For eight city blocks there is a fog of stupidity that just hangs over pedestrians. They mosey down the street like cattle on a moving walkway. At least in New York, which normally I’m all thumbs down around town, people obey the rules of physics and travel forward unless an outside force stops them. Even tourists. I mean, I understand that everyone loves a moving walkway, but also understand that you swing dangerously close to dipping below the top levels of the food chain with each cud-like piece of Trident you open-mouth chew past a Forever 21 window display.
I feel I’m pretty self aware of when I’m at all possibly in someone’s way or wasting someones time. It’s second nature to worry that if I kinda might possibly have the slightest chance of almost nearly being any sort of burden to another human being, I will more than likely apologize before imposing. But those who weekend gawk-shop are plagued by Jupiter’s gravitational pull. They shuffle down the sidewalk hoping the crowd will just carry them down to the next silver street performer. (Or: Every crowded street has a a silver-lined street performer…?)
They have cell phones for sunglasses and children as bracelets. High-decible youth trained to dart under your feet as you try to maneuver down the Mile. Your pace is slowed by these yawning, squirmy obstacles who have their own cellphone sunglasses and an American Girl doll attached to their own wrists. And the cycle continues.
You’d think that these tourists coming from locations that quite possibly have more shopping malls per square mile than a city-proper does, would be less fascinated by a simple retail store. The shiney object ratio remains relatively unchanged no matter how many county lines you cross. A mall is a mall is a mall. Maybe if they decided to get out of their cars and walk from the Chipotle to the Target to the Victoria’s Secret to the Starbucks to the Borders rather than drive four blocks they would understand what the outside of a reatil store looks like. A “caramel macchiato” sounds different when you order from a human rather than through a box that squawks back at you as you lean out of your car window.
In the suburbs, caffiene just manifests itself as road rage rather than false energy because one is always behind the wheel of a car. So it’s understandable that they are swept away by this new sense of entitlement. I paid 6 dollars for this drink. I am walking slowly. And I am going to shop at these stores that I see every day through the window of my car.
God bless Amer’ca.