when shopping was an adventure

To paraphrase Thomas Wolfe -‘you can’t go to the mall again’ or maybe Bob Dylan -‘the malls they are a-changing’.

Stumbled across something last night that rekindled a memory. Wanting to cool down from the summer heat I found a pair of short pants on a closet shelf. The manufacturer’s label caught my eye and caused me to pause and reflect.


For those of you who don’t remember, or began their careers as shoppers in the past decade, let me give you a history lesson. You know that Banana Republic store with ultra-hip, mod, in vogue fashions you love to shop in? It wasn’t always as it appears now. At one time B.R. had a totally different image. Walking into any of their stores was like stepping into a National Geographic photo layout of a tropical rain-forest or the set of an old Tarzan movie. Muted, dark earth-toned, sensible clothing, occasionally splashed with the brilliant color of jungle flower blooms, for the rugged outdoor adventurer wannabe. You almost felt like reaching for the insect repellent. With clothing built to last. More than ten years later and I’m still wearing about a half dozen items.

The only item purchased from the re-invented B.R. was a pair of charcoal gray chinos several years ago. Just what is a ‘chino’ and how many of them had to die to make those pants? In hindsight I wonder if buying them was an omen warning me not to shop there anymore, because as a sometimes self-conscious male, they are the only pants I’ve worn out into public with my fly wide open. Luckily for my self esteem, I discovered my gaffe during my first stop of the day standing in line in a dimly lit, uncrowded Starbucks at dark-thirty in the AM so no one noticed. (or if they did they were unimpressed)

Time to jump in the dugout canoe and paddle on outta here.


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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