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what is the marketplace for you?
Old 06-16-2007, 07:22 PM   #1
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what is the marketplace for you?

after brunch, we left my brother & sil's house in samesville (all houses over 3k sq ft - all similar colors - all pretty much the same tile roofs - all the very same setbacks - same mini-vans, same children) and headed down the street to consumerville, land of power centers, malls, retail strips, one on top of the other and next to each other and across the street from each other where there is nothing to do but search for parking and spend money.

we did about three or four stores and three or four parking lots. then on the way back to samesville--as i'm normally a little scared of just my local supermarket but this was a bit overwelming--i commented at how much life there focused on shopping. my brother said life has often been centered around the marketplace. people buying food, trading goods--they come together in this social gathering which forms a big part of life.

i started thinking: are we who don't shop missing out on a big part of life? if we were living below our means in medieval europe, would we have been burned at the stake for being reclusive witches refusing to partake in society?

until my brother enlightened me, i didn't normally think of the marketplace as a social gathering. my mother, the ultimate nonshopper, taught me how to shop. she'd go into the mall with an item in mind. pick up a few samples, bring them home and return what didn't fit by ups.

maybe i just never picked-up on the nuance of shopping. maybe it has less to do with consumerism and more to do with socializing. fighting for parking spaces, holding open doors, making eye contact with the cutie in isle 7, exchanging good cheer with the cashier.

i'm left with the feeling that i need to spend more time at the mall. i will look for cuties in the isles and make conversation with the merchants. this is very exciting: i have a whole new thing to do all day. i'm going re-enter society and shop. (i don't have to actually buy anything, right?)
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
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Right. Tell your brother "nice try." Ain't no socializing goin' on at the mall.
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Old 06-16-2007, 07:36 PM   #3
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The only people socializing at the mall are teenagers. Is you brother a teenager?
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Old 06-16-2007, 08:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
The only people socializing at the mall are teenagers. Is you brother a teenager?
This sounds like an opportunity for some great sociology research.

Take an hour at the edge of a mall food court. The people-watching is awesome and on weekend evenings you can practically smell the teen spirit.

You can also smell capitalism in action. Is America a great country or what?
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Old 06-16-2007, 10:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
i started thinking: are we who don't shop missing out on a big part of life?
No.

Never.

No nay never no more.

I hate malls(mauls)
I hate shopping.
I hate crowds.
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:03 PM   #6
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heathens
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:14 PM   #7
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I've been known to have lunch at one of the local mall's food courts. Lots of scenery...

Not a big shopper...
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:16 PM   #8
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Well, in reality, unless you were lucky enough to be born into some type of royalty or other family of stature, in Medieval Europe, you likely wouldn't have the luxury of living below your means. You would just be living below and humping stalls at the local market to find some means to eat.
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:22 PM   #9
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hey, don't try to confuse me with the facts while i'm waxing poetic.
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:31 PM   #10
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I'm with you, Lazy. I don't enjoy shopping (except for food shopping at a farmer's type market or the rare specialty store, like Teavana or a book store) and don't view it as social. With all the shopping "opportunities" around, chances are that you aren't going to run into anyone you know---and if you do, there would be limited interaction since they want to resume their shopping quest. With so many shoppers yakking on cell phones (and even sales clerks/cashiers on them), there really isn't any opportunity to say anything to anyone! As for people watching at malls, I loved it thirty or more years ago as a teen and young adult. Just doesn't seem interesting anymore. The ethnic composition of the populace may be a little more interesting because it's more diverse than it was back then, but with everyone dressing alike (T-shirt, baggy shorts, athletic shoes, backward turned baseball cap on guys under 40, tight shorts/pants, midriff top, long straightened hair on females under 50) and even looking something alike (thanks to plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, people watching just ain't what it used to be. As a teen, every trip to the mall had to be accompanied by some purchase as if a souvenir was needed---now I can't begin to imagine what I would want at a mall!

The new concept for malls is the "avenue" concept where a bunch of stores and restaurants are together as if on a street, outside, and some benches to sit on. Occasional concerts. This is supposed to promote more of an old time, small town, social atmosphere, but damned if I ever see anyone socializing, let alone sitting on the benches. They park by the stores they want, run in, buy, run back out to their cars.

I can't even figure out WHAT people are buying. Seems to be a bunch of clothes, but when you look around, even at nicer restaurants, it's not like anyone appears to be well dressed or in especially new clothes. Stuff for the home, but doesn't anyone ever have enough stuff?

In other countries, people go shopping often, at least food shopping because of smaller refrigerators and a greater reliance on fresh foods---and that seems kind of charming when you envision open air markets where people meet and greet. But that's probably just romanticizing and doesn't even happen so much---they have WalMarts all over and those are now the marketplace.
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Old 06-17-2007, 03:33 PM   #11
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As the first woman to post on this thread.....
Yes, shopping is a social activity (although I hate it).
I think it's genetically linked to having two X chromosomes (which I do).
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Old 06-17-2007, 04:36 PM   #12
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Funny thing is I used to enjoy shopping before I retired and now it bores me .I think I used it as a stress reliever.
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