A Day Well Spent

So this past weekend I went shopping with my Maria. Now this wasn’t a day of shopping where you hit a local mall or strip shops for a few (note following italics) specific things or you go to the grocery store for the week’s needs plus ice cream. No this was (again note following italics) a day of shopping and I for one am exhausted. The day’s itinerary was fairly simple, like a day of regular shopping: get up, go, shop, do other stuff, grab a bite, maybe do a quick stop for something forgotten and head home. The difference for this day though was the shop part and the noted first italics above, specific. A regular day of shopping isn’t really a day as you’re generally just out for a few things on a list with the occasional impulse. No, this was actually a day (refer to the second noted italics) with no stone set specifics. We left at noon, returned around 10pm and a lengthy ride on a thruway was required.

After arriving, following said lengthy thruway ride, in the far off land of a place named New Jersey we entered the strange and mesmerizing world of a monster mall, a labyrinthian maze of shops, small and big, with peddlers of all types and sizes shilling everything from clothing to shoes to hats to shiny accessories for all the previous. From the extravagant to the mundane, all were covered in fantastic fashion by all walks of life and, for my Maria, this was her element. She navigated this bazaar with aplomb and gusto, leading me from vendor to vendor with the vigor of a woman possessed, carrying just a seemingly thin plastic bartering tool and a handy liege encumbered only with confusion and a lot of freakin’ bags. Though some compensation did come with the liege’s simple request of a pretzel product covered in cinnamon sugar, his shoulders are still sore and his legs still ache.

There was a vendor offering gold gilded sweatshirts with hoods and t-shirts of audacious design sold by peddlers wearing strange sideways headgear and oversized glasses that promise to, not only block out the sun, but make you look damn silly.

There were other vendors sporting tattoos that displayed their personal uniqueness and, I’m sure, their affinity for alcohol.

There were some vendors so colorful that the brightest of finely coifed cockatoos or magnificently dressed peacocks were left envious in their wake.

The patrons were equally adorned, some with extra tight jeans that amazingly still hung around the middle of their bottoms in a baggy, just pooped myself kind of way, some were of the same fashion as the vendors with the sideways headgear that always appears moronic while some looked in desperate need of a belt. Whatever the adornment, all the patrons walked confidently in the manner of persons who felt themselves to be in fashion.

There was music in every establishment, some subtle, some…actually there was no subtle music. It was a cacophony of noise mostly perpetrated by artists espousing such noble lyrical content as to make the most refined artists quake in the their non hip hop shoes. I mean, what person of artistic merit isn’t swayed by “I want to get with you tonight but I can’t….so kiss me through the phone” or maybe something that rhymes with Ho’s?

It was quite a display and all the while my Maria’s humble liege soulj’ad on while she not only bought many things but also returned many unwanted things from previous trips to other bazaars that were credited to her bartering tool as a sort of justification for the continued purchasing of new items.

Strangely though, a number of items in this intricate return/purchase dance were quite similar, at least in the mind of her trusted companion. There were shoes for boots, jeans for dresses, blouses for blouses just of differing design. But to my Maria none of these return/purchases were similar at all, in fact they were all very much different and unique in their own moment. She was the experienced choreographer of this complicated two step while I, alas, was just a grip in this shopping production.

Eventually a day wound down. The faithful liege was compensated handsomely for his servitude throughout with more items from the bazaar bodegas including hot dogs and even at one point, dipping dots and eventually was allowed to fetch the carriage from the cold and escort his lady home, new pieces of trade in tow.

All in all it was a fine day, if for nothing other than the grand company this liege’s Maria always provides and for the smile it received when she was safely charioted home to view and revel in her bounty.

For some you might say that bearing with this all this shopping just for her is true love. For myself (liege) I say that it’s true love, not for dealing with it, but because it was a day. In the world we live in now, with constant deadlines, new workloads for many and throttling schedules, getting a day is the greatest purchase we could have made at the bazaar. I would gladly do the same any time the chance for another a day presents itself.


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