Yesterday I came out from under my "rock". I have a container of Peppermint Twist hand soap on my bathroom counter from Bath and Body Works. It was a gift (maybe from last Christmas). One of my friends comments favorably on this soap every time she uses it, so I decided to purchase some for her. My husband dropped me off at the J.C. Penney's door at the mall in nearby city, and I began my search for the Bath and Body Works store that I knew lay somewhere in the corridors of the "Great Unknown"!
As hard as it may be for some people to believe, I have not been in the mall more than two times in six years (except for Barnes and Noble - maybe 3 times.) It was almost like having an out-of-body experience to walk through J.C. Penney's--not that I've ever actually HAD one. The prices of coats, even at 40%-60% off, felt like bullets hitting a body shield must feel! My internal calculator was spinning out of control as I exited the store and made my way down the hall in search of Bath and Body Works.
To my disappointment, when I got there I was told that Peppermint Twist hand soap has been replaced by many other exotic types. I did leave with a substitute - a 50% off foamy peppermint soap that you can form into shapes. Additionally, I was handed many valuable coupons to spend when I return! I hurried back up the hall, out through J.C. Penney's and into the safe haven of my warm and waiting automobile.
I have not felt so stunned since I returned to my local supermarket after spending 4 weeks in Burkina Faso, West Africa several years ago. I remember leaving the store without making any purchases, unable to handle the sight of so many shelves fully stocked after living in a country of such simplicity and poverty for a month. I really don't have words to express myself and know that few people will understand my reaction. In an attempt to explain myself, I will say that I do most of my personal clothes shopping in thrift stores. Paying $5 for a Lands End red wool coat makes the $260 price tag for a new one seem almost obscene to me personally.
Let me be quick to add, however, that I am glad many people frequent and support the local malls! Without them, there would not be used clothes to thrift! This morning I am trying to gain a balanced perspective on the whole experience. This is my sounding board.