"Yay capitalism!" --Austin Powers, after he's unfrozen, goes on a pro-communism rant, then learns that we won the cold war
The thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in Northern Virginia (or NoVa, as the kids apparently call it) is go to the mall. We suddenly found ourselves with not one, but two cars, on Sunday and decided it was the perfect opportunity to get out of the hotel and drive somewhere. Mike needed some clothes for work. He said "How bad could two hours at the mall be?" So there you go.
As we were driving down I-95 I started thinking about how no amount of carpooling or shopping with canvas bags will save our Earth. There is so much cheap housing being built on every inch of land (and then of course being sold for the ridiculously high prices people are willing to pay) that there's no way we can live sustainable lifestyles to make up for all the roads, gas stations, fast food restaurants, and other buildings and infrastructure necessary to take care of all the people living in all those new condos. The entire architecture of society needs to be re-examined and modified.
Those were the doom-and-gloom thoughts on my mind when we reached the oasis of the Potomac Mills mall. I was braced for crowds, but it actually wasn't too bad, at least at first. Getting there around noon, we must have been among the first ones there. Mike needed to go to Nordstrom Rack, I wanted to check out G Street Fabrics. Then we met up at the Banana Republic outlet where I wasn't planning to buy a suit, but I did. When you see one on sale for $110 and it fits perfectly, and it's a light brown tropical weight wool that would be perfect for wearing at an office in East Africa, you buy it. The planets were aligned for that particular spontaneous purchase.
We shopped and shopped. Mike's the shopper in this relationship. I'm the tag-along. I like to browse and think "I could make this myself." Around the two-hour mark I started to shut down. Even after some lunch (where I sat looking at one of the food court vendors touting themselves as "America's Healthy Choice" wondering where the crispy chicken strips and hot dogs fell on their healthy spectrum), I was still approaching crash mode. We made a plan for just a couple more stores and stuck to it. I perked up a bit after some hot chocolate and a pair of red patent leather Mary Janes from Nordstrom Rack (they go with the suit, of course). Yes, we started and ended the adventure with Nordstrom Rack.
Finally we came home! The two-hour trip I was promised had turned into nearly five hours, and then we missed our exit getting back to the hotel. I crashed and slept for almost an hour once we got home. I was exhausted.