Tuesday, March 13

Retail Therapy

Kristi, at Interrupted Wanderlust (in my blogroll) wrote yesterdayday of going to Target with her baby girl. She made me remember a ritual I followed religiously shortly after we moved to Raleigh, in 1969.

My son was 3 1/2, and attended the church pre-school adjacent to our apartment complex three days a week. I had a newborn daughter also. Moving to a new state with a newborn and a 3 year old is stressful, especially when your husband is taking a job with a new company. There are so many unknowns! I wanted to get to know the area as soon as possible, but I wasn't easily persuaded to drive around on my own in a strange town, at least not far. I learned about a shopping mall not far from us, and it became my refuge for the few hours a week that my son was in pre-school.

As soon as I dropped him off at school in the morning, I drove to the mall. It didn't open until 10 am, but the JC Penney's there had a coffee shop that opened much earlier than the mall. Pretty soon, my baby and I were regulars at the coffee shop, and the ladies who worked there got to know us by name. I would plop her on the table in her carrier, while I ordered coffee and some breakfast, and opened my latest book or talked to the other patrons who were regulars too. It was a great way for a newcomer to have a little adult conversation during the day.

As soon as 10am rolled around, I beat it into the mall with the baby in a shopping cart. Window shopping or actually buying, it was a nice outing for me. I looked forward to our little trips to the mall back then; they were the equivalent of a spa visit now.....LOL.

14 comments:

Anna said...

Lord help me, I miss TARGET and all things retail.

Diane Mandy said...

I remember when the local Belk had a coffee shop, too. You don't find many department stores that offer cafes anymore.

raehan said...

That's a sweet memory.

Does JC Penney still have coffeeshops? I remember the one in my high school town did, but we don't have a Pennies here.

Cravey said...

There's a really nice little coffee counter in downtown Cary, ever been there? My real estate agent took me there when I was looking for houses. So charming. It was like stepping back into another time.

bluemountainmama said...

that's funny b/c i did something similar when my son was a baby. i was in my hubby's hometown and didn't know a lot of people....so i'd go to our mall early and sit in the food court with a chic-fil-a biscuit and coffee. the mall-walkers would be there early, and i just enjoyed being around people, even if i didn't talk to anyone. the situation i was in at the time was very isolating.

rosemary said...

My special place was the Eastland Mall....an open mall with a May Co. and small odd shops all along the opening...a T-shirt shop, a vacuum shop, a hot dog stand. They had baby carts that I could rent for the day and I piled my two oldest kids in and strolled all day long...my treat was lunch at Bob's Big Boy.

srp said...

I always admired my sitter. She had a 2 1/2 year old little boy and a little one three weeks older than Nyssa and Nyssa. She piled them in the buggy and managed to do grocery shopping, take them to the mall and to Toys 'R Us... Now that is a store I tried to avoid like the plague. Rhonda was really a very brave woman.

srp said...

It has eaten my comment twice.
My sitter was a very brave woman who put the two babies (Nyssa and Stevie) and the toddler (Charlie) in the basket and did the grocery shopping. They were all blond so everyone thought they were all hers with Stevie and Nyssa as twins. She was more brave than I.

Bob-kat said...

Sounds like a wonderful way for you to have got out :-) My mum is disabled and has a buggy she gets around in. She goes to teh same cafe everyday where she does the same thing that you used to do. It gets her out the house!

Raggedy said...

That sounds wonderful!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful memory. I am in dire need of some adult conversation.
Have a wonderful day!
Hugs

Wordnerd said...

What a nice way to acquaint yourself with your new community! I miss the department stores that had that personal touch.

claude said...

Those were the days!

trinamick said...

We have no stores like that in my town. But we used to have a little donut shop that was the local gossip hangout. Sadly, it's now gone too.

Shephard said...

Judy, I can totally imagine how nice that was. Sounds ideal. Esp. the reading and having a nice breakfast... feeling surrounded by others is not always a bad things. Esp. if you're new to the area. Enjoyed reading that.

~S