Skip to main content

The Big Difference

Today was our shopping day, I guess. We took our regular trip to the Saturday market, and then we went over to one of the local shopping malls because the girls needed to get their gear for soccer this season, and I needed a couple of other things. On the second leg of our journey, I could not help but marvel at the vast difference between the two shopping experiences. Ironically, the two venues are in the exact same city. One is the old part of town and one is the new.

The downtown area in the old part of the city is experiencing an exciting new revitalization. They are currently working on building a new town history museum there. The area is filled with progressive merchants, and restaurants that are more health conscious than the norm. The city is working to promote all of its small businesses. Cyclists love the place. There are more than a couple of bike shops, and there is a beautiful communal area with a fountain that children can play in on the edge of the market. The market has a lot of vendors who sell locally made and organic products. My bee guy there sells me pollen infused local honey, and there is even a woman who grinds her own GMO free cornmeal. The attitude at the market is light and friendly and informational. There is always live music playing, and every single time that I make a purchase, I can’t help but feel good about where my money is going.

The shopping mall is located in the newer part of town. It sits right next to a bunch of very expensive communities and golf courses that have been built recently. The differences I saw there were honestly staggering. I saw more than one person speeding through the parking lot and blowing off crosswalks even though the mall was jam-packed full of people. The people looked a lot less healthy, and a lot less happy on average, than the people that we meet at the market. They were also a whole lot less likely to strike up a friendly conversation. When my kids and I tried to walk from one section of the mall to another, we discovered that there were no crosswalks. Essentially, this tells me that the mall planners did not anticipate that anyone would want to walk from store to store, but rather they would get in their cars to drive a few feet. When my children asked me if we were jaywalking, I had to admit that we were, but then explained to them that we weren’t really given any alternative.

I did not come out of the experience at the mall feeling very good. I guess that I saved some money, because we shopped around for the cleats, and I picked up a gift that I know the recipient will really love. The feeling that I got at the market was not there though. I think that the point of this experience is too remind me that whenever possible, I really do want to try and avoid the mall. I am proud of myself when I shop locally, it may cost me a little more, but at least I get to see the faces of the vendors that I am buying from, and I know that they are doing their best to pay themselves a good wage. I love contributing to that. I encourage everyone to make a point to try and shop healthy. I bet that it will make you feel good too.


Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

Resolve to be Happy

1. Stay In

2. Read Books

3. Let it go to Voice Mail

4. Write a Letter

5. Dance

6. Invest in Mood Lighting

7. Have Dinner with Friends 

8. Take Walks

9. Bake

10. Breathe Deeply

11. Enjoy your Morning Coffee

12. Play Board Games

13. Hug your Pillows

14. Adopt a New Ritual

15. Look Around

16. Give a Gift

17. Happy Cry

18. Smile at Strangers

19. Cuddle

20. Savor Small Portions

21. Stretch

22. Take Pictures

23. Use Profanity Freely

24. Give Hugs

25. Listen Carefully

26. Beautify your Space

27. Share your Favorite Movie 

28. Laugh Generously

29. Accept Gifts Gratefully 

30. Give Thanks


I actually really dislike Oprah Winfrey as a talk show host and television personality.

I was home with my kids when they were babies and I had her show on a lot. Then at one point I remember her and her friend going into a Walmart and just cracking up over the fact that they were so frigging isolated by their current wealth that they didn’t understand how things worked there. Like the way that the plastic hangers operated or something…

I remember being absolutely disgusted at their behavior. Not only that someone who presents her life story as having grown up in poverty would turn around and make fun of the fact that she doesn’t understand how people who are not as well off as her would live, but additionally to think that her audience is so much less intelligent than she is that not one of us would be offended by her behavior.

Well I was, and I haven’t watched a thing that woman has put out in the past ten years.

I do think she is a brilliant actress though, even so, I couldn’t watch …