Today, for the first time, I wandered into Washington Square Mall for the first time. Now, I had never gone in there before, because I had no reason to go. I am not the kind of person who tends to shop for fun. Rather, I am the sort of person who shops with a mission, usually to get a particular item and then to leave, as quickly as I arrived, the only thing lighter being my wallet or bank account. Today was such a mission, as my headphones have been working poorly and I felt it necessary to replace them in order to be able to listen to my lectures on my computer without making too much noise for the apartment as a whole. Given that my headphones seem to be acting up because the jack does not look very successful, I was looking for either a wireless or a usb headphone, but the wireless headphone I got didn’t appear to work very well either, though it might work better for my phone, at least.
While I am a person with a good geographic sense when it comes to driving or traveling, I do not have good instincts when it comes to such matters as parking. Today, for example, I went to Washington Square and parked near the Macy’s. Of course, I was looking for the Radio Shack, because it tends to be my go-to spot for obscure electronics . (They did not, alas, have what I was looking for, ultimately.) So, I walked through the Macy’s and found that the Radio Shack was on the other side of the mall, so I hiked there as rapidly as possible, got my item quickly, and walked back, which made my feet rather sore, not that this is a difficult task these days. I assume that as a relatively fast walker, traveling alone, that I made quite an interesting sight to those around me.
To be sure, shopping invariably leads to people watching. I happen to be an avid watcher of others, and malls present a fascinating spectacle of a variety of folks. For example, one sees finely dressed Christians or Muslims, as well as young women who want to see how short of shorts that they can wear in public (usually with their friends or significant others) and get away with it. One tends to see a wide variety of behaviors at malls largely because malls happen to be a place where people are united by their interest (or necessity) of shopping but with a variety of worldviews and perspectives on what is and what is not appropriate. As a student of the behavior of others, malls provide a great deal of interest, but also the awareness that I am not only a watcher but also watched by others as well. It is hard to be a naturalistic observer when one draws too much attention for observing, so it usually tends to be rather brief and surface-level observation, for the most part, unless I have reason to interact further.
Nor was my trip to the mall the only mission I was on. Rather, it was the first step of four errands in a time window. The second step was a short trip to the library to pick up another book (as if I need more books to read right now), and then it was time for a grocery shopping trip and filling up the gas tank after that. Each of those is far more normal of a task for me, even if one that occasionally draws my attention as a writer . By the time that was done, I was glad to be able to rest my feet at home, at least for a little while. That, however, is a story for another entry, which I will get to as time and energy permit.
 See, for example:
 See, for example: