I've come to the mall against my better judgment. I promise myself to restrict spending to my loot of holiday gift cards and enter Macy's department store, wide-eyed. I've purposely arrived in the early afternoon on a week day to avoid crowds. Stumbling into a completely empty dressing room with an armful of clothing, I'm very pleased with myself.
I choose the corner stall in the back because it's big enough for my own private fashion show; I don't much like twirling in front of the paneled community mirror. A small flat screen TV is on the wall close to the entrance. The volume is a little high and Wolf Blitzer's voice booms from the CNN channel. In between two pairs of jeans (on sale!) CNN cuts to clips of the recent heated debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Two female voices enter the dressing room. They talk to each other as friends do. One says how happy she'll be if the jeans fit. The ladies choose stalls midway down the row. Two doors open and close. Hangers clink and conversation continues:
Friend 1: It's great shopping this way! No kids hanging off us. No crowds!
Friend 2: Yeah. Look at this! We have it all to ourselves!
(I freeze, jeans in hand)
Friend 1: We should take a day off every month for shopping.
Friend 2: Definitely. Oooooh...I love these -
(Barack quips about Bill Clinton. Hillary snaps back at Barack.)
Friend 2: Oh god. Again. If I have to hear this one more time...
Friend 1: Ugh! Can you believe him? How he picks at her? Like a little chicken.
Friend 2: Yeah. Pick, pick picaaaw! Hahaha!
Friend 1: Can you imagine him president? What are they gonna serve at White House dinners? Fried chicken? Grits?
Friend 2: Ha! Yeah! And he'll make us pay the Blacks restitution for slavery -
Friend 1: Uh, we already do that. It's called welfare.