There should be an economic index that looks at what percentage of a retail store’s core business occupies the store. For example, I was at a greeting card store – a place I rarely go, and I don’t think I’m the only one – and less than half the store was stocked with cards. This store has been reduced in size in the years since I’ve been there, but there are also proportionally fewer cards than there have ever been. A trending index of this percentage would certainly show the greeting card business in decline. At least for birthdays, this has been largely replaced with Facebook greetings, which contributes nothing to any local economy.
Bookstores – which seem to be making a comeback – can be looked at the same way when they remove shelves to make more room for tables in the coffee shop.
Everything changes when the kids go back to school. And I’m not talking about my college kids, because they are on a different schedule, but the neighborhood kids. All ages of kids waiting on corners for the big yellow school buses to drive by. The older kids all have devices keeping them occupied. The younger kids just look tired.
One of my neighbors was cutting their grass over the weekend and just stopped the mower at the edge of the front yard. The mower sat in that exact spot for days.
When my son was little, we organized his clothes by color. This made it easy for him to find what he was looking for. Matching was never a problem, but now neither was choosing. I organize my clothes by type. Dress clothes, casual clothes, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts. As many of my shirts hanging in the closet are plaid, and therefore, multi-color, this has never occurred to me. Looking at my t-shirts, which are in open shelves, I thought I might want to organize them by color. I often pick a t-shirt based on color, so going to the grey shelf or the blue shelf would make this morning choice a little easier. Most of these t-shirts are conference swag promoting a long-forgotten tech company, so it really is about the color, not the message.
Today I read about a downturn due to a poor carrot harvest. It was in a business article about a company divesting of a fresh food business. But it was a company that takes regular carrots and over-processes them to become those imaginary “baby carrots.” There’s irony here somewhere.
Scrolling through someone else’s old iPod has the potential for unearthing embarrassing moments of their past. These flashes of bad taste could speak to larger issues of incompatibility. As you get to know someone, the sharing and the overlap of things you love, things you hate, and things that make you dance around the room in joy but you don’t really admit to anyone are the space where intimacy happens. The opportunity for self-discovery with hundreds of her songs in my hand short-circuited the teasing out of that process. The most cringe-worthy thing I found was a product of its time and the most fist-pumping thing I found was the right song by a relatively obscure pop band. No tectonic shifts ahead.
It’s definitely a good day when I can eat my lunch outside. And under a giant Alexander Calder sculpture.
The airport food court doesn’t have the most gourmet food options, but when the McDonalds line is the longest, I wonder about these travelers’ food choices. And maybe even their life choices.
The toilet broke in my hotel room and it would flush. The water in the tank ran and ran, but it never filled up the tank. I turned off the water. Rather than let the toilet sit unflushed, I filled a trash can full of water, dumped it in the tank and flushed. A full ice bucket would not have been enough water.
As awesome as it is that I have a girlfriend who feeds me chocolate ice cream at midnight, it is even better that I can come home from a marketing conference and describe interesting sessions in detail and she gets it.