Economic Index

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.

Color Me Beautiful

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.

The Intimacy of Music

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.