Today was composed of "things nightmares are made of," with part "things dreams are made of." Think of one of the worst daily rites of modern civilization and combine that with one of life's greatest blessings. Yes, my friends... we are talking about shopping malls and time with friends.
The Mall of America is a place I covet and loathe at the same time (did I mention I'm a Libra?). As far as Minnesota's offerings go, the MOA is tops. It's a beautiful mall on the inside. There are live trees, indoor rollercoasters- yes, plural- and stores for every want. Having the largest shopping mall in the US has its obvious disadvantages though. Wall-to-wall tourists, lack of adequate parking ("you think they'd have the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America" -Drop Dead Gorgeous), the lingering smell of Sbarro and Panda Express... it's a regular mall times 400.
Imagine making a trip to the MOA right after Christmas. I would never dare do such thing if I didn't have a choice. My part-time j.o.b. has us pick up our paychecks there, even though I do not work remotely close to the MOA. Out of respect for a job I enjoy (minus the paycheck pickup hassles), I will spare the rant of the pay ordeal- and no, they do not offer direct deposit. On my day off from my day j.o.b., I make the trek to MOA in search of my Italy funding, I mean check. Leaving at 10:30am, I figure traffic on a Monday shouldn't be much of an issue, considering it's post-rushhour. Not only did it take me well over an hour to get there, finding parking was nothing short of horrendous. I settled for the farthest spot in the farthest ramp from my store after circling all the ramps. Then I nearly ran through the mall to go get my check, er weaved slowly through the billions of people trudging as slow as possible. Everything seems so slow when you're in a hurry.
Fast-forwarding to leaving the mall, you first must realize that MN drivers aren't very aggressive. By that, I mean they will wait all day to make a RIGHT hand turn. Of course, no one lets them in either. Common sense and driving here do not mix but I'll move on. Once it was finally my turn to exit the ramp, I was instantly calmed just to finally be in the flow of (slowly but) moving traffic.
Only to be directed back IN to the ramp. WHAT?!? There were guys directing outgoing traffic back through the ramp. Bigger problem: there wasn't any sort of organization to get back out. Everyone drove around like bumper cars and I drove all the way to the top of the 4th level of the ramp and had to find my way back down again. Once I finally made it back to the mall exit, the rest of the drive to the Southdale mall was a breeze. Thankgoodness for one back road to avoid the highways.
Why on earth would I attempt to battle another mall? The better part of my day, meeting up with Jeanette! I hadn't seen her since this summer and we were going to Francopalooza 2010, aka to see "127 Hours." Southdale is the only theater showing it in limited release here. It's always good to see a friend you haven't in awhile and to have one who shares a mutual love for James Franco is priceless. Since I was running late from the MOA debacle, we didn't have time for lunch and grabbed concessions instead. The theater was busy but people were polite. Okay, with the exception of one guy who rudely came into the theater late (with 2 young kids in tow, to a rated-R film) and yelled at Jeanette so he could sit in the seat in front of her. For 1.5 hours, it was all Franco on the screen. I want to write a review of the film so I'll skip my opinions for now. Jeanette had to go straight to work post-film so we gave a quick hug and away I went... into the mall.
Pretty much repeat the first part of this entry with a few less people.
And that was my day off.
I'd rather be working. Or hanging out with friends.