The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Sunday, February 20, 2005  

Going Shopping

I don’t hate shopping, I’m just a little out of practice. But tomorrow, Monday, Presidents’ Day, I’m going to venture out to get a few things. Not some quick-and-easy neighborhood shopping, but the real thing, an all-day outing that requires substantial planning: consulting and confirming bus schedules (holiday bus schedules, no less), reading maps, reviewing options, and checking sales circulars in the Sunday paper.

You see, I’m going to a mall, and that for the first time in almost four years. My last such excursion, while successful, and one to which I looked forward eagerly, occurred while I was in an entirely different income bracket. Tonight, I’m filled only with dread. And preoccupied with the question, When is too much more than enough and when does more than enough become wretched excess?

Tomorrow, assuming continued fortitude on my part, I will enter one of this country’s largest monuments to psychotic consumerism, a temple I’ve not visited in nearly ten years, where I may choose from merchandise offered by such mom-and-pops as (the ne plus ultra names duly bolded): A Pea In The Pod, A|X Armani Exchange, Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie Kids, Aeropostale, Aerosoles, After Hours Formalwear, Against All Odds, Aldo Shoes, American Eagle Outfitters, American Fragrances, American Vision, Amirian Jewelers, Ann Taylor (two locations), Ann Taylor Loft, Ann Taylor Petites, Apple Computer, April Cornell, Arden B., Athlete’s Foot, B C B G, B. Dalton Bookseller, Bachrach, Bailey Banks & Biddle, Bakers, Bamboo Club, Banana Republic, Bandolino, Bang & Olufsen, Bang Bang, Bare Escentuals, Bath & Body Works (two locations), BC Sports Collectibles, bebe, Benetton, Best of TV, Bloomingdale’s, The Body Shop, Bombay, Borders, Borders Express, Bose, Boss/Hugo Boss, Bostonian, Brighton Collectibles, Brooks Brothers, Brookstone, Bubbles Hair Salon, Buckle, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Burberry, Caché, California Closets/Display, California Sunshine Shop, The Camera Shop (two locations), Candleman, Carolee, Cartier, Casual Corner, Charles David, Chico’s, The Children’s Place, Christian Bernard, Claire’s, Classic Nails, Clifford Michael Design, Clover Hill Winery, Coach (two locations), Coldwater Creek, Comics & More, Crabtree & Evelyn, Crane & Co., Crate & Barrel, d.e.m.o., Damiani, Dandelion, Deb, Delia’s, Dell Direct, Diesel, Discovery Channel Store, The Disney Store, DKNY, Domain, Eastern Mountain Sports, Easy Spirit, EB Games, EBX, Eckerd Drug, Eddie Bauer, Eddie Bauer Home Collection, Electronics Boutique, Elisabeth, Express, Express Men, Family Pet Center, Femme de Carriere, Finish Line, Five Below, Foot Locker, Forever, Fossil, Franklin Covey, Frederick’s of Hollywood, FYE (For Your Entertainment) (three locations), Gap (two locations), Gap Kids (two locations), Gateway Newstand, General Nutrition Centers (two locations), Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Godiva Chocolatier, Golfdom, Gordon’s Jewelers, Great Earth Vitamins, Guess?, H&M, H2O Plus, Harpo’s Haircutting, Harry & David, Heel Quik Shoe Repair, Heidi’s Salon, Hermès, Hide Out, Hollister Co., Hot Topic, Icing, Illuminations, Inner Self, International Tobacco, It’s About Time, J. Crew, J.E. Caldwell & Co. (two locations), J. Jill, Jake’s Doghouse, Janie and Jack, Jarman Shoes, J.C. Penney, Jean Madeline Salon, Jessica McClintock, Johnston & Murphy, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Journeys, Joy Stride Rite, K-B Toys, Kate Spade, Kay Jewelers, Kenneth Cole, Kids Foot Locker, Kitchen Kapers, L’Erbolario, Lady Foot Locker, Lane Bryant, Leather & Shoes, Lee Nails, LensCrafters, Lids, Life Uniform, Limited Too, The Limited, Lindt Chocolate, Littman Jewelers, L’Occitane, Lord & Taylor, Louis Vuitton, LoveSac, Lucky Brand Dungarees, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Macy’s, Main Line Models, Marmi, MasterCuts, Mediterraneo, Messages Hallmark, Milanj Diamond Jewelers, Mimi Essentials, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Mondi, Motherhood Maternity, Movado, Na Hoku, Nackord Karate Systems, Naturalizer, Nautica Kids, Neiman Marcus, New Balance, New York & Company, Nine West, Nordic Track, Nordstrom, Norman’s Hallmark, Norman’s Hallmark II, NYS Collection, Oilily, Old Navy, Optical World, Optique (Spectix Optique), Organized Living, Pacific Sunwear, Papyrus, Paradise Pen, Payless Kids, Payless ShoeSource, Pearle Vision Express, Perfumania, Perfume Heaven, Petite Sophisticate, Picture People, Piercing Pagoda (three locations), Plaza Chiropractic & Massage, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, RadioShack, Rampage, Rare Earth (two locations), Regis Salon, Restoration Hardware, Right Start, Rockport, Sam Goody, Sanrio, Sears, Select Comfort, Sephora, Shades of Africa, The Sharper Image, Sheepskin Gifts, Silver & Gold Connection, Skechers, Smith & Hawken, Sole Mio Sunglasses, Solstice, Spencer Gifts, Sterling Optical, Steve Madden, Stitches, Strasburg Children, Strawbridge’s, Stuart Weitzman, Studio Hairstyling, Sunglass Hut (three locations), Swarovski Gallery, Talbots, Talbots Accessories & Shoes, Talbots Kids, Talbots Mens, Talbots Petites, Talbots Women, The Body Shop, Things Remembered, Thomas Kinkade Gallery, Tiffany & Co., Timberland, Tobacco Barrel, Trade Secret, Travel Luggage and Gifts, Urban Outfitters, Vans Triple Crown, Versace, Victoria’s Secret (two locations), Victoria’s Secret Beauty, Village Silver, The Walking Company, Watch Doctor, Watch World (two locations), Wentworth Gallery, Wet Seal, White House/Black Market, Whitehall Jewelers, Wild Pair, Williams-Sonoma, Wilsons Leather, World of Charms, Yankee Candle, Yves Rocher, and Zales.

Good God.

The Plaza and The Court, at King of Prussia. Yes, shoppers, you are royalty.

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