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Home on the Range

By Maggie Turner

December 20, 1999

Home on the Range

 Home on the Range

Home on the Range

Copyright © 1986 Duane Maki


This morning was so grey, so wet, so utterly dreary, that I was driven to shop. I hate to shop. I feel like a cow at a BBQ as soon as I step under the florescent light inside a retail establishment. I don't know how it happened; I used to like shopping. I have lost my nerve. I think it has something to do with the retail profile of "The City". There are four basic types of shopping here; you can shop in the mall, the superstore, the expensive specialty shop or the grubby discount store. I don't find any of these types of establishments appealing. What, you may ask, do I find appealing? I like to shop on a bustling city street lined by small retail establishments and restaurants. I have lived in small towns and in cities with such a retail structure; it doesn't exist in "The City". Since coming to live here I have taken a decided dislike to shopping. My biggest fear is that since I've been living here the world outside "The City" has changed and become just like it. This is the script of my own personal horror film, sort of like The Stepford Wives but it's the culture that isn't quite right.

Having decided to shop I next had to decide which type of establishment to grace with my shopping dollar. I wanted to get "The Teenager" a gift certificate from a particular retail outlet that she favors. A quick look through the telephone book revealed that one such establishment was located at the nearest mall. We are early risers so I had to wait several hours till the stores opened. Arriving at the mall I immediately got lost but recovered myself and found the store where I wanted to purchase the Gift Certificate. Having accomplished this I was feeling pretty good and decided to take a look around in the mall's anchor department store. I was having fun; I have to admit it. I had a shopping cart, the wheels worked, there weren't many customers at that hour and they hadn't turned on the background music yet. I wandered aimlessly, stopping occasionally to read a label or to wonder at the prices. To my surprise I found a Christmas present for my older daughter and her fiancé. The shopping cart was beginning to fill up so I decided to head home. After checking out I made my way to the parking lot and discovered that this was indeed my lucky day. Hundreds of teenagers were bearing down on the mall as I left; it was lunchtime at the high school across the street. Sometimes you notice how lucky you are, today I noticed.


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