The Loathesomeness of Commerce
Why is every grocery store I venture into so enormous that by the time I emerge I feel as though I have gone on a long expedition into uncharted territory and need a nap before I think about the damage done to my wallet? The Giant Eagle (don't ask me where chain stores get their names) on Centre and Negley was once a normal, ordinary, adequate if unimpressive place to buy staples like baking soda, yellow mustard, and light bulbs. It is now about three times its old size and is busy competing with the Whole Foods down the street. It is hard to find the boring items one seeks amidst all the aisles of kosher, Southern, gluten-free, and other specialty things.
I am annoyed that, for one reason or another, I keep having to venture down to the gigantic mall known as the Waterfront (versus the much closer Waterworks mall). Both of these are designed on the faulty principle that the shopper has to keep getting back into the car and driving further along to get to the next stop on the list. This time I was in search of a new pair of basic black Bill Blass pants since one pair is somewhat tight and the other is reserved for those occasions when for one reason or another I have blown up like a blimp. I had always been able to get these at Kaufman's (department store that paid Frank Lloyd Wright to build Fallingwater for the Kaufman family). However, the store had now turned into a Macy's and there were no such pants to be seen. I did not feel like trying on alien brands that might not fit, so I proceeded on to Filene's Basement, which usually has some of these, though usually not in my size.
Filene's Basement did not have the pants either, but I decided to compromise with a different pair and a selection of socks. I am not sure what the woman at the cash register did, but after I had a chance to examine the receipt, the more competent person at the service desk had to take off something like seven extra charges. I really do not know how anyone could ring up pretty much everything twice and in a random sort of order. I was decidedly not amused.
After exiting Office Depot, I noticed that the tailpipe on the car was hanging remarkably low. This was, of course, after I had just ascertained that the place I used to take the car for service has gone out of business. Within a couple of miles of slow and gentle driving, the tailpipe gave up and dragged on the pavement the next several miles home, giving me that reassuring sensation of driving a junker despite having spent a small fortune on the car back in August or so.