Jessica says: I always get a guilty pang of pleasure when I return home for the holidays, if only because it means I can do my shopping in the luxury of a temperature-controlled mall and haul my purchases in an oh-so-convenient car (moving to New York has made my suburban roots seem like a charming novelty, rather than the root of 20-something years of muffled rage). So, like many a dutiful American, I spent the day after Baby Jesus’ birthday at the Rodeo Drive of metro Detroit, the Somerset Collection. The “Collection” is behemoth high-end mall that spans both sides of the street, connected by moving walkways to cart you from J.Crew to Tiffany to Burberry to the Gap. Obviously, the place is total hell on December 26.
But? Not this year. In fact, the ritual returning of my mother’s misguided gifts went rather smoothly — the lines were long-ish but moved quickly, every major chain had legitimate bargains, and the salesgirls were only mildly retarded (no signs of fetal alcohol syndrome whatsoever). In fact, I left the mall feeling rather accomplished, and this sense of consumer satisfaction terrifies me.