Monday, August 10, 2009

How I Spent My Summer Vacation Pt 2.

Thank God I didn't get my hip replacement done in winter. Putting aside the whole "how do you put on long underwear without having your grabber pack its bag and quit you?" issue, having a hip replacement in the winter would mean that you'd have to do your rehab walking indoors to avoid falling on slippery sidewalks/ snow. That would mean that you'd be logging major miles in your local mall. Since it was rainy today, I got a little taste of what most people who have hip replacements must experience: I went mall walking.

New Westminster is a mall graveyard. Various malls have tried to conquer the Royal City and every one has failed. Metrotown is but a Skytrain-ride away and Vancouver is not that much further, meaning that few people choose to shop in the city. Visiting Royal City Centre is therefore a unique shopping experience. It is filled with clothing stores that seem to simultaneously cater to old people and day-shift hookers. You will therefore see gold sequinned halter tops sharing rack space with floor-length floral mu-mus. There's something for everyone, from the "retiree heading down to Miami for the winter to hook herself a rich hottie" crowd to the "You know I am filled with rage because I wear sarcastic slogans on my T-shirt" set. Velour tracksuits with jeweled pockets abound, as do sweatshirts that proclaim that it's "Party time!" in sequinned letters. If you have spent sleepless night fretting that the Bedazzler does not get the respect it deserves in the fashion industry, then Royal City Center is the place for you.

As it turns out, many other people had the same goal as me. My mom and I did laps around the mall using various elderly people as pace cars. I am finally proud to report that I passed one or two of them and I hope to soon best some of the sportier old people at physio (dignity win!). My God, though. There's nothing worse than being in a decaying mall on a Monday afternoon. There's the lady selling adult bibs and tea-cozies patterned with roosters and kittens, the owner of "Sweater Collection" (a store that apparently sells the same style of sweater in various colours and somehow has managed to stay in business without being a front for a drug operation...I think) pacing around her store pretending to be a customer, the ancient couples sitting on benches not looking at one another for hours. It's enough to make you reach for the Prozac bottle.

So even though I've complained about watching summer go by through my window, you will not catch me complaining about the heat. And so, (since I'm still keeping up the pretense of trying to be useful), this is my suggestion of the day: schedule your surgery for a time when the weather will not force you to spend hours browsing through stores that apparently sell only fairy merchandise, trying to avoid the over-eager owner intent on selling you something --anything-- so she won't go bankrupt.

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