Kelly and I went shopping today. At Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. It was not an original idea. Everyone else in the Chicago suburbs seemed to have the same idea.
It was so crazy, I didn't bother to try and find a parking place. I valeted it. Yes, I turned my keys over to a stranger. It was worth the $6 plus tip.
We ate at Cheesecake Factory (sheer ambrosia, lemme tell ya) and ventured out into the mall. And everywhere we went, I felt like Kelly and I were somehow able to bring joy to an otherwise stressful night in retail. Employees and fellow shoppers alike responded to us. The guy shopping in Eddie Bauer let me touch his hair. The girl in Hot Topic could not believe that I asked her how she was doing. And the entire staff of The Body Shop seemed unwilling to let us shop elsewhere.
And it occurred to me, it costs us nothing to relate to one another. To look each other in the eye. To smile instead of scowl. And at the end of the night, aching bodies and all, we felt like we had gotten something other than bags of gifts. We got back every smile, every happy greeting, every laid-back moment we gave. It was magical.
Really. Just ask the valet. I think he liked being both tipped AND hugged.