There is a woman walking in one of our great American shopping malls with a tote bag around her shoulder. She is unsuspecting and seems to be in a hurry with a determined and certain destination. Her high heels click and clack on the tile floor, passing the food court and the fountain; This shrine of capitalist paradise where everything is clean and nothing hurts. She is on a mission to return a pair of shoes. When she opened the box upon delivery at home, there were two shoes alright, but two different sizes. One too big and one too small. And although this Goldilocks and the Three Bears humor is not lost on her, really, she harrumphed at the inconvenience of it all, angrily closing the lid on the box of two beautiful, but mismatched shoes, mellow pink heels, glossy with lace trimmings. So furious was she that justice be done as soon as possible, she put the box in a tote bag, immediately got in her car, almost forgetting to turn off the stove, and drove to the nearest retail location for them to right the wrong. No patience had she for the USPS, or any delivery service. And no immediate need did she have for these shoes, but alas, a glowing bolt of unfulfillment had wrenched itself, impaling her brain and body, and she would not be able to melt or dismantle it, this rod of dissatisfaction, until the mistake was fixed.
Passing the food court, she resisted many temptations: Fresh baked cinnamon pretzels, coffee and french fries and Chinese food and pizza. Combined with the air conditioning, all these smells wafting around made her want to break down and cry. But no. She would not succumb to these Christ Desert temptations. Her restrictive diet would not allow it. And she was nothing without her thin physique, bordering on the problematic. She quickened her pace and found the store in the distance. Entering the shop, she rudely dismissed the greeter who said “Hello” and was she “looking for anything in particular?” With cold shoulder and pout, she headed straight for the register planting herself in a deceptively short line. Deceptive, because the woman at the front was demanding to see the manager on the issue of expired coupons and a sale that no longer existed. Eyes rolling, heart pounding –