Rain. More rain. And even more wind. Trees, power lines swaying in the wind. Rain rushing up the hill in sheets, and rivulets cascading down the hill, filling gutters with leaves. It’s a winter storm, California style, all right. Got most of my electrical devices plugged in to charge, in case the power goes out.
I have to venture out later, but I doubt I’ll see the kind of panicked shopper gridlock I was privy to yesterday. I have lived in Marin a long time, but for all those years of surviving the holiday rush, I sure don’t remember such traffic before the last of the big shopping days. A shopping frenzy that seems to go counter to all the news about people not spending on account of their fears for an economic downturn. Or maybe this rush on stores around here is a specific symptom for the Marin variety of economic anxiety.
And yet, when I went to San Anselmo yesterday afternoon, I found plenty of parking places, stores nearly empty but “manned” by very friendly local owners. I don’t get it…. Apparently, neither does the better portion of Marin’s population that’s fighting it out for parking spaces in the mall parking lots and then desperately rush through the mountain of stuff that appears to give such choice of goodies at a first glance that it leaves one in a stupor … exactly where the shopper should be if these stores want to raise the bottom line on this year’s sales. Then again, I also know a number of people who have jobs just now, because it’s more than business as usual at the shopping centers. And so we ride on the merry-go-round again, as some of us feel the exhilaration of going in familiar circles while the others keep fighting the vertigo and nausea at every turn of the same old track.