My mornings during the work week are stupidly hectic. One reason why this is true is my need to, if at all possible, stop at Au Bon Pain before I drive into work for approximately 8-10 minutes of Amanda Time. I just need a few seconds for my brain to calm down before I head into work mode, you know? Anyway, because of this almost-daily stop, I now cannot wait for the day that I can retire and become a mall walker. I’m serious.
I live about five minutes from the mall, which is where my Au Bon Pain is located. It’s easier and faster than going to Dunkin Donuts (although there IS a DD right next door to Au Bon Pain, if I so please) And God knows it’s better than Starbucks these days. I usually get a quick coffee (but I’ve limited coffee to once – ok, sometimes twice – a week, because of my summer stomach issues) and/or a bagel or muffin. (Aside: their limited-time-only pumpkin muffin is ah-may-zing. Love.)
And this is when I become incredibly nosy. I sit at a table for a few minutes and channel my inner Harriet the Spy and listen to all of the old people who hang out there. And as each moment passes,as I hear them railing on about “Obamacare” and The Situation (yup, the guy from "Jersey Shore." That day was a real highlight for me. I literally stopped in my tracks to make sure they were talking about “The Situation” and not just “the situation”) I get more and more jealous in my heart.
These people live the life! Oh, I know they would probably say the same about me, but I totally draw the short stick in terms of morning fun compared to this crowd. First of all, they get way more exercise than I do. They get up, hop into their tracksuits or sweats - they are all super-coordinated - head to the mall, and do their laps, usually in groups. Then they hit Au Bon Pain, get their oatmeal and coffee and pastries, and just laugh and laugh and have a great time. Sometimes it’s someone’s birthday, and they all sing. Sometimes it’s no one’s birthday, and they still sing. A lot of times, they are gossiping about their friends and families. Often they are upset about politics. But they are always loud and boisterous and seem to be having a blast.
Oh, and they love kids. The only time they will pay attention to me is when I bring Jane, which I’ve done on days off once or twice. They think she’s the shit - so cute, so great, so fun. The Jane Show is always a big hit with the mall walkers. But when it’s me alone, a rushed, haggard worker bee heading off for another day, they really don’t care. What about me? Am I not cute enough for them?
I cannot wait until I'm retired- because I'm totally going to rule that mall.