Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chapter 6, Part 4 - Shopping

On the other end of the shopping spectrum are the upscale outdoor shopping plazas with manicured landscaping. The stores there include fine jewelers, clothiers, and gourmet food shops. This type of plaza does not cater to Harbor View residents. Instead, the clientele usually includes multi-millionaires who have grand homes along the water and at least 50-foot yachts. The shoppers are always very well dressed compared to the typical casual beachwear you usually see in Florida. Many of them walk with their cute little dogs – poodles, bijons, and yorkies, equally stylish in ribbons and barrettes.

Mom and Dad like to take me to these luxurious shopping plazas to walk and shop amidst the beautiful grounds. When they go, they try to dress up in their best-label clothes (for Dad that usually means clothes he bought in the late 80’s) to look like they belong. Once when I was visiting, we stopped at a trendy-looking restaurant in one of these upscale plazas. This was not one of those all-you-can eat buffets you hear about in Florida. The other diners had finely coiffed hair, tailored clothing, and had driven up in Jags, Mercedes, and Rolls. We drove up in a Toyota, and when the waiter came to take our order, Dad ordered a Coke and asked, “Are there free refills for that?” I almost crawled underneath the table. I don’t think Mom and Dad fooled anyone into thinking they belonged.

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