#2 daughter went to the farmers market for me while I was at work yesterday, so we did not miss out on the fresh vegetables, though there was no fruit. Our region just won’t have any fruit this year. Then she took #2 son to gymnastics, and then they came up and fetched me for lunch.

I noticed right away that #2 son had a large bruise starting on his temple. I mentioned it. It turned out that he had fallen on his head in gymnastics class.

“People don’t understand that falling on your head is no big deal,” #2 son complained.

I agreed that people didn’t understand that.

“It’s the whole breaking your neck thing,” suggested #2 daughter helpfully. #2 son pointed out that he hasn’t broken his neck yet.

He also informed us — and I don’t remember how the subject arose, but maybe we were standing in view of the math section — that math is easy, “especially geometry, because it’s just shapes.” I think that the simplicity of his worldview is rather beautiful.

The Empress recommended a good restaurant, she being more familiar with the town containing the current store, and told me that I didn’t need to return to work. We headed off to the restaurant, which was indeed good, and then up to the next county where they have stadium seating in the theater.

7We saw “Ratatouille,” which was quite fun, except for the whole nauseating premise. We had the good fortune to arrive just minutes before the show began, so we sat in the second row, which #2 daughter said spoiled the whole point of the stadium seating, However, I liked the way the sound was. There were speakers all over, so it sounded as though the other patrons were joining in the songs. If that really happened, they wouldn’t be in tune or anything, but as it was, it was great. Like old Fred Astaire movies or something.

 The theater is in a rather new shopping center that people were excited about when it opened. It is like a toy city set in the middle of the fields. Or a shopping theme park. 7

It is built to look like a normal downtown, if perhaps an unusually clean one. Every single shop that you see here is a national chain store, except one local toy store.

In a real city, there would be the Jos. A. Banks store, and then there would be the cheese shop that had been there for forty years, and then the newsstand, and then Nine West, and then an empty lot where the kids play baseball, and then a cobbler, and then a delicatessen serving matzo brei for breakfast — well, I don’t know. It is years since I lived in a city. That is how cities were last time I looked. But here there is just a whole crowd of chain stores, like a mall, built to look like a city.

7 With a play area for the kids instead of an empty lot.

There were a couple of chain stores that neither #2 daughter nor I had been in before, so we checked them out. It was fun, really, because it was just like walking in a city, except for the no surprises part.

We went into Sephora, which was quite fun for us girls, but #2 son did not enjoy it. He wouldn’t even try out the men’s scents.

“If I participate in this in any way,” he explained, “you might forget that I don’t want to be here.”

He also wondered, as we were leaving, “When did stores get the idea that all their employees ought to look as  though they’re ready to take you out?” It is true that Sephora was stuffed with black-clad women with headsets. I assume that they have an enormous problem with shrinkage (shoplifting). I just kept wondering where they got all the workers for this little city.

We can hardly ever find friendly, helpful workers where I live. You have to poach them from other companies, because no one is ever unemployed. We actually have negative unemployment, which the kind government man explained to me meant that not only did everyone who wanted a job have one, but some people who didn’t want jobs had been forced into the labor force by the importunities of the employers.

Not that everyone has a good job or anything, so there is some room for poaching.7

But the county where the toy city is located may have had so much growth that they have unemployed people. Or they might all have been actors imported in, like Disneyland. 

Anyway, there was a candy store, which #2 son liked. We bought rock candy in pretty colors for #2 daughter’s birthday cake, which I will be baking any minute now. I also need to bake something for this evening’s ice cream social at the church. #2 daughter is giving the anthem this morning, also at the church of course. We are having lunch with my parents in between those things, and will be eating birthday cake at some point. So the baking needs to take place soon.

Maybe now, in fact. Enjoy your weekend!