Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Columbia's Main Street

My mall is sad.

There is tons of parking available most nights of the week.

It's easy to get a seat at popular restaurants with little wait.

Stores are easy to navigate.

There's no line at the carousel...because it's not operating.

This is the state of affairs 10 days after a seemingly unhappy young man shattered the bubble that we Columbians inhabit. The belief that we lived in a friendly, happy utopia where most crime was petty theft and "didn't happen to us." We are the community of "Choose Civility." (One twit on Twitter claimed "Does a possible love triangle gone wrong do enough damage to the choose civility brand that HoCo officials feel denial is the right approach?" I won't link to that because I'm disgusted by his feed.)

But it did happen. It seems random, although we'd feel better if it was explainable. The randomness, though, should not make us stop living life.

I was struck by this because when I arrived at one of the mall restaurants, I had my choice of tables. The group of 20-somethings with the loud, obnoxious guy who knows something about everything and pontificates on it continually wasn't there for their usual happy hour. There were 2 bartenders when I arrived and 1 was cut by 6:30. There were 2 servers when I arrived and again, 1 was cut by 6:30. A large restaurant was operating with 1 bartender and 1 server and a manager. Because no one was coming in. The manager decided on which bartender to keep because his rent is due. She decided on which server to keep because her car payment is due. The manager has been making decisions like that for the last 9 days. Because no one is coming in.

And this is for folks who weren't there that day and didn't witness or experience the terror and fear - because that is going to take time.

Please - come to Columbia Mall. Have lunch at Panera, see a movie, visit the new Athleta store. Meet friends for happy hour at Champps. Play trivia at Uno's. SPEND MONEY - support college kids who are working their way through school, support single moms who have a second job, support people who are working HARD and may lose their jobs if the situation doesn't improve.

Please - come to the mall.


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