The months following the opening of the Grand Ridge Plaza retail stores were filled with relief and exploration. After breathing, “Phew, there are finally some stores here!” I followed that with, “Is Ulta a front for a money laundering operation? That’s a lot of square footage for lip liner.” My first visit inside, though, was a magical experience. I discovered that “ta-da!” music accompanied me down every aisle and French faeries waved their “Voila” wands at every display. It was maquillage magnificence. My awe did not fade upon exiting Ulta, and only continued to swell in European proportions at Opal, Francesca’s and Marshall’s-Home Goods. After fully acquainting myself with Highlands haute couture, and marveling how I could spend many hours meandering in and out of these new shops, I got to thinking how my family members would spend a day in Grand Ridge Plaza. Certainly not browsing blouses nor fixating on hair accessories.
It wasn’t until a month ago when sending my 14-year-old to get a haircut and run errands on his own did I suddenly realize that the stores I’m drawn to are at polar opposite to what my other family members would be drawn to. I know that sounds incredible dense. Of course a teenaged boy wouldn’t want to ogle bangles and peruse draperies, but when you’re holding the pocketbook you have a majority stake in saying where it’s spent. I decided to be open-minded and take a Curtis household poll on how we would spend three hours of retail shopping and entertainment in the Highlands. Here are the poll results.
Let’s go by seniority and begin with Glenn, my husband. His response included starting with a quick bite at Chinoise, selecting fresh Hawaiian poke rolls followed by a kick with the Red Dragon. Afterward Glenn would pop into the theater to see a movie. Next, having burned off the sushi as a result of a high-octane action flick, he would be peckish again. A Jimmy John’s sub would satisfy that craving, he said. Twenty more minutes left on the clock. A quick peek into @td curran for “electronics, gizmos and very important items for work”…or was it “important items, electronics, and gizmos for work”? I can’t remember. Now comes the part where I ask all the dermatologist-readers to avert their eyes. Glenn would polish off his three-hour spree in the Highlands at Seattle Sun Tan – source of skin cancer for some, but intense warmth and Zen-level relaxation for others. It’s his 10-minute Tahiti.
Descending in age we come to Jack next. Any visit to Marshall’s-Home Goods on his list? Nope. His lineup resembles that of his dad, though he would start with Zeeks pizza first, then proceed to a movie, Jimmy John’s, and he’d polish off his three hours at Ben & Jerry’s. Not to deviate from the family trend, Ryan would also go to see a movie, but he’d start off his three-hour-tour at MOD pizza and build in some quality time at Dick’s with its daring display of weekday- and weekend-warrior apparel and accessories. The final cherry on top for Ryan would be a quick zip up the hill to TCBY for a custom fro-yo superstructure.
Not surprisingly, if given our choice on how to spend three hours having a retail experience in the Highlands, the four of us would rarely merge or overlap. That’s an important revelation when it comes time to shopping for the holidays. Since three out of four Curtises would be miserable if I dragged them all into my favorite stores to shop for gifts, I need to economize the shopping list by parsing out the errands to the individual who is most drawn toward a certain store. Shoppers who are equipped with affinity and interest are more likely to score the perfect present than those who are dragging their heels. Who do I send to BevMo for party concoctions and decanters? (Probably not the minors, of course.) I’d elect Glenn for that libational duty. Who should I send to pick up cell phone bling for the cousins? Definitely not me, but I suspect some dazzling selections could be made by my two sons. This December, perhaps you’ll consider a divide-and-conquer holiday shopping experience for everyone’s pleasure and convenience.