Times they are A-changin’

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Hopefully everyone has recovered from the lost hour of sleep.   I’m trying to jump ahead through this blizzard they say is coming.  Anyway, I happened to venture out twice this weekend and what I experienced was unexpected.  Something weird happened.  Something that I haven’t experience in a long time.  In fact three curious things happened. 

As someone who buys just about everything on the internet at this point, I found myself in the unfamiliar position of being a mall rat this weekend.  First on Saturday, we went to the Garden State Plaza with some friends check out a few new stores and grab a quick bite to eat.   The mall was packed.  Busier than it’s been recent holiday seasons, including the last one.  I can’t say how much business was being done.  Indeed there were a lot of empty hands as I’ve noticed on even the busiest Christmas shopping days of late, but this seemed different.  It wasn’t Christmas, so I wonder what compelled so many people to be there on Saturday night in March.  I shrugged it off.

Then we sat down to eat and my friend, who has been a recruiter for a long time said he was the busiest he has been in recent memory.  You may be noticing a trend.

Sunday found us at the Dick’s location in the Willowbrook Mall.  My older son Nick needed some warm gear to get through this unusually cold start to the baseball season.  As we approach the mall the line of cars is out onto the highway.  Not a totally unusual situation, but at 11AM on a Sunday in March???  We proceed to walk in the store and the first thing we noticed was the line was longer than we’ve ever seen it.  

Now I’ve heard that once is a fluke, twice is a coincidence, but three times is a trend.  Is this just an isolated observation?  Folks preparing for the blizzard by getting out the weekend prior?  In fact, this holiday season was the slowest I’ve ever observed at the Willowbrook Mall.  Given this, how is what I observed this weekend possible and is it real?  Is it the manifestation of cabin fever or has there been a turn in confidence? 

As I said, it was just a weekend and it’s not like I saw everyone’s arms filled with bags and boxes, but it makes me wonder if our clocks weren’t the only things that changed this past weekend.

PS We opened marginally positive, have since turned negative.  It’s a big week.  2.62 still holding for now. 

-Philip Mancuso

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