A store named Garage

And other stuff from a trip to the mall

There once was a time, when I would go to the mall for no other reason than I was bored at home when I lived alone and it was fairly close. Plus, I liked the pizza at Sbarro.

Now, I go maybe a couple times a year, mostly the weekend after Thanksgiving when my wife and I go to the malls near where I grew up — yes, between Crossgates Mall and Colonie Center, there are still multiple malls in the area of Albany, New York, although Northway Mall and Rotterdam Square Mall no longer exist, at least not in the same form.

Not only am I bored at home a lot less, pretty much everything I’d want I can order online or get at one of those fancy open-air malls or whatever they’re called. Some of them are part of “smart-growth” developments meant to incorporate housing and shopping in a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere; remember when they were all the rage?

However, my wife — she of the line about “massive consumerism and Auntie Anne’s pretzels — needed makeup, and not having been in Boston to pick it up there in the past few days, we went to Natick Mall last night to find a Sephora and eat at P.F. Chang’s.

Yes, I saw an Auntie Anne’s … and a store called Garage.

Maybe it comes with not going to the mall very much, but I had never heard of a store called Garage.

If you haven’t either, Garage sells women’s clothing, and their market seems to skew to young women who would be interested in blog posts called “6 Priceless Reactions to Zendaya Killing it at the Met Gala” or “How We Survived Coachella in 13 Steps or Less!

So needless to say, 40-something dude isn’t their target audience, but it did leave me wondering why a store selling young women’s clothing would be called Garage. I’m sure some branding expert had a perfectly good reason for the name, but isn’t a garage where you park cars, work on them or annoy everyone in the neighborhood with your crappy band?

SUV and/or minivan owners of the world, we have to talk about your parking.

Before we moved, I used to take my wife to a local train station for her to go to work. After a while, we developed a regular cast of characters: Sergei (because he looked like a 1970s Soviet apparatchik), Valderrama (because of a hairstyle similar to the Colombian soccer star), doppelgängers of people who looked like friends of ours, Mama and Son (a mother and her adult son who came every day, until Mama started hanging out with Sergei), the woman who drove a boxy car and always looked surly unless her friend was there with her.

And then there was the woman who was utterly overmatched by her SUV. She would always try to back into a parking spot, even though she was driving way too much vehicle and it took multiple starts and stops every single time. I’m pretty sure she caught my wife and I laughing at her once.

Many of her fellow travelers were in the Natick Mall parking garage last night. If they weren’t taking five tries to get into a parking spot, it’s because they were taking that many to get out of one.

Then there was the person we wound up parked next to, whose vehicle was literally parked diagonally in the parking space. Clearly the driver came in at the wrong angle, took a look and saw all the wheels were technically in the parking spot, said, “F — - it,” and went inside.

Drivers of the world, if your vehicle is too much for you, get a smaller one.

So that was our trip to the mall. As I told my wife on the way out, it was like eating Chinese food from a mall food court … something you do every once in a while to remind yourself why you don’t do it.

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