Z: What would you do if you owned La Cumbre Plaza?

She: Is this my surprise Christmas gift? Oh, sweetie, you’re the best!

Z: No, I didn’t buy you La Cumbre Plaza for Christmas.

She: Five Points?

Z: No …

She: It better not be the Galleria.

Z: I didn’t buy you any malls for Christmas. Why do you think I bought you a mall?

She: You asked me what I would do with La Cumbre Plaza.

Z: It was just a thought experiment.

She: That’s a terrible Christmas present.

Z: Let me start over. You’re not getting a mall, but if you owned La Cumbre Plaza, what would you do with it?

She: Fine, I’ll play. I definitely wouldn’t add a Cartier. It’s strange enough that there’s a Tiffany & Co. in the mall where I used to go to Toy World and Hot Dog on a Stick.

Z: Here’s what I would do. I would add a new fourplex movie theater with big screens and a THX sound system. Santa Barbara is missing out on exceptional sound, so it would be nice to finally have that, and even better to have it within walking distance.

She: Do we get to program the movies?

Z: Absolutely.

She: Then let’s put in a theater. I’ll put big, new releases on two of the screens, serious movies on another screen, and a different art film on the last screen every two weeks. Plus they should have 11:30 a.m. screenings during the week, so if I do get a day off work I can see a movie before Koss gets home from school.

Z: And those giant, rocking seats. They are so comfy.

She: And really good, consistently fresh hot popcorn. The kind with no calories.

Z: In this fantasy, you can either own the mall or have no-calorie popcorn, not both. Well?

She: I’m thinking.

Z: Fine. I’ll give you low-calorie popcorn.

She: But then I want ice cream and yogurt for after the movie. I think a McConnell’s would be perfect there.

Z: The board took a vote, and we agree.

She: And then we need something to do when we’re waiting for the movie, so we’ll need a bookstore with a café. But a good café and a good bookstore. Like the old Earthling Bookstore with the Nordstrom Café inside, but not quite so expensive.

Z: Perfect.

She: And it should be open until midnight, just in case I finish my current book and don’t like any of the other 22 that are sitting on my bedside.

Z: I thought that was why you needed an iPad.

She: Not the same thing. Our mall should also have a really good neighborhood bar, with fun people I know hanging out there, just in case we don’t feel like yogurt after the movie.

Z: A neighborhood bar. That could be fun. With 100 different beers on tap, Boggle and Scrabble tournaments, and air hockey.

She: Yeah. And they’d all yell “Leslie” when I walked in.

Z: My dream bar just morphed …

She: … into an even dreamier bar!

Z: Sure. That’s what I was going to say. But you realize you’re not actually getting a mall for Christmas, right?

She: I know. But if you can’t buy me a mall for Christmas, can you at least pick up a little something for me at Tiffany & Co.? They have one in La Cumbre Plaza. You could walk there.

Z: Seriously?

She: As long as we’re fantasizing.

Z: I was thinking more along the lines of something from Hot Dog on a Stick.

She: Yes, dear.

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