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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.