This weekend I went to the mall.
It has been approximately 365 days since my last
fiasco, I mean shopping trip to the Mall, that included 40 minutes of waiting in line at Old Navy, only to discover that I had left my wallet and all forms of payment at home on the counter. (I believe I said a bad word at that point. I’m not sure, I’ve blocked out most of what happened next. They say people sometimes do that when they suffer from a brain aneurysm.)
Despite last year’s harrowing events I went to the Mall again this year because of a coupon (buy $30 and get $10 off!!) for the Build-a-Bear Workshop. This year I double checked that I had my wallet (and that I was going no where near Old Navy) before I began my Mall expedition.
I discovered a few things in my travels.
First. I’m pretty sure that the cotton stuffing Build-a-Bear puts in their toys has some chemical property mimicking amphetamines because both of the cashiers at that joint were PERKY beyond belief. I haven’t seen so much bubbly since my cousin’s wedding, whoo-boy.
They kept talking in italics and trying to be my new best friends. (“So, are you, like, buying these for your kids’ Christmas presents? You are such a good mom! And aren’t these coupons fantastic? I just love coupons! They are, like, awesome. And you picked out, like, the best clothes EVER. You clearly have an eye for fashion.”) They were gesturing so much with their hands that their ponytails were shaking like a recovering drug addict in an earthquake.
Frankly that much happiness at the Mall during Christmas was kind of scary.
I also noticed while at the Mall, that my protective streak comes out whenever I see senior citizens braving the crass world of consumerism there. I want to make my body a human shield to shelter these grandparents from the lewd t-shirts at Abercrombie and Fitch and the rude salespeople shoving their wares in people’s faces. I want to sit them down on one of those massage chairs with a soft pretzel and an Orange Julius, and tell them to just give their grandchildren money, because no gift will never be the right one and their ungrateful grandkids will just heartlessly exchange those carefully selected presents for pieces of crap.
So far I haven’t ever done or said any of these things, but I have to be really careful to not make eye contact with anyone over sixty years of age because my self control is not very strong.
Finally, I discovered this trip that the Mall is a great place to watch copious amounts of public displays of affection. (Usually of the teenager variety.) Oh young love. Oh young, skanky, sleazy, obnoxious, incredibly inappropriate love. I think the next time I see fifteen year old couples slouch around the Mall with their hands in each other’s back jean pockets, I’m going to go over and beat them until some decorum and common sense settles into their brains. I feel it’s my patriotic duty.
(May I just insert here that I now feel woefully unprepared to be the mother of teenagers in a few short years. Seriously, I’m frightened. Hold me.)
The Mall, raising one middle-aged housewife’s blood pressure at a time. Thankfully, I don’t have to go back for another 364 days if everything goes well. Or, until Build-a-Bear sends out another coupon.
Don’t do it Build-a-Bear, don’t do it.