Monday, 8 December 2008
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: THE MALL
Characters: My Sis and Me
So we rolled up into the mall parking lot at the stroke of ten, dreading the onslaught of holiday shoppers. "It's a dirty job," my Sis said to me, "but someone's got to do it." And so began our foray into the midst of snotty-nosed kids, frazzled parents with depleted bank accounts, rude sales clerks, long lines at the cash registers, and just generally clueless individuals who don't know how to act in public.
Before we left home, the rest of the family and some of the neighbors placed bets on who would lose their temper first, me or Sis, with both of us vowing not to be the first to blow. Another dirty job, but someone would have to do it.
We entered through the JC Penny's doors and melted into the crush. Now I'm not a fan of Penny's in general, but Sis is, and besides they were supposedly having a big "Door Buster" sale (yeah, right).She insisted on buying a few things for my little boy so we took off to the men's dept. Yep, he is a big boy. Tall, very husky.
Anyway, we're holding up various shirts and judging them for size and each time I'd take the shirt and look at the label and discard it. She'd say, "But I liked that shirt." To which I'd reply, "Oh, hell no. Not buying a damn thing made in freaking Pakistan." She rolled her eyes. By the time the day was finished, I was surprised they hadn't rolled right out of their sockets.
We continued to search and eliminate several South American countries due to the drug trafficking problems and finally land on good ole China. Well, what the hell, we haven't had to kill anyone over there yet. We idle up to the register and stand there for two or three minutes to find the line formed back at lingerie. So what did I say? "Oh, hell no."
Now to some of you, it might seem as though I had already lost the bet. Nope, that is just considered general disgruntlement. Trust me, it ain't even a fizz.
Next stop, Jimmy Jazzy's. My boy specifically requested a pair of jeans from there. I walked in and realized we were in a hip hop fashion store. My Sis is shaking her head and rolling those eyes. Damn, I looked across the floor expecting to chase those big blue balls across the white tile, but so far, they were still intact.
Every pair of jeans I picked up, got a "Oh hell, no" from Sis. I looked upward, "Give me strength." I had a choice, please the kid, or alienate Sis. I chose Sis. Sorry Little Man, but hip hop is not going to be part of your post-Christmas fashion show when you return to school after the holidays. Secretly, I was happy with my decision, but I planned to blame it on Sis.
From there we meandered the corridor toward the mall hub, dodging strollers, teenagers, and people who think the center of the aisle is a rest stop. By now I'm thirsty and in desperate need of a diet coke. I yell across to my Sis who just dodged a couple who thought it was ok, to stop and smooch, "Let's get something to drink." She nods and we head to the cookie kiosk.
As soon as we belly up to the counter, a little girl, about five years old, cute as a button, pushes Sis and me to the side. What the hell? I looked down at her and over at her mom, who was beaming at her daughter's initiative. SCREW THAT!I was here first. So I caught the eye of the cookie clerk and quickly ordered a drink for Sis and me, to which the little girl cries out, "Hey, that's not fair." To which I countered with, "That's life." She began to stomp her feet and her mummy pulled her away from my reach. Yep, mom may not have a handle on that kid, but she knew better than to mess with a woman who had the phrase, "piss off, kid" perched on the tip of her tongue.
Sis told me she would find us a bench by the fountain and save me a seat. I waited for the drinks and found her. Awww, it felt so good to sit down. I wore flats, but my back was still killing me. My Sis was in agony too, and pulled out the Tylenol from her purse and we both popped 2K mgs each. Yep, bigger dose than what we should have taken, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
We sat for a while and recuperated from the morning assault. It was now shortly after high noon. I could see the little girl across the way, scarfing down her purple iced cupcake and giving me the evil eye. I narrowed my eyes and crinkled up my nose. She did a one eighty and held tight to her mom's leg. All that purple icing just covered mom's khaki pants. I suddenly got a second wind, payback can do that to a person.
Back to high footing it for Christmas bounty, we hit the American Eagle store. Oh,it was so cool inside there. Everywhere else had been a roasting pit. Three of the four registers were open, the store was playing some ass kickin' music, and the clientele seemed to be enjoying the experience. I was encouraged.
Now we all know that all clothes are pretty much equal. You pay for the brand names out the ying yang though. So I sift through the racks and find a few things I like, just to discover the AE Brand is not emblazoned on the garment for all to see. "Oh, hell no," I said to Sis. "What," she asks. I placed my hand on my hip and waved the shirt in front of her. "If I'm going to pay for a brand name, then I want everyone to see the damn brand, otherwise, why buy it?" She agreed. We finally found a few things, and then got stuck in line.
A woman in front of us had her three children with her who were picking out their Christmas presents to make sure they would all fit and then they went under the tree. Smart mom, she cut out the after Christmas exchange stop. But for me, I'll just stick to that look of surprise on Christmas morning.
Anyway, mom checks out. Sis and I are chomping at the bits for her to move on, and then her daughter runs up and slaps another shirt on the counter. Check out girl rings her up again, and then realizes she failed to ask mom if she wanted to apply for an AE credit card and get ten percent off. Then mom of course squeaks, "What about the two hundred I just spent?" Here we go. The other lines are even longer than the one we are in, so Sis and I exchange a look and settle in.
Now onto Aeropostle, and then to Belks and Macy's. It's three p.m. now, and we are both ready to get the hell out of dodge and have that long lunch we promised ourselves. We are on the opposite end of the mall from where we parked, so the long trek began.
Just after we passed the hub, a woman from one the kiosks jumps out at me with a tube of hand cream and asks if I'd like to try it. I'm a sucker for hand lotion and thought ok. With no intention of purchasing, of course. We stop, both Sis and me happy to be on our way out instead of in, our mood on the upswing for sure.
So I rub on the lotion, tell the sales woman how much I like it, thank her and take a step forward. The crazy woman grabbed my hand and pulled me back. Of course, I thought it was a take-down and grabbed my purse. Don't mess with a paranoid southern gal. It's dangerous.
I soon realized there was more to her little show 'n tell. Oh God, what have I done? Patience, patience. So not to be rude I went through the whole hand washing thing with dead sea salt straight from Israel and had her squirt me with the water and the whole nine yards. All the while she is talking a mile a minute in an accent so thick I understood maybe one word out of ten. But, I did understand $69.95 per jar. "Oh, hell no." I exclaimed. She said, "No worry, sale today, just for you." For me???? ROFLMAO.
BOGO! Now usually, I'm all for buy one get one free, but it's got to be something a bit more practical than salt from a desert. Sorry. I thanked the woman and TRIED to walk away. The woman grabbed my arm. My Sis walked down the corridor a ways so she wouldn't be in the line of fire, of course. Yep, you guessed it. I lost the bet. I owe Marshall across the street ten bucks, Mrs.Evans, two doors down, five and the crab apples from my tree come late spring. My Sis gets a deuce and my little boy a homemade pot of chilli, his fave. My 17 year old gets unlimited texting on her cell now.
God I needed a drink. Not to worry, I'm winding up the shopping saga. lol We load up our shopping bags and head to Chilli's. I love their margaritas, so we request the bar and order two specialty margs on the rocks, and buffalo bites with fries.
To make a long story short, we had three of those margs each, at seven bucks each. They were indeed delicious, and in case you don't know, not the average size drink either.lol We flipped for who was driving. I lost. Again. And, of course, I woke up at midnight that night with my head throbbing like hell.
We got the hell out of the city proper without injury to anyone, me at the helm, feeling quite satisfied that we had set our goals and met them. It's going to be a good Christmas. I truly needed one.