I took my four children to the mall today. And yes. I would like a round of applause thankyouverymuch. I mean, I’m no Kate Gosselin, but still. Four children. To the mall. C’mon. You know that’s harrowing.
We were in search of some school clothes. I’m blessed in that Cassidy could care less what she wears to school. Or anywhere for that matter. As evidenced by her choice to wear mismatched socks to her eye doctor appointment yesterday. Not that I’m complaining. Because if she’s happy letting me pick up the majority of her school clothes at Old Navy and Kohls…well, atta girl.
The older two? Not so much.
The older two insist on shopping in those seriously unpleasant stores at the mall. You know the ones. First of all you can smell them a mile away because they honest to goodness pump cologne from the eaves of their storefront. So much cologne that your stomach turns upon approach. And they’re dark inside. What’s up with that? I’m certain that they dim the lighting so that parental types can’t see how skimpy the clothing is. And then there’s the music. Please don’t even get me started on the music. There must be a reason that they blare it so loud, effectively making it impossible to communicate inside the confines of their darkened chambers. Subliminal messaging probably. Or maybe they just do that to tune out the employees. Because. Well. They aren’t exactly valedictorian material if you know what I mean. Honest to goodness, a salesgirl at Hollister greeted me today with, “hey, what’s up?” And not a perky and bubbly “hey, what’s up.” No. It was as though I’d bumped into her at a party and she was about to offer me a smoke.
Um. Yeah. Hey.
I always wonder what those saleschildrenpeople think of me. Today, for instance. I slapped a pair of denim Daisy Dukes down on the counter while Torri sat nearby, though out of view, with her two younger tornadoes of siblings. I hadn’t showered since Sunday yesterday so my hair was ponied up and slung through a baseball cap. It took me a minute to find my wallet as I dug through the abyss of my anything-but-youthful purse. And when the young man (whose impressive physique clearly had nothing to do with his being hired) announced my total I may have gawked a little.
I know I’m a mom of four. But many people don’t. Jeff has a picture of me and the kids sitting on his desk at work and people frequently mistake me for one of his children. So I’m wondering if these mall employees do the same. Are they eyeing the shorts I’m buying and thinking to themselves, “uh, really?”
“No,” I feel compelled to say, in spite of the fact that they didn’t actually vocalize their disdain. “Those aren’t for me. I swear. They’re for my daughter. She’s a freshman. Whereas I would look like the covergirl for Age Denial Weekly, she can totally pull those off. For real.”
Not that their patronizing expressions matter for long. Because it’s certainly not as though I can calmly and collectively gather my entourage of children and inconspicuously take exit, leaving the salespeople snickering in disbelief behind their counter. Oh no. Cassidy surely will bust free of my hand on the way out and knock down a rack or twelve of clothing. And then there’s Jayce who’ll sweep his arm across any and all surfaces low enough for his reach. So that pristine pile of perfectly folded shirts that joint girl just spent hours folding? Ruined. Which wouldn’t be so bad if we could escape quickly enough. But as soon as we step foot out the door I’ll realize that I left my receipt. Or something more pertinent. Like the red-head.
That, of course, is when I make good use of Torri.
Run back in there and fetch your sister why don’t ya?
And she’s always so happy to oblige.
Just wait til school starts and she realizes that those salespeople are the upperclassmen.
Then she’ll really love me.
It’s okay though.
Those clothes ain’t cheap.
I consider it payback. :)