The Post I’ve Been Too Embarrassed To Write: Part 1

Happy now, sj? Here it is. The post I’ve spent the last two years trying not to write.

The things we do for love. Some people write poetry, some buy jewelry. I demonstrate the strength of my feelings by visiting shopping malls. For the record, I hate to shop. I’ve never understood why people actually spend time in malls voluntarily. Except for my brief stint a couple of winters ago as a mall-walker. Have I said too much? Anyhoo, I hate to shop, but it was my daughter’s birthday. The kid has simple taste. If Tim Burton created it, she loves it. Alice in Wonderland was just leaving theatres, so merchandise was rapidly disappearing. I went for her. Trust me when I tell you a trip to Hot Topic isn’t ever about me. Because they no longer sell Harry Potter merchandise, so I have no reason to live to shop there for myself.

We are so very fortunate to have two malls in my town from which to choose. The one on the more affluent end of town has bright, well-lit shops, and several of them are high end. The other mall has fallen into disrepute and disrepair over the last many years. It’s poorly lit, has few shops left and tends to be populated by ne’er-do-wells. But the parking is way better, so that’s where I went. My first mistake. Plus I took Squish to give his Daddy a break. Second mistake.

For those not familiar with Hot Topic, let me paint you a picture. Imagine a store the size of a phone booth with racks and tables of merchandise packed in so tightly that anyone larger than a fourth grader is guaranteed to knock stuff into the floor as they shop, with primal music blaring so loudly that verbal communication is rendered impossible. And turn out the lights. Are you with me? Actually, pray that you’re not.

The minute I entered the casket store, I questioned the wisdom of bringing Squish. He was just a little thing – about 18lbs of toddler grabbiness hanging on my back in the Ergo carrier, and there was nothing he couldn’t reach. Not to mention the fact that the music should come with its own OSHA warning. But life is tough, and it’s never too early to learn to take one for the team.

I searched around for a few minutes before I gave up. My choices were to get a sales associate to help me find what I was looking for or tie Squish’s arms in a knot to keep him from touching stuff. I found what appeared to be the lone employee. Communicating my request was hampered by the volume of music, requiring me to get closer to Hapless Sales Guy than I ever got to my husband before our wedding night to shout in his ear. Eventually, he understood, and he showed me the selection. After a couple of minutes debating Queen of Hearts vs cheaper Cheshire cat, the queen won out and I approached the register. That’s when things got fun.


To be continued… tomorrow.

34 thoughts on “The Post I’ve Been Too Embarrassed To Write: Part 1

  1. I worked at a retail store about 10 years ago, while getting my teaching license. They’d play a 60-minute set of music (music that their researchers found encouraged people to spend more) on constant loop. Every day. Eight hours a day. It’s apparently common practice at chains. You’re not kidding about OSHA warnings – it’s 10 years later and I still have pavlovian anger reaction if I hear a song from that loop.

    • I’d heard about music making people spend more, and I’ve only once worked in a store that had a tape loop. It was damaged in one spot, so it skipped in one place. I can still hear it. I feel your pain!

  2. Oh, noooo Hot Topic. It IS a casket. If the casket had a defeaning stereo system, smelled of incense and was covered in cheap T-shirts with stupid sayings. But going in for Alice in Wonderland merchandise makes it worth it.

    Actually, no, it doesn’t. Not even for Alice.

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Round Up – On Friday! « silent lucidity

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