And sometimes I need to remember I’m getting older and should therefore avoid many public places.
Case in point, the mall. On a Saturday. Afternoon. During back-to-school sales time. By myself.
I was on a quest for the perfect shirt to go with a new skirt I bought, and decided to stop by the mall on my way home from taking my family from the airport to my sister’s house. I only wanted to go in one store – JCPenny. I drove over to the store and randomly parked. Seemingly innocuous enough, yes? No. Not even close. Look it up – the word means harmless, and what ensued was anything but.
I walked from my car to the door, happily unaware of what I was about to walk into, still riding the high from fitting into a pencil skirt and not looking like a lumpy magical leopluridon (or nonmagical leopluridon for that matter) and being complimented by a gaggle of gays in the H&M dressing room. (Aside: if you are a gay man with good taste in fashion and are reading my blog, please let me know if you want to be my friend…I have gay envy and I need your help…I’ll be your Karen and you can be my Jack…Mr. T won’t mind if you grab my boobs a lot. That’s not a statement, Mr. T – that’s an order: YOU WILL NOT MIND IF GAY MEN GRAB MY BOOBAGE. Cue Jedi mind trick.)
Anyskittles, back to the scary story (Jacob on the beach style) (Mr. T, you’d know that was a Twilight reference if you’d just watch the movie with me once). I had no idea what I was approaching. I opened the first tinted door and, as I entered the vestibule, my high immediately started to fade. I could hear the screaming piles of procreation that were causing chaos on the other side of the next door.
Then I opened door #2 and almost wept with horror. Children were EVERYWHERE. Mother. Fucker. This is the goddamn children’s department! WHY WOULD YOU PUT AN ENTRANCE THERE AND NOT WARN PEOPLE??? I carefully dodged snotty screamers, hyper hooligans and unsupervised uterine kin and managed to maintain an ounce of sanity…but here’s where my plan went terribly wrong. I did not seek out the nearest top-floor exit through which to make my child-free escape…thus, after I found the perfect top, I had to re-navigate the sea of infantile madness to get back to my car. My ovaries were shriveled, quaking and trying to retreat by the time I reached the asylum of my No Doubt-blaring toaster.
Seriously. The children’s department is tricky even if you like kids and actually have some. If you accidentally enter through that door, you are going to deal with “Mommy, I want that! Mommy, can I have this? Mommy, why is that crazy lady running and screaming?” There needs to be a sign.
I’ll even write it for you. It should say: Warning! You are about to enter the 7th layer of hell. Proceed with caution.
So maybe that won’t fly, but really, what’s the harm in labeling entrances? If you are a department store, that means you have multiple DEPARTMENTS. You should tell people which one they are about to walk into so they can mentally prepare or proceed to the next set of doors. You can’t Choose Your Own Adventure if you don’t know what your basic options are!
And I hope you all enjoyed the extra dose of alliteration today. I’m especially proud of the unsupervised uterine kin. I plan on using that phrase much more often in the future. Maybe I’ll even go to Build-a-Bear and get a programmable sound chip, then record “Warning: Unsupervised Unterine Kin!” in my best “Danger, Will Robinson” voice.