Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Know You're in the Mall at Christmastime

Christmas is here. You can tell it by going to the mall. You know that feeling of being so heavy, so tired, so thirsty, and so hot you just might die? Its a sure indication that you have accidentally wandered (with your coat on) into a mall at Christmas time. In that land, only the ridiculous is allowed. The FIRST of all ridiculous things at the particular mall we got sucked into tonight, is that Dillards is in two locations. After braving the mad crowd and making it into the store (many, many hot miles away from the parking place, mind you), you are curtly told that the section you want is in the women's store, which is the building on the opposite end of the mall. Yes, whomever thought that arrangement up must have been on his fifth month of non-stop Christmas shopping, and had already lost his logic.

Another indication you're in the mall at Christmas, is when the salespeople recommend at least four times (I am not exaggerating) that you head to the store next door instead of continuing to search in theirs. This is exactly what the jewelry-store guy did to us, even regaling us with a description of the pendant he bought for his girlfriend next door at Zales, where they have much cheaper quality stuff (I'm quoting, not de-endorsing). Since she was so young, he said, she didn't know the difference between nice diamonds and bad diamonds. We really should go over there (for the fifth time) as they may not yet be all sold out of said pendant. (We did go over there, and I did find what I believe was the pendant in question. I cannot even begin to describe the tackiness. Big cross of diamonds, with a gold heart twined around it, and in the center a bright pink fake sapphire. Wow. Wait, hold on, I may be able to find a picture online...
It was much worse in person, I assure you. Huge. And the stone was pink. What could the man's girlfriend have done, be she 25 or not, to deserve to be treated to such?

Anyway, having been many times thwarted we headed toward the used-games store (I can say all this because the gift recipient never reads my blog, I'm pretty sure). On the way we passed a booth. One of the many. Do you know, these mall booths all pretty much strike me as being on about the "above-board" level as, say, a pawnshop? So this particular one was advertising 30-minute teeth whitening. Yep, sit down, please! While I was ogling the ink-jet printed sign advertising the sale price of $75, Elizabeth claims she was observing many depressed people waiting there, willing to plunk down their money to sit in the fake leather chair and try to pull their legs in far enough from the aisle that the hordes did not all trip over them as they got their teeth very publicly and very un-dentist-involvedly, whitened. I can't blame them too much. It's just the sort of thing a crazed, thirsty, materialism-oppressed person might do at 9 pm after walking the mall all evening being attacked by demons of lust and self-hatred and inferiority. And that's just in front of the Victoria's Secret store. Just imagine when they walked past the rest! After all that, it's no wonder they thought $75 was a good deal. My sister asked, "WHO is going to plop down in the middle of the mall, bare their teeth, and get a bleach job?" And I countered, "WHO is going to trust the $6 an hour bleachers?" Oh, it makes me want to run back there and rescue them, now that I've gotten a good 5 glasses of water in me and have sat still for a while!

We did make it to the target spot, where we found a rack of used games and a frail, pale, underdeveloped boy to assist us. Yes, frail. It's just the best word. You could tell by his head that his body should have already grown much bigger than it had. He needs to stop gaming, poor boy! (He was probably much older than he looked, too, for he was barely the size of a 10-year-old.) I didn't have the words to help him, though, and so we continued on, having realized we were poorly equipped to choose the right game from that mess.

Lest you think it was an entirely unsuccessful trip, let me tell you what good has come out of it. A determination (mostly on Lizzie's behalf) to never go into another mall again. And on my part, a determination to always leave hat, gloves, scarf and coat in the car if I do! I can deal with heat, and I can exercise authority over demons. But heat and demons together makes me want to just sit down and cry. Is this Christmas?


Abby said...

lol. i found your blog to be funny.
Mrs. Peterson, i read your book and on your website you told VOM that you dug up her diary before you actually wrote the novel.

i was wondering where did you find it? i have been searching everywhere for it and i would really, really appreciate it if i you told me.

i hope you have a great new years!


Rob said...

Hey now, don't be speaking out against diamond-encrusted crosses. As it turns out, the one you saw was an exact replica of one that Jesus wore. :)

Amy Rachel Peterson said...

Hi Abby,
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on your question. Perpetua's diary can be found online in a number of places. It is actually on my website

PBS has a condensed version here:

I hope this helps! Thanks for contacting me, and I trust you enjoyed reading the novel.

Anonymous said...

:) yes i did love it. :)
thanks for writing it. lol