Subject: Flow with the go
Date: 15 Jul 1996 00:00:00 GMT
From: 1Ol01O@radix.net (MegaLiz)
Organization: MotPU: Where Binary Moodswings are ALWAYS on the Menu
Newsgroups: alt.foot.fat-free, alt.slack
Today our mission was shoes. Good shoes. (Banal alert! Please, don't
read any more of this if you have no stomach for stinky little feet).
For our first stop, we visit the post-apocalptic mall in our northern,
not-so-beautiful suburb. A town where, as my grandfather used to tell
it, all the kids who aren't in jail should be. We flit through Hecht's
mainly because Sparky loves the escalators and finally I ask a
not-so-knowledgeable looking salesperson about kids shoes. "We don't
have none," she says, and then adds, prompted by my expectant yet
exasperated expression, "The one way on the end has some kids' shoes."
Sparky says she doesn't want to walk there and neither do I.
Inspiration strikes me as we duck into the car and slam down the
locks. We can go to Nordstroms! I want GOOD shoes for her this time,
dammit. I hush her and meditate my route. This is always a crucial
step in any of my excursions, as my navigation is...well, usually I
carry LOTS of maps.
We make our way to the upscale, eastward suburban monstrosity of
merchandize. I hate malls, but this one is so nice that we are usually
tailed by people with things tucked discretely in their ears if we
don't dress up a bit. This is a place that promises a "shopping
experience." I get reckless and promise even more: a trip to Habitrail
Hell. Sparky is like Smud in my hands. We get efficient and courteous
service from a tired but game young shoe salesman and are toting TWO
perfect pairs of shoes out of there after only ten minutes of
effortless pointing and nodding. I love Nordstromites. These people
Then tragedy strikes. There are moments in parenting when you just
have to look into those brimming little eyes and say something like,
"Sorry, honey, Mama doesn't know shit from anything else." There is no
Habitrail Hell in this mall. No second best substitute like Lactose
Rodent. I FAILED.
Not to be discouraged by this, I decide to fail some more. We hunker
down in the van once more and with hesitation I sketch the mental map
to reach Sparky's heart's desire. The middling northwestern mall that
used to be the spiffiest thing around must be the place.
At this point I should mention that all this is not entirely my fault.
My habitat consists of seamingly endless suburban patches punctuated
by "downtowns" full of highrise buildings distinguishing themselves by
nothing much. Every area around here looks like every other area. You
only know when you've crossed into D.C. because the traffic signals
are suddenly on poles and you WILL run a red light 'cause you were
looking UP, suburban idiot. Additionally all the main roads are named
for states. I went for Georgia instead of Wisconsin, so kill me.
We reach the second oldest mall in the state, the oldest being the one
near my house, which we discounted before we left the driveway. "Is
this another Wrong Mall?" asks Sparky. Yes, I say it's a very wrong
mall. I make a collect call from a broken pay phone while Sparky
watches a dead goldfish in a little fountain. I think I've finally got
a route now, but have to deny her urge to bring the goldfish with us
before we can peel outta there.
Up to this point we survived only on cookies and hope, but within
minutes we are orbiting the RIGHT mall, and soon after we are riding
in the glass elevator and then we enter the gates of Hell. Hell is a
nice place, with a stiff price and concessions. No shoes are allowed
in Hell, and I am reminded of this when I go poking around looking for
Sparky while I am still wearing my sandals. They will provide socks at
the front desk of Hell, but there's so much I have to learn. Sparky
has a wonderful hour, sweating on strange children and slamming
herself into piles of germy plastic balls.
While looking for Sparky again, I hear a man calling out Spunky's
name. This is a first, so I ask him about his daughter. She's just
Spunky's age, exactly her age. We are all amazed at the coincidence
and the mother insists that we exchange phone numbers to mark the
occasion. They are journalists, and I am thrilled. They are very
friendly, so they must be new arrivals to town.
We are permitted to leave Hell, just as soon as some burger-chomping
teenager sees fit to retrieve the shoes, Sparky stops me to adjust her
socks for the sixth time, and just as I'm ready to complain about it
for the first time, two enormous security guards buzz the spot where
we were just going to be, dashing to some sort of emergency
shoplifting incident. They pass so close in front of us that it
ruffles my nose hair. I congratulate Sparky on saving us and make a
mental note not to hassle her about her sock problems, ever.
My advice of the day: Keep your promises, DO talk to strangers, and
fix your socks whenever the spirit moves you.
My sig is not under construction. It's deader than dead.
But MY NEWSGROUP alt.foot.fat-free LIVES!
Hear the pitter-patter! Thrill to the podiatry! While it lasts!