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When I came home to visit for the holiday season, I knew that at some point L’il Sis and I would go shopping. This happens when I’m at home because she does a much better job of it than The Mom does. The problem is that The Mom isn’t actually interested in shopping, she’s looking for entertainment and when I’ve been in a mall long enough, I get fed up with everything and nothing I see looks like any sense was involved in it and I feel compelled to point out the many, many flaws of everything in front of me. the Mom finds this all terribly amusing.

L’il Sis does not and she will not put up with it either. The Mom will let me pontificate as I follow her through the shoe section at the local department store, but L’il Sis will ignore me completely and begin issuing instructions from several paces in front of me.

“Try this on now,” she said, handing me a navy blue dress.

“I don’t know how I feel about this.”

“Trust me, it’s fine. I have been stalking this on your behalf for some months now.”

I had no idea what to say to such an admission. What would have happened had the dress not been stalked for several months?

At any rate, L’il Sis and I had a short and successful Boxing Day go at the mall. Bouyed by an artificially inflated sense of accomplishment, a couple of days later we went to the other mall in town and we brought The Mom with us.

Now, when you take The Mom to a mall you must understand that several things will happen. The Mom will insist on parking as close as possible to the entrance. Even if it involves circling the car park for twenty minutes. She does not see that this is futile. She will walk no further than necessary. And if you point out to her that she regularly walks for hours and that as such an extra hundred metres shouldn’t pose too much difficulty she will scoff and inform you that she does not walk at the mall.

Why or how the mall is different to just walking on the street is not clear to me. It is just a fact of life as far as The Mom is concerned.

Once in the mall, at least once but probably more than that, The Mom will use her whispering voice which is not in a whisper to disparage some other shopper who has affronted her delicate sensibilities by wearing something incredibly hideous or doing something incredibly awful. This list includes but is not limited to: people who are wearing leggings instead of pants, people eating Cinnabon, people who look tacky and or cheap, and people who do not obey The Mom’s rules of a car park which state that above all else, The Mom is in the right of way at all times and will remain so until she has left the premises.

It’s tricky doing a mall trip with the three of us as L’il Sis runs a fairly tight ship. The Mom is wont to wander off, and I lose interest quickly. When L’il Sis and I went on our own, she knew that with no one around to entertain me while she tried things on, it would not be a long trip. It’s a losing battle once I announce I’m going to sit in the Dad Chairs. But just at the end of our second shopping trip, we spied Li’l Sis going into a shop that I didn’t think we had in Canada. The Mom was unfamiliar with it so I explained its contents as best I could.

“So it’s sort of like where you used to go for stodgily cheap jeans when you were in NYC but now it’s bloody everywhere and the fabric is cheap and doesn’t feel nice and there is some seriously questionable design happening in there. Also, unless you are a well-endowed teenage girl, this store holds nothing of promise.”

The Mom didn’t need a whole song and dance to understand she wanted no part in this shop. But as we were loitering near the door for L’il Sis I saw the most garishly coloured orange dress with zebra finches on it. It was so completely bat-shit crazy that I had to have it. And I nearly did. Had their returns policy been more liberal I would have just bought it, but as I couldn’t get my money back in a currency of my choosing, I had to try it on. Good job I did as it didn’t fit nicely, but I swear, The Mom was ready to buy it just for the comedy value alone.

In fact, I do believe that this particular shopping trip proved that it is possible for something to be hilarious and fashionable. L’il Sis may well be stalking this dress.

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