I'm not saying I've exactly been a bear lately, but I've maybe been a tad bearISH at times. You might have picked up on that from my post last week. Well, nothing's changed. For instance, what's a somewhat not unattractive woman (leave me to my delusions, girls) to think when she walks past a kiosk in a mall and a young man tries to hand her a brochure about wrinkle cream? What would YOU have done? I looked straight ahead and kept walking--to the nearest Godiva shop. Mel was pleased when I saved some for him. He needed it, too.
It had been a long time since the two of us had gotten out for a nice dinner and some play. We discovered we have forgotten how to play, at least, in a mall. Business was slow and there were a lot of parking spaces. That should have been our first clue. Filled with crab legs and shrimp nachos from Red Lobster, Mel was in a chattering mood, and as we entered through Sears he started teasing me about buying a big screen television. There was my second clue. My silence was HIS second clue. It was going to be that kind of night.
We walked into the mall proper without being accosted by a salesperson--when we're together, we're scary. The two of us together can out-chatter a couple of chickadees. If I don't place my hands over both our mouths, no one else ever gets a word in. But I think Mel picked up on my somber mood, and suggested we divide and conquer the mall. He wanted to look at gadgets and I wanted to look for scented things like candles and soaps and do some walking. So he stopped at the closest sports store and I kissed him goodbye and headed toward the scents.
I avoided the cookie kiosk and managed to keep the girl at Annie's Pretzels from sticking a cinnamon pretzel in my mouth, but when I reached the first scent shop, I saw trouble. There were no customers, and there seemed to be three people working. I stopped at the very front edge of the store without stepping inside. I was not in the mood to brave three hungry salespeople. Apparently, however, they are now able to sell their wares outside the store. I saw some interesting items on a front shelf and focused on them. A sales lady, likely a district manager showing the teens how it was done, asked me if she could help me. I shook my head, avoiding eye contact. She crossed her arms and moved closer, asked if I was a member of something, I shook my head. She asked if I'd received their latest email. I shook my head and left. I didn't even go inside. I wanted to sniff and look, I didn't want to push off a pushy salesperson who couldn't read body language. Please don't be angry with me, lots of people have sales jobs. I'm not usually that rude, but last night I was.
Mel, in the meantime, had found something to pique his interest. Someone was setting up a toy helicopter in the center of the mall to fly and entice the men and children. Mel stood far to the edge of the area so the man wouldn't accost him for a sale. The man didn't. He crashed the helicopter three times before he broke it. A saleswoman from the women's apparel shop nearby stepped out and tried to draw Mel inside with her. He took off like a scared bunny.
After walking through several stores in the mall with body language that dared anyone to say a word to me, I finally found my scent shop, hesitated at the entrance, sniffed some candles, eased inside, skin tested some soaps, and was at the far back of the store before a salesgirl approached. She was sweet, didn't push, helped me sniff several new scents. "These are good," I told her, "but nothing beats Warm Vanilla Sugar." She grimaced. "Oh. That's my mother's favorite." I grimaced back and thought, "Honey, I could be your grandmother. Don't talk like that to me."
Mel and I left the city earlier than we expected to, both of us looking like deer in headlights. We still weren't ready to face the real world after a year of major stress. We're still suffering from PTSD. We came home, let the cats entertain us, and watched four episodes of NCIS and Bones reruns. For now, the real world can stay outside our house. We'll let dear, sweet Bonnie, our assistant, run interference for us while we hide and recover a little longer.
Have you ever had one of those days?