Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thoughts From The Mall

The Mall is a magical place full of retail wonder and people watching splendor. People in pajamas, people in suits, people with name it, The Mall has it. Being as I was recently employed by a large retailer at the local Mall, I have had some time to make some observations. Here is what I have come up with.
Stuff That Goes On In The Mall

1. There is an air of "It's all about me."
2. Food Court = No Rules.
3. Escalators are often mistaken for jungle gyms.
4. Nobody ever really knows what's going on.
5. Most people don't care...about anything.

Allow me to explain.

1. As I said, people show up wearing and doing all sorts of ridiculous things. Wearing pajamas, wearing bikini tops, screaming on cell phones, using the MP3 player function on their phone...on full blast. These are all things I run into at The Mall. Seriously? News Flash: There are a lot of other people at The Mall. Most of them do not care about your love of country music, Hello Kitty PJ's, or the fight you are having with your significant other. You are almost NEVER the only person there. Can we keep this in mind when we get in the car? Please? Please? Thanks.
This is a perfect time for my Say It Out Loud Rule. It goes like this: If you are about to do something that seems normal, say it out loud. "I am going to wear Hello Kitty PJ Pants and a 'wife beater' to The Mall." If it STILL sounds like a good idea, then do it. If it sounds like a bad idea, stop yourself immediately. The SIOLR is flawless. Always. You can use that. You're welcome.

2. I saw some kids throwing food today while a security guard was standing right there saying...NOTHING AT ALL! Wow. Also, the Sbarro guy was loudly shouting the fact that they had "hot pizza." Nuh-uh. At a pizza shop? Uncanny. Perhaps the people that were not in line for the heralded pizza didn't know it existed, despite the sign advertising for it...that was lit up. Helpful Hint: Dude, tomorrow, yell about the pasta. Nobody really thinks about pasta there. Someone might say "No shit? Pasta? Is there Ziti? I AM IN!"

3. Down means down. Up means up. When I say "Get off the escalator, where are your parents?" what I am really saying is, "If you were my kid I would snatch you off of that thing so fast you wouldn't know if you were trying to go up the down, or down the up." They were teenagers. Trying to RUN up the escalator explicitly labeled "Down." Grow up. And the first time I ask you to stop had better be the last, or you will be shopping somewhere else. Just saying.

4. "Where is mom?" "Who is that for?" "Why can't I have this?" "I JUST BOUGHT YOU PANTS WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM!?" I suggest simply having an easy game plan before you arrive. Write it out. Here is an example:
-We are here for X
-No, you may not have Y
-We are not eating
-If we separate, meet at Z
-You can/cannot have it because I said so and you don't wear/use the one I already bought you. Do you even know where it is?
This should eliminate any questions. Also, it may eliminate passengers who were interested in anything other than X, wanted Y, were hungry, do not know where Z is, or are tired of their parent's bullshit cliche answers to questions.

5. This is evident by the first four items on this list. If you cared, you wouldn't let the little shits throw fries. You would put on some jeans or something. You would not let your kids climb on the escalators. Also, nobody would argue with their kids, which usually results in a parent saying, "I don't care, you aren't doing/getting/going to it."

So next time you go to The Mall, keep these things in mind. Or better yet, don't go. Shop online.

Should you consider your other options and still see it fit to go to The Mall, I have two bits of wisdom: 1. Give a fuck. 2. BE CAREFUL! It's a jungle out there.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

When The Spirit Moves Us

We are nothing if not mercurial here at Stuff. We cannot simply be forced into the mold of The Common Herd. We cannot follow The Rigid Rules Of Everyday Society. We can only post when the mood strikes us. (Some of us more than others, but that is another matter. Ahem.) There are other things for which conditions must be perfect, for which the planets must perfectly align--aside from the obvious--and here is a sampling:

Stuff I Have To Be In The Mood For

1. a new book
2. a movie
3. the phone
4. hotdogs
5. drinking

I am in the mood to elaborate.

1. Even when I bitch and moan about having nothing to read and get a shipment of new books from my boyfriend, I often cannot start reading right away. I have to wait until I'm ready to read. It's beyond annoying. I hate myself for this proclivity, but there it is. Right now, I have two books sitting on my coffee table, and I haven't delved into either one of them. I'm just not sufficiently in the mood yet. Well, let me tell me something, dammit. I'd better get in the effing mood double-quick!

2. One of the reasons I broke up with Netflix is because a film sat under books and magazines in the living room for months, unwatched, costing me eleventy thousand dollars because I could not commit to watching it. Oh, sure, I could have just sent it back and gotten another one, but I would have simply NOT WATCHED THAT ONE, TOO. IT JUST DIDN'T MATTER. That film could have been oh, "Full-Frontal Male Nudity With British Male Narration Plus Bunnies!" and I would still have let it sit there. I just hate devoting a huge block of time to anything unless I am completely in the right frame of mind. I'm such a horrifying psychotic project; I know it.

3. My aversion to the telephone is epic and well-known. Ask my mother, the poor sainted woman who never hears from me unless she pretends to be on her deathbed. Whenever she sees my children or my siblings, her parting shot is always, "Tell Nance that she does still have a mother!" In order for me to telephone anyone, even her, I have to go into an empty room devoid of distraction, lie down, and force myself not to look at a clock. As you can imagine, I rarely initiate a telephone conversation, so being in the mood is noteworthy.

4. I eat hotdogs (actually, usually a hotdog) about twice a year. Charred on the grill, please. With authentic Cleveland Ballpark or Bertmann's mustard. And, regretfully, onions. (Regretfully because they will cause me to belch for hours afterward.) My husband is a fan of hotdogs and often mentions them as a summertime dinner suggestion, which usually causes me to make the "I'm going to throw up in my mouth face" because I'm almost never, ever in the mood for them. But once in a while he gets lucky.

5. Drinking, as everyone must know, is different than "having a drink." Jared--it must be mentioned here--is still learning this, as most twentysomething males are. He can sit out on the deck and undertake Drinking at the drop of a hat every night of the week. I, as a fifty-year-old person with a history of migraines, cannot. I do still enjoy some Judicious Drinking every now and again, but I have to be in the mood.

Good thing I'm at the end here because I'm sort of not feelin' it anymore. What do you have to be in the mood for?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid

They may be termed "silly" by some, even "unfounded." But that just doesn't matter. We all have them--Phobias. Fears of things that may or may not be grounded in a frightening experience, fears that may just be irrational though nonetheless real. Here's the

Stuff That Scares The Hell Out Of Me

1. Snakes
2. Hospitals
3. Deep Water
4. Really Tall Structures

Okay. Even talking about these gives me the willies, but I'll go for it.

1. There is no Childhood Encounter with these slithery things that I can point to as The Root Of My Fear. Nothing. I just cannot even look at these beings. My reaction is galvanic, like an electric shock of revulsion and immediate panic. If I see one on television, I have to look away instantly. I cannot even touch a picture of one. It's ridiculous, I know. Incredibly, I saw a huge mural of a group of rattlesnakes on the side of a U-Haul truck while riding on the highway. I gasped audibly and got tears in my eyes! I am insane.

2. Hospitals make me uneasy in the extreme, even as a visitor. Now, I am deathly afraid of hospital infection, almost to a Howard Hughesian degree. I personally know of someone who died from a hospital infection. I personally know of someone who, only from visiting his father who contracted a hospital infection (the dreaded MRSA), also ended up with it and it took six months before he finally got rid of it. Hospitals are hotbeds of awfulness in every sense of the word. I would personally help anyone bust out of a hospital. No one gets better there. Certainly you get no rest there.

3. Okay, this one might be due to the fact that I cannot swim, which might be due to the fact that I am afraid of deep water. It is the Classic Example of Ye Olde Vicious Cycle. The moment water gets up to my neck, I panic and cry. How much of a frikking Project am I? Therefore, I do not boat/canoe/watersport.

4. This one is odd. (La! How hard is that to believe?) I cannot stand next to, say, a telephone pole and look up at it. I get a terrible gripping fear and become horribly dizzy and disoriented-feeling. I can go up into tall structures and look down, no problem. I am a very comfortable air traveller. I used to spend all kinds of time climbing up trees and sitting in them, reading or listening to music or just thinking. But I have the "don't look up" phobia, big time.
So...what Stuff scares you? It's can tell us.


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