There are a lot of places on my favorites list. The mountains of Tennessee, when the fog drifts through the trees at dawn (yes, I’ve been up at dawn before). The mountains of Colorado, where the wildflowers blow gently in lakeside meadows, high above civilization. My own sofa, with a good book, a cuppa joe and my hubby. The craft room with my kiddos. The Snooty Pig with my friends. Hobby Lobby…
One place ranks so far down on my list that…wait, no, not even on the list. One place I tolerate and happen to have to visit occasionally is the behemoth Galleria mall. I don’t love it. I barely like it. The Galleria and I wouldn’t even be friends on Facebook.
I mention this because I was at the place today. The traffic was not even part of the headache for once. I guess enough people had Presidents Day (or Presidents’ Day, depending on how you roll grammatically) off and didn’t want to be at the mall.
One reason I dislike The Galleria is because the majority of the people there are snots. Also, they jack up the price on everything just…because. The reason I disliked it today was that it broke up my Downton Abbey screening. I watched last week’s two-hour episode this morning but I have to watch last night’s season finale tonight-before any more spoilers ruin it for me online.
So there we were, my middle and youngest children and myself. I gave the oldest child a buy because our main objective was the AG store and she does not dig dolls.
We made our getaway from American Girl with newly-pierced doll ears as the only damage. Well done us! They girls did not have enough money for the new “Doll-of-the-Year” Saige, that was for certain. I offered the suggestion that they pool their money and buy Saige. Then they could share her.
**This is the part where you snicker behind your hand at the idiocy of my suggestion**
They actually discussed this. Then quickly, the reality of “sharing” hit them and they declined.
“I’ll just save my money for Saige,” the middle child said in a very dejected manner.
“I’m going to get my doll’s ears pierced and THEN save for Saige,” said the youngest, triumphantly. She had more money.
We got out of there, as previously stated, and headed into the mall. The first store was The Pottery Barn where I inched them through with bated breath. “Pleeeeeease don’t break anything!” As we walked through the doors, it was like the “may I help you” riff in Wayne’s World. Magically, four women appeared from far corners of the store simultaneously.
“Have you been helped?” a nervous woman in beige asked.
“We are fine, thank you,” I said and smiled.
They didn’t look like they believed me. They looked like they thought we were ready to kick into high gear at any moment. Maybe they shouldn’t have constructed elaborate towers of apothecary jars and blown-glass terrariums within inches of the walkways.
By the way, we broke nothing.
We moved through the mall, stopping here and there, bypassing the coffee mecca-yes, I said we bypassed it! We walked around the center court and their eyes got huge.
“They have a skating rink?”
“Can we go ice skating?”
Onward we pushed, to the other end of the mall. We passed one store and the youngest read, “Steve Madden Shoes. Why are all his shoes here?”
The middle child said, “Mommy, you could totally rock those heels!” Ha ha ha ha ha! But flattering, all the same.
As we walked by one store, the middle child turned to look up and almost shrieked,
“Does that say LUSH?!?!”
It did, in fact, say LUSH.
“What is LUSH?” I asked in my ignorance.
“It is the most awesome store that sells all kinds of homemade and organic cosmetics and bath stuff and they have these shampoo bars that you rub between your hands and lather and then rub it into your hair and they don’t use bad chemicals or do bad things to the environment and they have the coolest stuff and I saw reviews online for all their stuff and I want to go in can we please go in please?”
“Ohhhhh, you mean that LUSH,” I said. “I guess.”
We went in. And were assaulted. Not by people, by scents. Lots of patchouli-esque and lavender-y scents. The walls were lined with shelves, bins and baskets full of handmade body products. It was like Bath & Body Works on hiatus at a commune.
The visuals were beautiful, I won’t lie. There were bright colors and natural elements. Fruit and herbs and grains were abundant. I felt like I was in a familiar place and everyone was smiling. They clearly weren’t looking at the prices-well, at least the other customers weren’t. That’s probably why the salesfolks were grinning though.
The middle child strode into the shop with authority, found a cute 21-ish saleslady and began grilling her on the differences between bath fizzies and bath balls. The lady looked at her with rapt attention because she’s nine.
“I have heard that the bath fizzies are really good and smell nice and make your skin soft but why are they different from these bath balls over here?”
“Well,” the lady said. “Those are for bubble bath and those fizzies are just a little bubbly. They have baking soda and lemon in them. Would you like to see a demonstration?”
Yes, they wanted to see a demonstration. Of a lot of things. Her fault for opening that door. I wanted to tell her, "Hello! These people have no money-they couldn't even buy an American Girl doll or lunch!"
30 minutes, seven bath fizzies and several free samples later we were back on our way.
We decided to leave through Saks Fifth Avenue because I must be masochistic or something. The middle child looked around in awe.
“I love this whole place! Can we come back here this summer?” I think she meant for vacation. Sigh…
I needed a few things from the Kiehl’s counter and grabbed them quickly. I walked up to a very high-tone lady at the perfume counter and asked if I needed to take them to another cosmetics counter to check out or if she could do it. I got the full once-over, Pretty Woman style.
“You want to buy those? Right now?”
Do you also want any fragrances?”
“Just a moment. CAROL!”
Carol came over and relieved this poor woman of her burden of having to wait on suburb people. You’d think we were strumming Deliverance music on a banjo. We were dressed simply, the girls holding AG dolls and I even had a Coach bag. Wow. I had to hold back from saying, “You just made a big mistake. Huge!”
So we thanked Carol, got in our domestic SUV and trucked on back to suburbia. I plan to recover in one of my favorite places-my sofa, with a decaf cuppa joe, my hubby and the season finale of Downton Abbey. Ahhh, perfection!