Sunday, December 16, 2007

Stranger In A Strange Land: Bubba Goes To The Mall

"No, I can't take you this time ... I'm going to the mall"

It's 40 miles to the nearest mall ... still too close for me. I go there about once a year, because there's always something on the Christmas list that requires a mall visit. Online shopping has reduced my trips there, but I never seem to get it all done online, so yesterday I bid my Flounder and Feather adieu and headed east to Gainesville ... the big city.

(I know, it's not a BIG city, but it's all relative)

Like any good Christmas elf, the first thing I did was check my list ... in fact here I am checking it twice.
Pretty happy to be going shopping as you can tell from my gleeful expression.

The ride over was nice as it is almost all woods and I had Emma along for company. I had to drop her off at big sister Kate's apartment for a "Black and White" party to celebrate Katy's birthday.
Apparently everyone wears black and white to black and white parties.

Also apparently this even includes dying your beautiful blond hair dark as Kate greeted me at the door with a head full of brunettieness.
Brunettieness is fine by the way if you are not a Dad who has gotten kind of used to seeing his daughter in some version of sandy blondiebrownieness.

I offered some helpful fashion advice immediately.

"Not your color Kate, you should change it."

I'm not sure she took my advice, but I left the two sisters to get reacquainted and prepare for the evening's festivities. I pointed the JEEP in the direction of the mall and headed off again.
I was dreading this because I had to go to two really girly shops and I always feel oafish in such places.

The mall was busy as expected. I wove my way through the other shoppers to my first stop, Bath & Body Works.
Talk about sensory overload and feeling like a redfish out of water ... arrrggghhh. Every square inch of this place is lined with bottles and tubes of the most unlikely flavored bath gels, creams, and goo that you could imagine.
But you already know all that.

Plus the place was packed, I mean packed ... with women. It was incredible. Are they buying for each other? Where are there boyfriends and husbands?
I hardly noticed of course being a happily married guy, but DANG ...

Anyway, I knew my quickest way out was to find a helpful employee and give her my list. This worked beautifully and in a few minutes I was back out in the mall carrying a very girly gift bag with little handles, decorative tissue, etc
Arrgghhh ... I would have to walk the length of the mall carrying this cutsie bag to get to my next stop.

I steeled myself and headed for Victoria's Secrets.

When I got there, I walked past it twice ... recon prior to a mission is very important.

"Lord do not let me run into any of my students in here," I muttered as I stepped into a wonderland of ... stuff. I only had to find a certain perfume, but anywhere you looked, it might appear you were leering as even the manikins were scantily clad.

Again that familiar "bull in a china shop" feeling descended on me and for a moment I froze, but then, suddenly there it was in front of me! The item I needed was a few feet away.
I snatched it up and headed for the counter where I was greeted by ... a student of mine who works there.
But she's an all grown up ex-student so it was okay. I was actually glad to see a familiar face at that point.

In a few moments, I was again out in the mall, this time with a larger gift bag with salmon colored gift tissue streaming out of it and Victoria Secrets printed all over it. The vast expanse of mall stretched out before me as I headed back to where I'd parked the JEEP.

Beam me up, Scotty.

Of course he couldn't, so I started trekking back through the crowds with my pretty bags.

In the end, I survived, left the mall, and even had a successful day shopping that stretched til 10:30 pm.

When I arrived home, the Books A Million coffee I drank while consolidating my shopping list had me wired, so I hit the internet to check the weather and found that Pure Florida HQ was in one of those red boxes with four severe weather warnings: Tornado Watch, Coastal Flood Watch, Severe Thunderstorms, and Elevated Wildfire Danger.


The weather did an amazing change from T-shirt and shorts weather yesterday to cold and breezy this morning. We finally got some rain after months of almost none.

Freeze warnings for tonight and tomorrow ... 28 is the forecast low for Monday night.

Just the kind of weather a Christmas elf like me needs.


Anonymous said...

Still, the most amazing thing about this post is the shirt you're wearing in the photo. It has sleeves!!


robin andrea said...

I wish someone had taken a photo of you with a scantily-clad mannequin. You should be standing under a sign that says "Mission Accomplished", and it would be true! We avoid the malls too. Scary out there.

BTW- Nice beard.

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh this had me laughing... thanks. I worry too about who I might run into in that store - most recently it was my BIL - I think I was more embarassed than he was.

Cathy S. said...

Laughing outloud. I too avoid that store. But, we have a Victoria's Secret box that makes the rounds each Christmas. Someone gets their gifts wrapped in it. Since I am surrounded by all males, the expressions are very funny. This year, eldest son will get some T-shirts in "THE BOX". Glad to know you made it through the severe weather okay.

Deb said...

Congrats on accomplishing your mission! I sort of had an opposite version of the same feeling the other day in a video game store, but I found what I was looking for right away.

SwampAngel65 said...

You do know, don't you, that you can find both of those shops online? hehehehe! Just tell the enjoyed the thrill and adrenaline rush of your mission!

I could hear the theme from "Mission:Impossible" playing in the background!

Sharon said...

MMMmmmm!! Bath & body...we were there last night, got our 5 for $25. You're a good man :)

Floridacracker said...

Well, it is the winter season you know.

Next time I'm taking my camera.
:)Thanks ... the beard is my winter coat.

Glad you got a chuckle and that you can relate.

I guess the same weather may have been flowing over you too. Hope all went well.
For us it's the Barbie gift bag that will now be exchanged between my son and my brother each year.

I have felt lost in a VG store too.Glad you were successful!

You see right through me.

Don't you find some of the flavors odd combinations?
They seem to mostly wind up smelling good so I guess it all works out.

Doug Taron said...

I made my Bath & Body Works run yesterday. Must be the weekend for that. Your description pretty much nails it. I've never had to run the Victoria's Secret gauntlet. May it ever be so.

threecollie said...

I had to laugh right out loud bringing my "snow day" offspring running to see what was up.
You poor, poor man!

lesle said...

Your post reminds me that I've got to finish that book report on "The Scarlet Letter".

Sharon said...

Yes, some of them make my head hurt :) I like the ones that make "Mandarin Mango" and others that smell fresh and not too flowery. Flowery makes me want to gag ;o) I hope you got yourself a cookie or a pretzel or a cinnabon or something - you deserve it for going through that for your womenfolk. I know it's definitely not as hard for us to shop at home depot as it is for you guys to shop at those places!

Anonymous said...

You're a brave man. Others would have given up and run to the nearest hardware store and bought the lady in question a chainsaw.

By the way, does that link in the sidebar mean you're writing a novel? Tell us more.

Floridacracker said...

Lucky you. May you avoid that one for as long as possible.

Glad to bring laughter to the frozen north!

Should I wear a V on my shirt for going to Victoria's Secret?

If I only knew what women were thinking, I might not feel so oafish in there.

I could use a new chain actually.
The book in question is some recon before I try such a thing.
I need a swift kick to get started.