Last night I went to the doctor to rule out strep throat. That has nothing to do with this story, except that on the way home I made a detour past the mall. My car has a way of making superfluous detours; that’s its only redeeming quality at this point. Well, that, and that it still runs at 115,000 miles and counting.
At any rate, I was at the mall, on a mission to get the girls a few more pairs of summer shorts and get home before my husband noticed that I was squandering his valuable working hours to shop unfettered by children, when an overly friendly girl stepped out of the aisle and spoke directly to me:
“Hi! Ma’am! (I hate it when people call me Ma’am. Do me a favor and pretend I’m a Miss, especially if you’re asking for favors. K’thanks.) Can I get your opinion real quick?”
Because of my tendency to trust everyone implicitly, I initially made eye contact and smiled as I processed the situation. At second glance, I noticed that she was working one of those kiosks where they straighten your hair or sell tacky hair extensions or some such nonsense. She was actually working on someone’s hair as she called out to me, all innocent and friendly-like.
Now, I may be gullible, but I’m a mall rat. I know all about these shysters and their annoying habit of accosting anyone who has the nerve to walk past their kiosk. I nodded firmly and tightened my smile as I gave my usual pat response, which this time was utterly factual:
“Sorry, I’m in a hurry tonight.”
I looked away and sped up my pace, attempting to look purposeful as I sipped my No-Whip Grande Nonfat Iced Mocha.
It’s a sad day in America when you can’t meander through the mall, minding your own business, without being approached by salespeople trying to peddle their crap. When I run the world, I’m going to outlaw solicitation in public places.