Youâ€™re probably at the mall.
For I have seen the Gates of Hell. And they bear the sign, â€œValley Fair.â€
Whoever coined the phrase “If you’re going through hell, keep on going…” was obviously at the mall when inspiration hit.
Our mission: to acquire solid color t-shirts for tomorrowâ€™s preschool Open House recital and a baseball glove for Destroy (because Scout ate go-round one, bringing his ball glove count to three.)
To begin with, a trip to the mall with twins is rather akin to an adventure abroad. You may try and fit in with the locals milling about, but you still stick out like a sore thumb. People stare. But really, youâ€™re there to see several specific sites. And the jet-lag like exhaustion from pushing the double stroller with two kids who have no interest in remaining in said stroller makes you not care that the currency exchange rate is twice the dollar because you need twice the products.
â€œI want a cookie,â€ said Destroy.
We walked past the teeny-bopper stores. Dark enclosures advertising clothing with larger-than-life photoshopped naked people. Stores that peddle their wares by pumping knockout drugs masquerading as intense perfume and thumping loud bad base â€œmusic.â€
As the contaminated stuffy re-circulated air closed in around us, we walked past the hoity toity â€œhigh-endâ€ section, where fashion can best be described as in its impressionistic phase. (Seriously? Louis Vuitton matching neck pillows for your car headrest?)
We found the childrens section of Hades. Swarths of rugrats were screaming and spreading germs around the play area. Youâ€™d think Iâ€™d be more comfortable here â€“ fellow parents. But no.
Clueless people abound. Stroller obstacles block the path. Detours end in flat-tires for the people stopping short in front of you. And seriously cranky salespeople who irritated chastise you for trying to swipe your credit card too soon. â€œNo. Not yet. <sigh> You have to wait. <sigh> Ok. Nnooww you canâ€¦â€
Thinking happy thoughts of a Purell bath and sanitized bubble, we pressed forward.
Did you know solid color t-shirts for tots do not exist? (I am aware I could likely order online. I didnâ€™t. Concert is tomorrow.)
There was nary a solid tee to be found. Not even an undershirt in their size. Apparently the impressionistic fashion-designer-powers-that-be made a unanimous decision that all childrenâ€™s t-shirts be adorned with a character, design or cutesy saying.
Tiny Tot Tâ€™s. The worldâ€™s original meme.
Fine. Solid polos it is.
â€œI want a cookie,â€ said Search.
Sweaty, thirsty, hungry and cranky, we were more than ready to return home. But we were on the wrong floor. And elevators at the mall are a rare, hidden, and unadorned â€œluxury.â€
Ladies and gentlemen. Let me impart some advice.
Reasons to take the elevator:
- You are disabled.
- You are carrying something large and unwieldy.
- You are wheeling a stroller.
Reasons not to take the elevator:
- You are too tired to take the stairs.
- Your shoes are too tall to navigate levels (yes, I heard a women complaining about this).
- The dog you are walking on a leash is afraid of the escalator.
Which brings me to another point. Letâ€™s note the â€œstairsâ€ at the mall are escalators. They move for you.
After waiting in line for our turn, we made it to the parking garage. So close!
But we had one more level to go. The elevator in the parking garage was broken. Again. You know that scene in your head? Of me awkwardly lugging the stroller up a flight of stairs, dragging our bounty of (solid color) shirts and baseball gloves up the stairs while cajoling two little ones just discovering their ability to assert independence to go along with this plan?
I want a cookie.
â€œGet out before the devil even knows youâ€™re there.â€ (If you can find the exit, that is. They hide them.)
But donâ€™t forget to get the cookies first.