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Posts Tagged ‘Malls’

Back in the day, and by day I mean 30 years ago. I couldn’t tell you exactly what day, but it was a day. A rainy day. An excellent day for lounging around at home, or going to the mall. Which is exactly what we did. My Father, Mother and myself found ourselves at the mall in the middle of a rain storm. The type of rain the elders talk about from long ago. “Noah!” He said, “Build an arc”

Anyway.

Standing just outside the big mall doors but under the safety of the roofs overhang the three of us watched the driving rain as it swept across the parking lot in unrelenting waves. I am not sure why we were in such a rush to leave, but instigated by my mother it was agreed that at the count of three we would all make an insane mad dash for the car.

One…

Gathering my wits, plotting my course.

Two…

Scrunching up my neck between my shoulders creating a smaller target. Taking a breath Getting into the runners stance.

THREE!….

Suddenly there is a hand grabbing my arm, knocking me out of my ‘zone’. I turned, looked at my mother who was holding my arm and laughing hysterically. My father? already gone, lost in the winds and rain, no doubt soaked to the bone before he got 5 steps away from the mall doors. Probably unaware that he was making the dash alone.

I look at my mother in disbelief. Her response? In between fits of laughter “Why should we all get wet?”

For a very long time I wondered why my father didn’t drive home that day leaving us at the mall. It would have been well within his rights to do so, but just a few moments later the car appeared, my father behind the wheel grinning from ear to ear looking like a drowned rat as he maneuvered the car to get as close to us as possible so we wouldn’t have to get too wet.

I am 52 years old now, I’m as old as my dad was back then. And while I am not a father I absolutely know why my father came back and picked us up after we (my mom) played him that way, He did it because that is what Dads do.

And I know why he was grinning from ear to ear sharing the laugh as the rain dripped off his hair and face, laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes as he wiped his glasses free of rain drops appreciating my mothers scheme as if he came up with it himself.

He did that because that is the type of man he is. The type of man I hope to have become.

Love you dad. Happy Father’s Day.

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Do you remember walkie-talkies? This was light years before cell phones. This was back to a time when phones were not only attached to the wall, but most had rotary dials. Walkie-Talkies were a little larger than a small transistor radio, You would press the button on the side and talk into it communicating with your friend who had the other one. When you finished your message you would say ‘over’ so your friend would know it was his turn to talk. More often than not there would be no reply because all you ever heard was static. Sometimes there would be little pauses and patterns in the static. I like to think that the static was actually noise from space, quite possibly the sounds that existed when our world was created Or perhaps noise from aliens!  You never know, it could be.  In the end we always resorted to yelling into them which worked because we were usually standing not more than 10 feet away from each other.

Many, years later just before cell phones became common place another little walkie-talkie type device hit the market. These were a form of short wave radio’s that actually did work. Like a walkie-talkie they came in pairs and were set to a particular and unique frequency. With an average set you could easily be on one side of a modern day shopping mall and talk to your partner who could be anywhere in the mall or even in the parking lot. While this was easily a billion dollar industry, it was short lived because cell phones hit in a big way about two years later.

So why, you are asking yourselves, am I even talking about this? Well because I am about to pick on my parents again.

About eight Octobers ago my parents came for one of their regular visits. My mother told us she wanted to buy us these ‘walkie-talkies’ We told her thanks but we really didn’t see a use for them. “Neither did we.” She said, “Now we don’t know how we manage without them!” We compromised, we would wait and see how invaluable they were between my parents and then we could better decide if we thought they would be useful for us.

The first test was upon the walkie-talkies as we were heading to the mall. For my parents going to the mall is a leisure activity. They walk in the front door synchronize their watches and make a plan. The conversation between my mother and father goes like this:

Mother: Okay, it is 1:30 where do you want to meet?
Father: I don’t know.
Mother: How about we meet back here?
Father: Okay what time?
Mother: It is 1:30 now, how much time do you need?
Father: Doesn’t matter to me, I’m good whenever, we just need to meet back here so we can make a plan for supper.
Mother: Okay it is 1:30 say we meet at…when?
Father: Well, hmm, what time did you say it was 1:30?
Mother: One thirty, oh wait did my watch stop? No its one thirty.
Father: Well, what did you want to do for supper?
Mother: I don’t know we can discuss that later, when did you want to meet back here?
Father: Whenever you want, I just have to hit a few stores and then I’m good.
Mother: Okay its 1:45 now, how about we meet at 3:30
Father: 3:30? That doesn’t leave much time does it?
Mother: Well we can meet at 3:30 and if we need more time we can always pick a new time.
Father: but then we have to come back here and then go through this again.
Mother: Okay how about 4?
Father: Hmm.
Mother: You said it doesn’t matter to you!
Father: Okay 4 pm. Did you want to meet at the food court?
Mother: No, here.
Father: Okay back here at 4pm. What time is it now?
Mother: 2:10.

And off they go, and they may pass each other in the corridors but they are pretty much on their own, until dinner of course.

My beautiful wife and I hit the mall with a slightly different plan. We view the mall as an evil place filled with zombies. The mission is simple, in and out as fast as we can. We don’t separate we have each other’s back. If the mission is more than 20 minutes it is considered a failure.

Being the accommodating cheerful people my wife and I are, we agreed to the plan. We watched as my Mother and Father went their separate ways and faded into the throng of Zombies. My wife and I headed for the nearest bench. After a time we spotted my father.

Me: Have you seen mom?
Dad: No.
Me: Why not call her on the walkie-talkie?
Dad: I left it in the car.

So far, test failed. A few moments later my father is back with walkie-talkie in hand. He calls my mother. No answer, he waits a moment and calls again.

Me: Problem?
Dad: It’s probably at the bottom of her purse and she can’t hear it.

Second Test: FAIL!

Later my wife and I spot my mother.

Me: have you seen Dad?
Mom: No.
Me: Why not call him on the walkie-talkie.
Mom – rummaging around in her purse finally finds it and turns it on.
Me: It wasn’t even on?
Mom: No I can’t hear it in my purse so I save on the battery by turning it off!

FAIL!

Mom – calls my father, no answer and tries again…and again.
Me: Problem?
Mom: he is not answering, maybe his battery is out.
Me: No he tried calling you awhile ago but you had yours off, so it is not his battery.
Mom: Well he is not answering.

FAIL!

Finally the time arrives and we all meet up:

Me to Dad: So, after you tried calling mom, we found mom and tried calling you on the walkie-talkie that you guys can’t seem to live without, but you didn’t answer.
Dad: I turned it off.
Me: Why?
Dad: To save the battery because your mother can’t hear it if it is in her purse. So why should I have it on?
Me: I’m not sure why you even carry them.
Dad: Why? They are wonderful.
Me: Well thank you very much for wanting to buy us a set but really I think we will pass.

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The Mall

My wife’s cousin made the following statement on Facebook a few weeks ago:  “I am officially THAT guy who waits for his wife in the nail salon while his wife gets her eyebrows done.” I just had to laugh, is there anybody who has been married for any length of time who isn’t that guy?  

One day my wife, (not my current wife, my ex-wife) and I were perusing through the mall. She was shopping for who the heck knows what and as she headed into yet another store I found a bench.  The elderly gentleman who was already sitting there looked up from his paper as I sat down and we had the following conversation.

Mr X. “Welcome to the bench club”

Me: “Excuse me?”

X: “The MetroTown bench club, which store is she in?”

Me: (pointing) “I’m pretty sure that one over there.”

X: “my wife went in that one over there 2o minutes ago”

Me: “Twenty minutes?  I certainly hope she will show up soon.  My wife won’t take that long.”

X: (giving me an odd look) “If you say so, mine shouldn’t be much longer after all I’m holding her purse (he reached down and raised her purse a little so I could see it) and she will be needing it soon enough.”

Me: “So, you sit on the bench holding her purse reading the paper while your wife shops”

X: “Thats the truth of it son.  Mind you I started off just like you, sitting on the bench while she ran into the store…just for a minute eventually I learned to bring a paper to read. I’m not sure when I started holding the purse that just happens”

Me: (starting to look around for my wife and thinking, the last thing she said to me was, can you wait out here for me? I’ll only be a minute).

X: (grinning)  “Yes son, I was once like you thinking that it’s not going to happen to me.  Yet here I sit.”

A few minutes later my wife came out the store, and as I got up to leave Mr. X said to me, “Next time bring a paper, you will need it”

Well I’m not married to my ex anymore (which is why I refer to her as my ex). And my current wife likes to shop about as much as I do so I never find myself sitting on the bench waiting for her except for two weeks ago while she was having her hair done.

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