Shortly before taking the doll and cousin Mary to the mall Saturday, I handed the doll a gift card to the one store I cannot bring myself to enter. “Is this mine?” She asked. “I don’t know; I think I got it for Christmas. But you know me, I wouldn’t get caught dead in that store,” I said as she put took the card from me. “Mom, it’s really not that bad…” She tried. “Perhaps for you, but not for me. In any case, I think there’s like $25 bucks on it. See if there’s something Mary might like to get too…” I replied.
When we arrived at the mall, I said to the girls, “Okay you have two options, wander around up here while I try on new bras, or go wander around the mall, together.” “Wait, you’re giving us permission to walk around the mall unattended?” Mary asked. “How old are you?” I asked, pointing at Mary. “Thirteen,” She replied quickly. “Doll?” Confused she said, “You know how old I am Mom,” “Say it please…” I said. “Fourteen, duh,” She replied in a “dumb” voice. “Right. Thirteen and fourteen year old girls, seems mature enough to walk around the mall to me–unless of course, you’d rather hang out with me trying on bras too…”
“So, you’re letting us do what?” Asked Mary, still incredulous I was giving them a green light to wander around the mall without me. “Okay, listen, will you two talk to any strange men?” “No!” they quickly replied. “Will you remain inside the mall at all times?” I asked. “Yes,” they replied. “Will you text me where you are every ten minutes?” “I don’t….wait, yes, yes we will…” They laughed in reply. “Well then, so long as we keep contact, there shouldn’t be a problem…” I said. Looking at each other, then back toward me, they agreed, “Okay…” before walking toward the mall entrance. “I hope I’m not making a big mistake…” I thought to myself as the girls disappeared from view.
A half an hour later I received a text from the girls informing me they were busily using the gift card I gave the doll earlier. “Meet me in the middle of the mall when you’re finished,” I replied and then waited. I didn’t have to wait too long, as I smelled them long before we met up. “Did you have to try on every fragrance inside that store?” I asked, plugging my nose upon their approach. “Not every one,” Mary began before the doll finished, “Just most of them. Mom they have sooo many delicious fragrances to try….””I know…” I said sarcastically; my nose still plugged. “Aunt Marsha why are you plugging your nose?” Mary asked. “Mom has issues with smells; they make her sneeze and can affect her asthma…” the doll informed. “Which has never stopped you from wearing perfume or buying smelly candles…” I added. Looking at her cousin she replied, “Note to moms everywhere, “Teenage girls need something to drive their mother’s insane…” I rolled my eyes and said, “Oh brother!” as we exited the mall together.