Katie goes to the Mall, 2007.

I try so hard…at the mall, at the bank, on the phone. I smile. I say thank you. I am polite. I cannot imagine what it must be like to deal with people all day who actually say what I am thinking. So I try. Very hard.

I enter with direction and purpose. Old Navy (2 plain t-shirts for me). Simple. Done. I head on to Gap Body (foundations, thank you very much). Am enjoying ‘Summer’s Almost Here’ sales. So far, so good. And then…a brick wall.

I enter…let’s say “Edmond Brower.” You with me? I make a bee line for the men’s polos and khakis. The Boy is in desperate need of pants and I am making an executive decision to shop without him. This, after a quick phone call, goes over very well.

clerk #1: Just to let you know, the polos are buy 7 get one free and there’s a whole table of more colors in the back. They’re nice aren’t they? They just FLY off the shelves!

me with polite smile: Thank you.

quick browsing, locate size, begin to pull

clerk #2: Well! You’re just a professional! People always destroy those piles! Did you hear about the polos…

me: Yep…thank you.

pull, pull…head to fancy pants…pull…deep breath…head deeper into store

clerk #3: Hi! Just to let you know, the sale rack at the back is an additional 30% off today…so, that’s an additional 30% off of the discount price.

me: Thank. You.

divert to to belt rack

clerk #4: Belts are so fun, aren’t they?! [Seriously. I’m not making this up.]

me: slight glance with brief smile

check out line…total time in store: 15 minutes

clerk #4 who is apparently following me: You’ve got 2 pair of pants there. Just to let you know, you get $5 off a belt for yourself or your hubby!

my turn…Check. Me. Out. PUHleeze.

clerk #5: My, you have some gifts there, eh?

me: Nope. Just shopping for my husband…his work closet is a little bare. [See! I try- I really try.]

clerk #5: Will you be putting this on your EB card today?

me: No, thank you.

clerk #5: We have some great men’s flip-flops over there- would you like to throw in a pair?

me, trying to picture The Boy in flip-flops: No, thank you.

clerk #5: You qualify for $5 off a belt. Would you like to grab one real quick?

me, nearing explosion: No. That’s ALL. FOR. ME. TODAY. Thank you.

clerk #5: I can save you $21 today by opening an EB credit Card…

me: NO. Thank You.

clerk #5: Okay! Your total is 5 million dollars. I’ve put everything in this nice big logo bag with real cotton handles.

me: Thanks.

clerk #5: AND, there’s a customer survey on your receipt…

I couldn’t hear the rest. I was running out the door.

I struggle in mass-people situations. I feel SO awkward! I am much much more comfortable in groups numbering under 4- and even that’s hit or miss most of the time. I find myself easily frustrated, thinking horrible things, blowing up buildings, and physically merging with people who walk in the left ‘lane.’ I know I have a problem. This is half the battle, I’m told. It allows me to take deep breaths and really try to make it work. I try I try I try. But, truly…I am so much more of a better person in letters, on the computer, in crafts, and with children under the age of 5. I go to the mall maybe once a year. More would put other people at risk. People who are just trying to eat their pretzels and power walk their 70 mile mall-loops in white Natural Balance shoes.

This is me, your friend, people. Love me.

My child is crying it out across the hall.
My heart is breaking.
She hates me.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

17 responses to “Katie goes to the Mall, 2007.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    My child is also crying. She will not nap. She woke up at 3 am you think she would want to. hphmmmm

    For those people at the store. I know. But formally being one of them and one of thier bosses they are forced to say those things. They hate it too. They appreciate people like you who simply nod and smile. They have no idea every other sales person is doing the same thing.

  • Mandi

    “Crying it out” has got to be in the top 5 hardest things for a parent.

    Going to the mall has got to be one of the top 5 hardest things for any person–especially any person with children!

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    several point here:

    1. you, katie mulder, are one of the greatest people in the universe. you have no idea how excited that blankie has made my child. she’s also a little confused how foggy keeps changing forms. it has brought MUCH laughter!

    2. she’s crying because she loves you and wants to be entertained by you. you’re making her sleep for her own well-being. it’s a need, just like food and shelter. if you go pick her up it’s just like starving her to death. go put on some headphones.

    3. i’m allergic to malls. seriously, i think it’s the dye in the clothes combined with flourescent lighting, but i always leave grumpy with my eyes bloodshot.

    4. reward coming your way…

  • sunday

    i can’t believe that you found shanna’s froggie. that is amazing. katie i have to tell your story is why i do ALL my shopping on the internet. i do it, and it is great. the shipping is totally worth it me to have it delivered to my door and not have to deal with the people!

  • OurMrsMikrut

    May I just for a moment appreciate the symbolism in the picture you included of Curt and Rylie?

    …in a defunct mall?

    Surely there is some victory and holiness there.

    I don’t think I’m too off-base, am I?

  • the dicocco gang

    Laura… I am fifty minutes behind you with the exact same thought about the duet of malls.
    A bit of poetry there.

    Also, did I see you Miss Laura with super sexy short hair yesterday? It might not have been you… but it was cute whoever it was.

    And Kate, you and me girl. We will wear our old clothes and lay in the sunshine all day. Although when I bring my gang we will number more than 4, but they will go explore the creek and we won’t see them anyway. I’ll bring lemonade and cookies.

  • KatieKate

    bless you, friends, bless you

    bless internet shopping

    bless 40 acres and tall grass

    bless tshirts that have lasted since junior high

    and God bless old malls that are now churches with gray chairs- I never even thought of that

  • julie

    i also find myself sometimes wishing physical harm on mall people. but i keep going back. i just like to punish myself – or just get new clothes. you are not alone. that is why i will never go to art van ever again. julie

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    Love the Logo!

  • diane

    yes. love the logo. kinda jealous even.

    But hey…ya’ll made me realize ANOTHER benefit to Not Buying Clothes…i don’t have to deal with SALES CLERKS.

    and Lenger (Harkless…) you’re right. Art Van is too much.

  • KatieKate

    It’s FART VAN, people. FART VAN.

  • the bantam menace

    severely dislike the mall. emphatically. way too many people. this is also why I don’t like water parks. put all those people that were in the mall in one of those wave pools, and now you have a picture of what hell must MUST look like.

  • miss christine

    Although I can see your frustration, I would like to add that, being a retail employee, it’s a lot harder to exist for 8-hour shifts in the mall than it is to spend a half-hour shopping in one. Trust me on this one. No matter how much you may hate me asking you if you’d like a brand credit card because it will save you hundreds of dollars on your purchase, I hate it even more that I have to pester every single person I come across. I’m good at my job because I’m one of the annoying ones, and thus I make the company money. I just wanna make a paycheck so I can pay for college, darn it!

    Anyway…. online shopping is a blessing! ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck, Katiekate.

  • KatieKate

    Yes, yes…you are right, fair Christine. I don’t want the clerks to change- I know it’s their job. I just struggle is all- a lot. I struggle because I am a wee simple human being on a mission to be happy.

    And THE MALL does not make me happy. Nor do people who drive in the left lane.

    But you make me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

  • miss christine

    Aw, you make me happy too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Should you visit me at my store, I promise to yield my shopgirl ways and be your friend instead!

  • Chelsey Meek

    Rylie doesn’t hate you!…she’s just crying because she realized there won’t be many shopping trips.

  • Suzanne

    I can’t believe I am friends with so many people who also hate shopping, and Fart Van, never, they are right up there with Wal-Mart and my never ever going to shop there again mantras, amnd I’m really not going to.

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