Have I mentioned my mother is visiting?
The other day we did the mother-daughter bonding thing by visiting our local mall.
I am not a mall person, much preferring local strip shopping (and there’s one for the Googlers ...) but whenever my mother visits us, she wants to shop (cos heaven knows, they don’t have proper shops in Queensland?), and so I must Brave the Mall. Blech.
(After a Mall Visit I must also de-brief in urgent, horrified whispers to Mr Soup in the privacy of our bedroom later that night.)
So. On this trip to Lowpoint I discovered to my amazement and slight horror that it has expanded by about, ooh, a third. Eighty new shops and a whole new wing have materialised out of nowhere, the new wing being mostly full of hideous, gargantuan warehouse-style shops selling bestseller books or ‘French provincial’ furniture. And calendars featuring fluffy white dogs. Or Audrey Hepburn. (Seriously, there were three different Audrey Hepburn calendars. Now I firmly believe that every girl needs a little Audrey in her life, but ... really. I mean, come on.)
I fled to the more familiar end of the mall, with my mother trailing three steps behind me. This is a new habit of hers, one which I find very tiresome as one is constantly having a conversation over one’s shoulder. I remember Mr Soup’s mother bless-her-little-cotton-socks liked to walk three paces behind us, and it was irritating then. Like having a personal retainer in tow. And now my own mother is doing it? Is this something that kicks in when mothers hit 70? If I slow down to let her catch up, she slows down too. If I stop, she stops. At least she doesn’t bow low when I stop and turn round.
Anyway the familiar end of the mall beckoned. I quickened my pace, ignoring the little panting noises emanating from my mother, and headed for the sanctuary of the ABC Shop and Australian Geographic. And managed to do 80 percent of my Christmas shopping in one fell swoop.
We emerged poorer but full of the Christmas joie de vivre.
I shut my eyes tight as we passed the hideous Build a Bear Workshop, opened them and my nostrils as we passed the divine Dusk, and against my better judgement, fell into Starbucks for refreshment. And oh lordy, don’t get me started, that is a whole other post.
Suffice to say that I was so rattled by the Starbucks experience that I had to buy a calendar featuring Audrey Hepburn and fluffy white dogs to restore my equilibrium.