Today is Thursday, my day off. It’s my day for kid drop-off and pick-up, animal shelter volunteer duty, errand-running, AND my highly anticipated big gym workout.

But, I’m congested and coughing, and I am NOT going to be the person hacking their lungs out on the Stairmaster..

This is the third time in as many months that I’ve had some nasty respiratory infection. I’m feeling a little sorry for myself. And, I can’t remember the last time I did something nice for moi.

So, after I dropped the kids off at school and took care of the shelter kitties, I got in the car and aimed for the mall.

The mall. Usually, I hate the mall. It gets noisy, and crowded, and more often than not, I have one kid or the other with me, and we have to get shoes, which means forcing an unwilling child to stand on the foot measuring thingie while a stranger pushes and mashes on their toes and then they have to sit and be good while we put uncomfortable new shoes on their feet and then they run away screaming….

No, the mall is generally not my idea of a good time.

Except on a day like today, when I’m ALL ALONE and I have a whole TWO HOURS FREE and it’s raining out and I’m sick, so, what the heck.

Let’s go shoe shopping!

I got to Macy’s just as it opened, which was a first for me. I figured I’d have a salesperson all to myself. I wandered around browsing, excited, thinking So much fun! I never get to do this! I picked up a dress sandal, a casual sandal, a work flat, and a bootie. I just needed a salesperson to find me the right sizes…

But the only visible Macy’s shoe guy was tied up with two young ladies in Target uniforms, who were trying on sparkly heels. I waited. I wandered some more. I considered putting the shoes back and doing other shopping. I wondered how long of a break the Target girls were allowed. Shouldn’t they be getting back to their own store?

Just then, a manager strode by. “Are you being helped?” he asked.

I had my arms full of single shoes. “Um, no?”

“Oh! Ok then,” and he gestured for me to follow him. “Come this way, and wait here. I’ll pop in the back to find someone who can help you.” He opened the door into that mysterious back room, and when it opened, I could hear what sounded like a cocktail party. Many people laughing and chatting and having a grand old time. Then, he barked orders and in a jiffy, three young shoe people were shooed out into the display area.

I got the help I needed, and yes, I walked out of there with four new pairs of shoes. That mission was accomplished.

But I also had to swing through Target for some groceries, kids’ clothes, and arts and crafts supplies. I happened to push my cart right by the women’s changing rooms, and I did a double-take when I saw:

A group of employees gathered around the same two Target girls who had been at Macy’s. One of them was modeling a prom-style gown, and sparkly shoes, too.

Well! I kept walking, but I was thinking: What is wrong with young people nowadays? Don’t they appreciate a job, don’t they know what work ethic is?

Then I remembered: I was young and silly once, too. I was a lifeguard at a fancy country club for a few summers. Oh, we were bad. We took the golf carts on after-hours joyrides. We snuck away for Dunkin’ Donuts, on the clock.  There was plenty of unprofessional behavior going on in that lifeguard shack (“What happens in the shack, stays in the shack…”). Next time you’re at the beach or the pool, and you wonder what those lifeguards are up to in their little shed, let me tell you from experience, it’s a whole lot of shenanigans.

So I laughed and shrugged and kept right on pushing my cart full of lunchbox snacks, children’s underwear and construction paper. Heck, I just bought four pairs of shoes at Macy’s, when I could have been catching up on clinical paperwork or housework.

Talk about shenanigans.

blackheels