Saturday morning Susan's family did something they never did before, ever. They got up, brushed their teeth and went to the mall. Now, Susan's been to the mall with the daughter and she's pretty sure that the husband has been to the mall with the son, but they've never gone together in a pack.
They divided by gender as soon as they got there and went in different directions. Susan was happy to follow the middle school daughter around as she looked for clothes. She favors a wholesome sporty style so there's no arguing with her mother over fit or length and there's no boobs yet to hang out.
Susan spent the afternoon immersed in pre-teen girls, most shopping with their mothers, and saw that they all shared the same body language. First, everybody played with their hair. Many made eye contact but held their heads slightly downward and most moved as though they didn't want to disturb the space around them. One looked disapprovingly at another's choice in footwear, but Susan does that too.
Sidebar: Susan recalls eyeballing a fellow class mother in cleavage and heels during a trip to the ecology center at the local beach.
The son only needed wrestling gear and tee shirts with skulls, so he & the husband were done quickly. Most of their time was spent on comfortable seating in the middle of the mall. This didn't stop the son from texting
r u almost done? repeatedly making Susan move that much more slowly.
Susan was driven out of a stinky specialty bath and body shop by the intolerable stench of too many candles, plug in fragrances and lotions. She tasted the smell in her mouth.
Susan drank a seltzer while watching her family eat Food Court food then broke free long enough to fall in love with a pair of tall appliqued boots that didn't come in her size. She consoled herself by purchasing Patti Smith's book, and her beloved expensive decorating magazine then ran into a favorite girlfriend while standing on line.
On the way home there was a trip through Trader Joe's where Susan stocked up on a six month supply of Spicy Peach Salsa as well as bags and bags and bags of frozen dumplings.
The day ended with double sleepovers allowing Susan & the husband to escape to cousin Lisa's house for the game of unspeakable fun, Taboo where Susan discovered something that the husband can NOT do; give clues.