I didn’t think I’d find myself back at the mall.  But this time I had a purpose.  This time I had a destination.  And with this new sense of purpose, I felt ready to give walking another try.  Mallwalking.  Yes, it’s time again to put the rubber wheels to the terrazzo floor and start the odometer.  I wanted to do some mallwalking, but I needed to be covert.  I needed to be undercover.

It was time for Ellie’s morning nap.  She’d had a fresh diaper, and was just fed.  This was a perfect time to go.  Within 30 seconds of her being in the car she passed out.  Even when I got her in the stroller she remained asleep and didn’t even flinch.  But as I approached the entrance to the mall, the outdoor mall music was bumping and her eyes opened.  Uh oh…  I entered quickly and got away from the speakers, but her eyes remained open.  I was going to go to my destinations first, but I needed to get her back to sleep.  So I started walking.  We were walking quickly and sticking to the main aisles.  I tried to make it look like we were browsing to avoid suspicion.  I was also trying not to loop around anywhere because that’s what mall walkers do.  They make big u-turns and loop around at dead ends.  But the smell of the Cinnabun store had attracted me like a mosquito to light.  I headed in that direction.  I was strong enough not to get one because it was Monday and I had just made my Sunday night resolutions.  And I just had a $1 sandwich from McDonalds 15 minutes ago.  Ok Ok.  I had two $1 dollar sandwiches from McDonalds.  But who’s counting.  So we passed the Cinnabun drooling and I realized we were hitting a dead end.  We needed to loop around!  Just when I thought we could do this move undetected, a mall walker, a true mall walker, smiled and gave me a hello like we were mallwalking buddies.  I knew he was a true mall walker because he had on knee high socks, cut-off jeans shorts, and a tank-top, stuck to his body with sweat… and head phones.  AHHH!  We are NOT buddies!  I am NOT a mallwalker!  I’m an undercover mallwalker!  My cover was blown!  I had to think fast.  We darted into Payless Shoes to avoid the loop around.  Instead of looping around out in the main isle, I fake browsed in Payless to make it look like I was a customer.  “Do you have baby shoes?”  I walked by the section and pretended to look but wasn’t really absorbing anything I was looking at.  Woah, that was close.  I determined it was safe to return to the main isles of the mall.  We rejoined the masses of the mall without a hiccup and continued our undercover mission.

I went to my stores and then started heading towards the exit because Ellie was getting fussy.  When I exited the mall I saw a group of three or four women.  They all had strollers and their kids and they were laughing together.  You could tell they were good friends and were going to spend some serious time mallwalking.  I was glad to be leaving the mall, but as I walked to my truck alone, I couldn’t help but feel left out.

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