Public Notice

“Turn here!” Madelene says, as we’re swerving in and out of the aisles of the mall’s parking lot.
“Ugh! I hate that!” I said, frustrated over the fact that there was a short car deceiving me of a parking spot. Being that it was Columbus Day, sales were on the rise, and so were the crowds of people rushing in. I desperately needed new comfortable shoes for work and some new clothes for vacation next week. My feet hurt, my back hurt, and I was not in the mood to struggle my way through crowds today. I had a hangover from the night before, which left my stomach feeling queasy and my head a bit too fuzzy to concentrate.

“Oh look Mad, this woman is about to go to her car!” I said, in a stalker-like voice. I literally followed this poor woman and her two kids to her car. I am sure she knew we were desperate for a parking space, but the fact that I was driving real slowly behind her didn’t ease that awkwardness of, ‘get off my fricken back you moron’! I would have thought the same.

“Lovely.” I said, watching the woman take her sweet time getting out of the parking lot I had been stalking. I know this strategy. It’s called revenge. When someone is following me for a parking lot, I take my sweet time getting out. You stalk---you wait. It’s almost the same as when someone is crossing the street, and you are in a rush. The pedestrian sees that you are in a rush, but somehow decides to walk much slower than he/she would have, if you weren’t in such a hurry. Everybody on the street in an enemy. Road rage happens all the time. People are so tough in their moving vehicles, flipping you the bird and lip synching obscenities through a sound-proof window; until they come to a stop sign or a traffic light. Fear sets in, wondering if now is the best time to bail out and run for the hills.

“AH! Finally!” The lady I stalked has pulled out of the parking lot with her tiny Mini Cooper, so I can squeeze my giant SUV into the same spot. Feeling much like a sardine in a pool of cars, I try squeezing out of the door so I wouldn’t hit the other vehicle parked next to me. I usually curse people who park so close, but what can I do? There were no parking spaces available. I was my own enemy.

Having a touch of agoraphobia along with all my other mental disabilities, I try to manage walking through the massive crowd of people. We need some order here. The malls don’t have any rules or regulations on ‘which side you should be walking on’…I think it should be like a road, drive on the right side of the lane, and go with the flow. Don’t go against the grain. This is where you bump into that big broad who has ‘had it up to here’ with rude people.

“Watch where you’re going!!!” She shouts, as her shoulder crashes into mine. I claim this as a no fault. You need insurance to be walking around these crazy malls. Then you have the people with their strollers…who are walking in front of you…who have all day to mosey around window shopping. Get me? I seek out strategic ways to maneuver myself ahead of them…but it doesn’t work. I have Madelene walking aside of me. I have to somehow maneuver her with me too. She’s too busy 'moseying along' like this other woman and her ten kids. Ugh.
“I have to use the ladies room.”
“Okay, let’s go upstairs, they have a public one there.”
Madelene says.

Escalators. What a horrible invention. I usually walk myself up these moving stairs, but somehow, I feel bad, because everyone else is just standing there, letting this huge conveyer belt move them along. Again, it’s all about ‘going with the flow’. My hands never touch that rubber railing. How many people have been holding on to this thing? The germs! Time for the liquid hand sanitizer. I reach in, and rub this stuff frantically, hoping to kill every little specimen that I picked up on this escalator.

I hear angels calling. I see a light! It’s the restroom area! My bladder is dancing a happy song, as I rush to go inside the ladies room. Walking closer and closer to the restroom, I notice the foul smell of sewage wafting through the thick warm air. I also notice that Madelene has stopped walking with me. Apparently she didn’t have to go. Maybe, she just didn't want to inhale someone's lunch that went wrong...

“Here, I’ll hold your bags Deb, you go in, I don’t have to go.”
“Uhh, okay…thanks.”
I said, as I started to walk into the warm funky air that engulfed every part of me. I waited for a stall. The air was thick, warm, and smelled like baked ass. I couldn’t take it. I tried breathing through my mouth, then thought, “Ew, no, I don’t want to ingest this crap.” Literally... People were washing their hands and throwing the paper towels at the garbage---missing it, only due to rushing out of this stink hole. There was water everywhere; which to me, spells out B*A*C*T*E*R*I*A C*I*T*Y!!!!!!!!!!!!

A woman finally exits one of the stalls. Hmm, she’s really cute, dressed nicely, so the toilet must be ‘okay’ if she just walked out. I felt safe. I was wrong. The smell was more potent, and I started to dry heave. Oh my God, I’m going to throw up! I can’t believe this! Do I throw up in the toilet, or do I just projectile my vomit over the stall into the next bathroom? I try holding my breath longer. I’m going to reek of ass when I walk out of here. This is not good. I made the huge mistake of sitting on the toilet. What do these women do? Smear their nastiness all over the entire seat? I don’t get it. The entire seat left the back of my legs wet. It’s all about levitation when using one of these public bathrooms ladies.

Men---you have it so easy. Damn you!

Finally, I get the hell outa’ that stall, to go wash my hands.
“What?” I look at the counter full of paper towels and puddles of water, and then notice that the faucets had to be held down while washing your “one” hand. What is the purpose of this? You literally have to hold down the nozzle, to wash one hand. It’s impossible. How can one hand wash itself? Time for the liquid hand sanitizer that’s stashed in my purse. Always carry one around—I really mean that. I know I am OCD'ing it, but who knows what nasty bug is lurking in those misty bathrooms. Ew.

I flew out of there feeling so dirty. I was in no mood to continue shopping. That was it. I wanted to go home.
“You okay, Deb?”
“I feel sick. I want to go home now.”
I said, pouting like a little whiney kid.
“Okay, I’ll drive.” Madelene says, being so patient with me.

The cure of this whole awful situation? Online shopping. I will not go into a mall anytime soon, unless it’s on a Wednesday morning when everyone is at work. I’ve had it. No more. I’m going to click my way to a better wardrobe.