With all the holiday rushing around and getting ready for the big “Christmas Performance” at school tomorrow, I’m really at a loss to post about any particular topic in depth. So, instead of trying to write something really brilliant, I’m going to tell you another of my strange mall stories, from one of my escapades there, this time with the preggers girl, Jessica:
Very recently, the last portion of the structure that had been closed had a “grand re-opening”. I received emails and promotions. I was told by the employees of my local coffee shop how they would be open very early because of the re-opening. The Disney Store made a big deal of saying how the first 500 or so guests would receive a free gift card.
I decided I would try to get the gift card for my son since the opening was practically across the street from our office. The grand reopening was at 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning, so I took Jessica with me. We planned for a couple of weeks and, after I dropped the little guy off for school, we headed over to the coffee shop.
We were there at about 9:00. We went to the coffee shop, got a drink and started walking toward the middle of the mall. I remembered that one of the emails said that if you got there early enough, you’d get a little free shopping bag. Inside some of those bags would be a gift card for $50. We saw lots of people walking around with the free bags so we asked one of those people where the bags were being given out. She gladly told us which entrance they were coming from. We walked toward that entrance. We walked just outside of the entrance and saw the line for the bags was around the block.
Nah, not worth such a long wait. So, we turned around and walked back in. And in walking back in – we committed our crime.
We opened one of the multiple door entrances. We started walking back from whence we came. Someone was yelling. At us! What?!
We turned around. There were two male security guards who asked us what we thought we were doing. We told them. We saw the bag line was too long so we decided not to wait and came back in. They told us we’d have to go get in line to come back inside or leave the mall. Again, what?!
They told us that the mall was open only to people who received bags and invited guests. I argued that we came in through Nordstrom’s Coffee Shop and we’d been walking around for 10 minutes before we tried to get outside to get a bag, so how could that be?
One guard kind of hesitated. He said that Nordstrom’s door should not be opened and that, if we wanted to stay in the mall, we’d have to go back to Nordstrom. Now, how much sense does that make? We were not the only ones headed down to “grand central” from Nordstrom’s entrance. Jessica and I basically “poo-poo’ed” these security guards and walked away into the crowd.
They kind of yelled “Hey!” at us, but their “logic” was so flawed, we were not going to back down or leave. As we walked away, we were discussing how they’d have to arrest us if they wanted to get us out and how ridiculous it was. There were over 1000 people there, including firefighters, the Mayor, mall officials and other high level corporate big-wigs walking around in their suits with their clipboards, trying to look important.
We seriously doubted they’d come after us.
We were wrong.
One of the security guards – the one that had hesitated – came after us. It took him awhile but he found us in the crowd in the middle of the mall by the stage. We were standing there waiting for the festivities, balloons surrounding the area of the grand re-opening, d.j.’s set up upstairs to blast music, a stage nearby and 100s of people all around us. Jessica was clearly and visibly pregnant.
He told us to leave.
I told him – again – how ridiculous his position was and that he was wasting his time. He really should go do something more important. We were regulars at the mall. He really didn’t want to do this and that Jessica was pregnant. I told him that to get us to leave he would have to arrest us. He stood there. He looked at us.
He foolishly blinked.
I told him to walk away. He did…
Small victories are sometimes a lot of fun. Especially when you beat out an arrest with your pregnant friend.
We never got the gift card from Disney Store. There was another line wrapped around the outside of that store to get in. But we did keep our freedom that day. Hmmm.
[Post-script: Since that day, nearly every time Jessica and I go to the mall together (and there have a handful) we see that same security guard. She and I laugh. He now thinks of us as his friends. I guess we are. Here’s to you, Emmanuel! Acquaintances can start in the weirdest ways...]