Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Mall Story

My parents were great fans of the Sunday drive.

We lived in variety of suburbs over the years and they all looked pretty much the same to me. We lived outside of Washington D.C. on several different occasions but we never went into the city because it would be dangerous. Aimless driving in housing developments just never appealed to me. Since I couldn’t read in a moving car without getting sick, I saw the whole venture as a colossal waste of time.

But one week we had a destination. We went to watch a mall being built. My heart did not race at the thought. We went to the construction site and it was clear that many other people had had this same idea for Sunday entertainment.

It was hot, crowded and boring. Nothing happened. Well, that’s not true. I think I watched paint dry. I fidgeted. I made tiny whining noises. Nothing happened. My parents seemed to be enthralled.

Finally, I whispered to my mother, “I want to be a strip-teaser.”

Her eyes widened. “Shush,” she said.

I went over to my father. “I want to be a strip-teaser.”

His eyes widened. “Shush,” he said.

I really didn’t understand why I had to be quiet about my career choice.

The mall construction didn’t get any more exciting. Nothing was happening. It was Sunday after all.

“I want to be a strip teaser.” I said.

My parents shushed me again and I earned a glare from a few people in front of them.


Things happened quickly and my father swept me up in his arms and he and my mother beat a hasty retreat to the car.

“What’s wrong with wanting to be a strip teaser?” I asked.

“Not one word until we get you home, young lady!” said my father.

This was serious. My parents rarely hit me but I was steeling myself for a spanking. I still didn’t understand why my career choice was so unpopular.

When we got home, my father started.

“Just where did you get the idea that you wanted to be a strip teaser, miss? It’s disgusting.”

“No, it’s not. It would be fun.”

“You think taking off your clothes in front of people would be fun?”

“I don’t want to take off my clothes in front of people!” I yelled.

“Then what are you talking about?”

I went over to the couch and picked up the Sunday comics and pointed to “Dennis the Menace.” “I want to do this. I want to be a strip teaser.”

I thought my interpretation of strip teaser made perfect sense. I didn’t get spanked. I did get sent to bed without supper. Now as I look back, I think I was being punished for not appreciating the mall.

And you know what? I still despise them.

© 2015 Stephanie Patterson

1 comment:

  1. And we wonder how many times a child made comments that made good sense but were misinterpreted by the grownups! tjstraw