Buttonhole: Noun: To detain in conversation by or as by holding on to the outer garments of
There are two types of people who shop at malls. Those who want to take their time and look at everything, and those who are on a mission. Today, I’m on a mission.
On the way to a wedding, we stopped for gas. I opened the back door to make sure my daughter was doing okay, but didn’t realize she had balanced her cup between her booster and the door. When it crashed to the ground, the lid popped off and drenched my dress in chocolate milk. Obviously, I can’t wear it now. Our house is forty-five minutes away, so I can’t go home first. The mall is the only option.
“In and out,” my husband says.
“Then you should both wait here,” I respond.
“I want to go in the mall!” my daughter whinges from the backseat.
Unbuckling, I speak to her a little more harshly than necessary. But gosh darn it! I’m irritated.
“We wouldn’t even need to make the stop if you had used your cupholder like you’re supposed to.”
Now standing outside in the doorway, I look back and see her bottom lip trembling. We really don’t have time for a meltdown.
“If you’re good with Daddy while I’m in, we will think of something special to do for you after the wedding. Okay?”
Barely catching her enthusiastic nod, I slam the door and begin running as fast as I can in high heels. Just before I get to the door, my heel catches on a crack and I hit the ground onto my knees hard.
Great. Now my dress is not only dirty, but ruined. The pretty chiffon now sports several tears where it smashed into the ground. Pulling myself up onto shaky legs, I brush my front with my hands and limp the rest of the way in.
The gal at the kiosk nearest to the door clearly saw me biff it and looks at me with concerned eyes. I have a rule about kiosks, since I don’t really like talking to people I don’t know or being manipulated in general.
Don’t make eye contact. If you don’t make eye contact, you can pretend you didn’t hear and just keep walking. No social faux pas committed.
Unfortunately, I’m so frazzled by one thing after another going wrong, I break the rule and meet her gaze. Hoping to salvage the shattering of Mall Rule Number One, I give her an embarrassed smile and try to walk past her. The store I’m going for is just beyond her booth.
No such luck. Of course.
“Oh my! I saw you take a tumble out there. Are you alright?” she asks with a terribly false British accent. I’m a Whovian. I know a fake accent when I hear it.
“Uh. Yeah. I’ll be fine. I just need to get a new dress.” I point at the store as I keep moving, but she nonchalantly steps in front of me.
“You should let me help you out. This skincare line has a great scar prevention cream.”
“I doubt I’ll scar. I’ve had worse falls before.”
Bending over, she examines my knees. Now people are starting to stare.
Thanks, Captain Obvious.
“Yes. I have a first aid kit in my car. I’ll take care of it after I buy my dress. I’m on my way to a wedding.”
“Besides that,” she seems to ignore what I’m saying, “Your knees look a little dry. Would you like to try our special lotion for dry skin?”
“No thanks. That will just smear the blood. Maybe I can come back in after I clean up.”
I have no intention of coming back in. She knows it. Pursing my lips, I walk around the kneeling woman to the store, pretending like I can’t hear her continue speaking to me. I don’t have time for her to buttonhole me here.
Once in the store, I beeline straight to the clearance rack. In a stroke of luck, which has evaded me up until now, I find a nice dress I’ll probably wear more than once for a decent price. With a sigh of relief, I pay for it. The lady behind the counter notices my knees and offers their first aid kit and restroom to clean up and change. I take her up on it.
Feeling refreshed, I wave at the nice sales associate and walk toward my exit. This time, I follow my rule.
“Oh! You got cleaned up. Come here so I can give you a free…”
I don’t hear the rest of what she’s saying because I’m out the door on the way to my car. Was that rude? Maybe. But I have a wedding to get to and a daughter to hopefully reward for good behavior.