Friday Flashback- What Did You Ask Me?

(This is a post from my 'other' blog from five years ago. Yep, using the 'flashback' theme to cheat today. Someone starting me writing about dragons, and I'm sort of distracted. Happy Friday!)

Yesterday I had to go to the mall. Now, understand, I don't shop at the mall. I don't window shop there, walk there, nothing. The last time I went to the mall was to take my little boys to see Santa. We went in, saw the big guy and left. Every now and then, it's necessary for me to go there, when that happens, I want to get in and out as fast as possible. Yesterday was one of those days.

Jacob had come up with the money to get a cell phone. the one he wanted was at Radio Shack. Which is in the mall. Dang. So, we went. I had no idea which end the store was on, so I just parked, hoping I would get lucky and park near it. Nope, the leprechauns weren't smiling on me. I parked at the opposite end, which meant we had to walk.

Now, I'm not opposed to walking, what I am opposed to is those carts that they have parked all the way down the length of the mall. Do we not have enough stores that we have to put some in the middle, too? I wouldn't mind those carts, if it weren't for the selling tactics they employ. We had just entered the mall and were passing the first cart when I saw a bunch of women in white coats.

 Doctors? No. Saleswomen trying to look like doctors. They all had a bottle of lotion in their hands. One of them approached me as I tried to walk quickly past and asked if I'd like some lotion. "No, thank you." I said as politely as I could while I tried not to break into a panicked run. As we passed, she said something else. Honestly, it sounded like another language. I asked Jake, "Did she say something in Spanish?" No, he told me, she asked if she could ask me a question. "I don't have time for questions." I told him.

Once we got his phone and were on our way back, I wanted to run again. "Don't make eye contact, don't talk, just keep going."  When we got close to the 'doctor-women' I thought, surely, she won't try again. Oh, how wrong I was!!

"Can I ask you a question?" she asked. I like to think that I'm not a rude person, so, I did it- I made eye contact. She reached out for my hand and said, "ljkfioeuriejfndfl" , seriously, I couldn't understand her.  I finally figured out that she wanted to know if my nails were natural. Ok, for a minute my vanity took over and I thought she was complementing me. "Yes." I told her.

Then, the petite thing turned into a shark. She grabbed my hand and pulled me over to the cart. Oh, I was hooked now. She started talking very fast about how wonderful my nail was going to look and please don't scream when you see it. Before I knew it, she had removed the nail polish from my finger and was buffing and shining it. All the while, she was talking. She looked at Jacob, "Come here, handsome."
All right, chick, he's 14, don't talk to him like that. He was too into his phone to pay her any attention, 'Save me Jacob!'

She continued her sales drivel, no doubt taught to her in a training session, trying to keep me there. How could I leave? She still had a hold of my hand and wouldn't let go. Then, she asked me, "So, are you married, or happy?"

Wait, what?

She said it so quickly and with a little laugh, I know it was supposed to be a joke. I said, "Both." Just after that, she went into her sales pitch, which was when I took my leave. ("Sorry, hon, I have a hard time spending more than $3 on a bottle of nail polish. You want me to spend $50 on a buffer and some lotion? Not gonna' happen.")

I've been thinking about her question a lot. How sad that anyone would even joke about it. I know that a lot of the world sees it that way. Married or happy, one or the other, can't have both. I have to disagree.

Marriage is hard, of course. Anything worthwhile in this life is. It takes work. It takes patience and forgiveness and being able to put the needs of another person before your own. At the end of this life, that's who you're going to have at your side. The careers, houses, vacations, cars, they'll all be gone, and if that's what makes you happy, then your happiness will be gone, too. I think we need to figure out how to be happy in our marriage in this life, because who wants to spend eternity with someone if you're not happy?

 Marriage is our way of learning gospel principles, like charity (overlooking those annoying traits), faith (we can get through the teen-age years) and hope (someday, maybe I'll be the person he deserves). To me, it's not a question.


  1. Totally agree (of course!). Oh, and I hate malls, too. However, the last time we were in SLC we went to that new mall (I forget what it's called) but it's kind of an outdoor thing and it's gigantic and I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. That would be City Creek. Yeah, it's a nice place to visit, but I don't actually shop there.

  2. Love this for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that I cannot cut off a sales pitch once it's started and as a result, avoid malls for many of the same reasons as you.

    Also, big soapbox topic for me: marriage. I am a complete grump when it comes to that whole light-hearted trashing of marriage thing. COMPLETE GRUMP. Yes. Marriage=happy in my book. I know a lot of marriages are not happy and that makes me very sad. But it's hard to get a leg up sometimes when a big cultural trait is to jokingly assume that marriage somehow means unhappiness. Either way, it's not a laughing matter. BIG GRUMP.

  3. The heavy-handed sales pitch thing is an enormous turn-off. I'm still boycotting Olan Mills over the tactics of one of their salespeople at the local Kmart. She HUNTED me down.

    And marriage...creating a happy marriage is hard work, but it's not impossible. Expectations are such a weird thing--between the too high (romantic movies, songs, etc that lead you to believe it's all going to be a magical, happily ever after fairy tale) and the too low ("jokes" that lead you to believe it's going to be a torturous walk on broken glass and hot coals), it's a wonder anyone manages to stay together at all.


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