I went to the mall on a Saturday night. If I were 15 this would be a wicked awesome story. I am not. In fact, I am climbing the mid-life crisis mountain. I am weeks away from reaching the peak and the air is getting thin. My children debated my age today. “No way! Mom isn’t that old,” argued my 5-year-old. My second grader replied, “Well, she is almost that old.” Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
I was reminded of my fading youth while strolling through the mall. It was swarming with loud teenagers wearing too much cologne. The Botox on my forehead is fading and my fingertips are stained from boxed hair dye. By the third week in the month I look like a Christmas tree in the 1980’s.
I used to pay a professional stylist to color my hair. Now, I spend that money at the orthodontist. It’s just another sacrifice a mother must make. I have brittle hair that is three different shades of brown so my children won’t be snaggle-toothed.
The kids at the mall weren’t on a schedule. They didn’t have a plan. I had a list. I was walking at a brisk pace dodging people like cars in the game Frogger. One wrong move and I would’ve been taken out by a clan of high school freshman, a stroller or Hoveround. There really needs to be a Hoveround driving exam. I’ve seen people in the supermarket haul ass on those suckers and there aren’t any rules to obey.
I found myself mumbling out loud about the crowd. A few years ago, after a series of fights, this mall implemented a curfew. Why are all these kids in here? Then, I got a glimpse of my scowl in a store mirror. Man, I need to lighten up, let my hair down. I was a kid once. Besides, I am not that old. I got a little spring in my step. Then, I saw this fella.