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January 13, 2022

a surprise, almost blown, recovered, and then shared, plus a final blooper

 OF COURSE THERE'S MORE TO THE SURPRISE STORY:  

On Christmas, Ann's son Prince  who is Curly's godfather wanted to zoom with her so he could watch her open her Christmas gift that he'd gotten her. Ann's son is a prince, great kid. Coach and I both felt he was an excellent choice as Curly's godfather. He was about 13 when we asked him. Now he's 26, I think. Oh, and we're still pleased that we selected him.  

Believe it or not, he got Curly a pair of basketball shoes. She'd JUST gotten new shoes the same day Coach took Reg, right before Christmas. At least Prince had asked me for her size, but I assumed he was getting her slippers or something fun and typical of the gifts he buys. Anyway, he's offered the receipt in case she wants to go with a different size, etc.

Was the universe sending out vibes that Coach and I are currently unable to afford shoes for our offspring? 

Ann was on the zoom. So was I, because Curly wanted me there. She felt goofy being in the limelight and having Prince stare at her as she opened a gift.

Ann:  So, Pat and Marie think we should just tell Mom about the Lake Lawn trip now, so she has something to look forward to. 

Me:  Oh, yeah. Sounds good. 

A few days after Christmas, Ann texted everyone to let us know:  'WE TOLD MOM AND DAD ABOUT LAKE LAWN ON CHRISTMAS AND THEY'RE VERY EXCITED.'

Wait, WTF? I get that Ann planned this gift, but when she said they were thinking of telling mom and dad, I assumed they'd do so with all of us . . . on a zoom, or on a patio, or something. Nope. My two sisters are the 'we' in this - they apparently spent Christmas together. Anyway, they took the liberty of sharing the gift that we all agreed to/paid for. 

We were eating dinner when I got Ann's text. 

Mini:  OH. THAT SUCKS. I WOULD'VE LIKE TO HAVE SEEN NANA'S FACE WHEN SHE FOUND OUT. 

Of course she would've, because she is one of the grandchildren. I wanted to scream. 

Of course, we all know what would've happened if I'd taken the liberty of telling them about the surprise, like intentionally - not accidentally in a Christmas poem. Ann would have been LIVID. I grappled with calling Ann out for this overstep, but Mini was like JUST FORGET ABOUT IT. Coach weighed in and was of the same mindset. 

It doesn't tick me off that she told Mom, but that if any of us had done that she'd have lost her shit. Get me?  

AND ONE MORE BLOOPER:

The Zara jeans were returned on my birthday, December 30th. I'll wait while you all store the date in your phone for next year. I intended to return them on the 23rd, because I envisioned this store being, well, I don't know - organized, or something. Like the GAP. On the 30th it looked as though it had been ransacked. 

I thought I'd be able to swap out the sizes and surprise the girls with the right sizes in time for Christmas. 

I don't know what state the store would've been in on the 23rd, because I didn't end up going. I came home from physical therapy with my husband (for some people that might mean the hubby comes along to be supportive, for me it means he's the guy that is making me do painful exercises and sticking me with a dry needle IN THE BUTT). I was gearing up to go to the mall. 

Anyway, I checked my email and that's when I learned about Joe passing away unexpectedly. I was a mess, understatement, so I bypassed the mall and made a few of the dishes that I could make for Christmas dinner in advance instead.

I'm a multi-tasker, so I was looking at email and blowing my nose and calling Delilah and crying and cooking. On email, I saw someone post something on the next-door platform about a shooting at the mall. 

This high end mall that is not far from my house had an active shooter. I told the girls to put on the news. What? I couldn't believe it. The place was on lockdown. They had people calling in who were trapped wherever they were shopping or eating, lying on the floor of a store or a restaurant, scared. 

I COULD'VE BEEN AT THE MALL IF I HADN'T BEEN A PUFFY-FACED EMOTIONAL MESS. Unreal.

Fortunately no one was killed. I believe a few people were injured. Still, terrifying. 

The next morning aka Christmas Eve, I looked online and still saw that Zara supposedly had inventory of one of the pairs that Curly wanted. I asked her if she'd go with me, return the non-fitting pairs, try new ones on. I had so much to do, but if I got enough food finished I figured I had time to scoot to the mall and back and still have time to get everything done before church. 

Curly agreed to go and we bolted. I had tried to call the store first but it was automated response that just gave me the store hours. I didn't speak to anyone at the location. 

You can guess, right?

I wanted to get there right when they opened. That wasn't until 11. We arrived a few minutes after 11 and there was a crowd outside the store. Other stores were open. The mall was hopping.

Me:  WELL, THEY'RE JUST RUNNING A LITTLE BEHIND. THEY'LL OPEN SOON - OH, LOOK. HERE COMES A WORKER TO OPEN THE DOORS.

Curly looked skeptical. 

Worker:  SORRY, WE AREN'T OPENING AT ALL TODAY, BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT. THERE WAS A SHOOTING.

This is why we'd tried to call. What if stores were still coping with the trauma, etc. And here we were. That was the ONLY reason we left the house. Bummer.

As we walked back to the car, a woman came out of, or to be more accurate was ESCORTED out of, a Williams and Sonoma store. Hello? What's this?

The 'scene' caught my attention initially because I heard voices that sounded loud and not at all in synch with mall voices. It's an outdoor mall:  music playing and people chatting with one another, even laughter - but this other noise. I thought someone was playing a radio, loudly. I looked around.

What the disgruntled shopping woman was saying to the WS employee, over AND OVER again was:  

IT ENDS WHEN YOU SAY IT ENDS. 

IT ENDS WHEN YOU SAY IT ENDS.  

Can we all take a moment to imagine what in the fresh hell could have set this woman off to require an escort out of the store on Christmas Eve? She'd expected more options in the china department? Perhaps the inventory on line was off and the store was out of the silverware set she'd intended to buy last minute? 

Anyone feel like Finn after shopping or
 cooking or baking or wrapping?
No modesty. I might start posting photos
of how this dog sleeps regularly. I mean, I've
 never owned a dog so I have no idea if this is normal.
Or maybe the store was hosting a political rally and this chick didn't jive with the majority's views? 

I so wanted to pop inside the store and do a little snooping, but Curly wouldn't hear of it. Off we went to get my million things done, now that the jeans exchange was clearly not gonna happen. 

Anything derail your last minute shopping? Anyone have a relative like Ann? Would you like one?
Anyone think I should tell her that it disappointed some people not to be part of the surprise telling (I'm over it and all, and I don't know if she can LEARN that what goes for her should go for everyone else)? Or should I make like Elsa and LET IT GO, LET IT GO? Any guesses on the disgruntled WS shopper?

***edited to add:  MY SISTER, MARIE AND I WERE PLANNING TO GO TO THE FUNERAL, LEAVING AS YOU READ THIS . . . THEN LAST NIGHT ANN DECIDED THAT SHE CAN GO BECAUSE SHE GOT OFF OF WORK. OVER SIX HOURS WITH BOTH SISTERS IN A CAR, TWO DAYS IN A ROW? PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. 

 

16 comments:

Nicole said...

Oh my goodness, a mall shooter, how terrifying. That made me gasp. I am so glad no one was killed, but how horrible! How do these things happen? So scary.

Colleen said...

I'm glad you are able to get to the funeral, I know you were worried about Covid cancelling it. Offer up the car rides for Joe's soul - as my mom says "never waste the suffering!" :)

ccr in MA said...

Oh, the car ride is worrying. I hope it doesn't make you too crazy. The funeral will be hard enough.

Busy Bee Suz said...

The mall shooting. SO freaking scary. I'm SO happy you were not there for that; what is this world coming to? Wait, It WILL END WHEN YOU SAY IT WILL END.
See? It's up to us. I think.
Maybe the crazy lady didn't like the date when a certain sale ended and she wanted the employees to know they could control WHEN THE SALE ENDS.

Ann. Good lord. I Can't wait to read alllll the chapters in your book about what a selfish knucklehead she is. I think Coach and Mini are right, let it go. BUT when you are actually having the trip in (May? June?) there has to be at least ONE instance where you mention (while Ann is in the room) how it would have been nice for everyone to be present when Mom heard the news. Just a little dig. I'm a fan of that. ;)

I will be praying for you during this trip. Just remember you are going for YOUR friend Joe. Maybe your sisters will just fall asleep the entire road trip. Wait, unless one of them is driving, that wouldn't be cool.

Beth Cotell said...

How is your life so exciting?? Mine is so dull and boring in comparison! I just prayed for you and will keep praying.

me said...

Offer up the car ride for Violet! That'll put it to good use. I hope the funeral is a blessing to Joe's friends and family.

as for the shoes - maybe they decided the theme for Christmas was polo shirts and basketball sneakers? That's how my brother shops - buys the same thing for everybody on the list.

Ernie said...

Nicole- Scary indeed. This mall is huge and draws big crowds but it is no where near a high crime area. Baffling.

Ernie said...

Colleen- My mom always told us when we were little and got hurt to "Offer it up." The concept wasn't really explained at the time. I get it now but whenever I hear 'Offer it up' it takes me back.

It's a good idea. I will make that my goal.

I also told the kids and Coach that I would keep my expectations really low and that would make it easier to enjoy.

Ernie said...

Ccr- Yes the drive is a lengthy one. Hoping for the best. I brought my book. I'm just glad I tested negative so I could go to the funeral.

Ernie said...

Suz- What in the world IS the world coming to? Just nuts. I am also really glad that I was not at the mall when this went down. I don't do well waiting time and being hungry and being stuck while in hiding would've made me grouchy. Not to mention scared.

Excellent job deciphering the "IT ENDS WHEN" quote. I cant imagine misbehaving like that. Doesn't she know these places have cameras and people are gonna replay that and watch it on a loop at their company parties?

Letting Ann's nonsense go seems best. It is Ann's world and we are all just living in it. In case you didn't know. I look forward to one day sharing my chapters with you. Of course the one chapter being published in February is gonna be available soon. Not that I'm counting down or anything.

I got a good laugh at my sister's sleeping but NOT while driving. I sleep on car trips a lot so if I'm not sleepy maybe fake sleep will be my answer.

Ernie said...

Beth- Thank you. I appreciate the prayers. I am honestly just grateful to be going to the funeral and getting to see his family and having closure. I packed lots of Kleenex.

Ernie said...

Me- Another great idea. Yes, I will offer it up for Violet too.

I laughed at the polo and sneakers theme. Maybe that was what was going on.

Kari Wagner Hoban said...

I remember that mall shooting. So glad no one was hurt.

Good luck with that drive. :)

Pat Birnie said...

Oh my that mall shooting. So scary. And unfathomable. Just why…????

Pack your patience and your sense of humour for the drive. I sure you will come back with new ‘sister’ stories for us

Ernie said...

Kari- It is scary. Awfully close to home.

Thank you.

Ernie said...

Pat- It just boggles the mind, doesn't it? What can one expect to accomplish?

I am in the car NOW and I made a choice to find them entertaining instead of irritating.