It wasn't bad at first. I went through the Borders entrance and they were having a bargain book sale- books for a dollar! Score! I controlled myself and only chose ten, although one wouldn't ring up right so I only ended up with nine. (You'd think they'd find a way to sell it you, but no.)
Then I went to Cheap Corporate Hair Place to get the witchy split ends trimmed from my hair. The black dye job really accentuated the inch of dry ends that I have neglected for months, so I had to do it. Even this part of the trip to Mall Land wasn't that terrible. The lady that cut my hair also had dye-black hair and tattoos and she did an OK job. (Remind me to tell the story of how I got a mullet one time when the only instructions I gave the stylist were "Give me anything but a mullet and I'll be fine.)
So, after a long day that included driving an hour to get Violet to her two year checkup, then the mall scenes described so far in this post, FINALLY on our way towards the golden egress that leads one out of the labyrinth that is The Mall... that is when it gets weird.
I was holding Violet on my hip, with a bag of nine books hanging off the same hand, a Hello Kitty diaper bag also dangling from the same hand as I was walking hurriedly towards the exit. Picture that. That is the moment when a kiosk vendor trying to hawk some sort of glorified nail buffer accosts me. I made the fatal error of actually slowing down slightly when she spoke to us as we passed. NEVER AGAIN!
This is very similar to inviting a vampire into your home. Once you acknowledge a kiosk vendor you are doomed. She physically grabbed me by the jhand, and went right into her sales pitch- in a fake French accent and everything! If I wasn't so tired and caught off guard I would have had real fun with her. But then, if I weren't so tired and caught off guard, she wouldn't have noticed me and would have followed the Jungle Law and looked for weaker prey to start with.
So anyway, Amelie here is buffing away on my nail- with the same dirty buffer she's probably used on other unsuspecting fools all day long. Gross. She actually said the words (in faux French accent, mind you): Now, promise me you won't scream when you see how wonderful your nail looks." Then she moved the buffer and revealed... my same grubby nail, only slightly shinier! Hahaha. I didn't promise not to laugh at your lame sales pitch, lady!
I can just imagine the training class for this crew:
- Okay, first you have to work on an exotic persona. Practice your accent every night, in the mirror.
- Physically latch onto the person so they don't run away.
- DO NOT pause during your pitch. Most people will politely wait for you to pause before they give an excuse, so don't give them a chance!
- And remember- SMILE!
So when Amelie finally paused to breathe I let her know that SORRY, I am not interested. She looked defeated as though I had wasted her time. Um, hey crazy lady- YOU are the one who grabbed me in the middle of the mall and wouldn't shut up for three minutes straight.
If I had been on my game I would have immediately went into fake French myself and asked her what part of France she is from, maybe spoke a little French to her so she'd start crying and screaming "The jig is up! I'm NOT really French, okay? I hate my job!"
Don't get me wrong. I feel for the poor lady. She's just doing her job. But really, one look at my nails and she should surmised that I wasn't her ideal customer. Yeah, Amelie- see these nicotine stains? That means I don't really give a damn what my nails look like. Sorry.
I do not like this aggressive marketing crap. If you read this blog you know that I had a real issue with being too polite. I mean- it took five visits before the Mormons got the hint, and that was only after Jeremy finally told them we were studying the Krishna Conciousness movement. (Hahaha, and with a straight face even!)
So, I vow not to be such a wimp when it comes to people selling things such as nail buffers and eternal salvation from now on. What to do though? Get more tattoos? Face tattoos? That will make them hesitate long enough for me to run anyway. Maybe I'll break out the eye patch again AND get a cool face tattoo.
And if that doesn't work... I'll just have to be a Mormon with shiny nails I guess.