Displaced Stay At Home Californian in rural N. Carolina

The Many Faces of Joy

The Many Faces of Joy

Sunday, April 1, 2012


My friend Candy rolled into town yesterday. Candy is hilarious! I met her through a mutual friend and she stuck - like strong tape or that plastic wrap you can't shake off into the trash no matter how hard you try. She makes me laugh and she is super irreverent. She is loud and she makes fun of people but she is kind and generous and bought me cream puffs from Beard Papa's so that makes me happy on any rainy Saturday.

We walked around this annoying mall that started out okay but ended up being packed with people who were pushy and badly dressed. I got run into at least 4 times and it was from people refusing to move when I was clearly headed toward them. So their idea of a compromise was to just smack me with their shopping bags or arm.

At one point we went to the Food Court to get something to eat. This particular mall had mostly Asian food court choices which works for us, I'm something part Asian and Candy is something part Asian so we went and had bad Japanese mall food. While we were eating there was this older gentleman perched on a chair at the table next to us waiting for what I assumed was his family. He was older, I'm guessing he was 56 to 59? (I find I'm getting better at pegging those years past 40 now that I'm in that demographic) Imagine my horror and Candy's horror when two girls around 18-20 sit down.

I'm gonna say that they were closer to 18 but I am making them 18 in my mind so I don't throw up while I'm writing this. We can hear bits and pieces of their conversation so it is clear they met online somewhere, there is mention of Facebook and Twitter and how he hasn't figured out how to search for old texts on his phone. At this point I am starting to not be able to eat my food and I'm staring openly. If you are going to try to date 18 year olds and meet them at the mall, learn how to text for God's sake! And then he pushes two little pink boxes towards the girls and tells them he hopes that they like that sort of thing. They are Sanrio/Hello Kitty boxes with candy of some kind in them. Now the cliche is complete - old guy, young girls, candy, I'm eating with Candy, they are Asian, we are having Asian food, can this get any nastier?

I thought about taking a picture of the girls, after all, when they went missing and their parents were looking for them, maybe I could be of help. Or I thought about asking him what the hell was wrong with 56-59 year old women, not into candy? And then I thought maybe he is part of an exchange program that meets 18 year old girls in the mall to help them learn about American culture through Saturday mall excursions. Except that wouldn't explain why one of them clearly looked like the "friend" you bring to a bad date and why both girls looked really uncomfortable and he looked like he was about to bite into a juicy strawberry. N.A.S.T.Y.

We hightailed it out of there and went to the movies. Whatever and wherever those girl's parents were, I hope they never find out what their girls do for fun on Saturday afternoons when it is raining and there is not a lot to do. And whatever those girls or that bald guy were doing at the mall, I was totally judging them and it creeped me out like C.R.A.Z.Y.

Candy came back from a trip to the bathroom during the movie and put my mind at ease by telling me she saw both girls heading into the theater, A.L.O.N.E. I can't help it now, because I'm a parent, but it made the movie much more enjoyable and I stopped thinking about it.

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