Darling Man took the day off to go kayaking and soak up some sun after spending the better part of the last week in the dark. No windows at work and cooped up in a TV production truck all weekend definitely lowered his levels of light-generated happiness.
Which means that I got to pick up the boy from school.
We went from there to pick up a Webelos handbook and a Pinewood Derby kit from the Scouting office. He joined up last week and his first meeting is tomorrow. He is so excited!
Since Darling Man wasn't going to be back for dinner, I decided that we would have a dinner date and asked ZBoy what he wanted for dinner.
"Mall food!" came the enthusiastic reply.
"MMMmmm... sounds appetizing," I said with a straight face.
"No, really, Mom! You can get anything you want there! Chinese, Japanese, pizza, subs... Anything!"
I finally relented and after homework was done, we got back in the car and headed for the mall.
We walked around the food court smelling the enticing aromas emanating from each storefront. The Japanese restaurant has long had an employee standing out front handing out toothpicks loaded with teriyaki chicken - one of ZBoy's favorite stops in the food court. We noticed that the Greek/Lebanese place two fronts down has also now stationed a person with a tray out front, only they had both shawarma chicken and gyro meat on their tray. ZBoy LOVES gyro platters, so that's where we wound up ordering. Meat, hummous, rice & lentils, half a pita - mounds of the stuff. Delicious and enough for at least two meals.
Darling Man called as we were wrapping up dinner and requested teriyaki chicken for dinner, so we closed up our dinners and headed for the Japanese storefront.. I was about to place his order when ZBoy asked if we couldn't come back later. He wanted to walk around the mall a bit.
The real reason for the enthusiastic election of "mall food" comes out. He wanted to go to the game store and get me to buy "Star Wars: the Force Unleashed", which had come out recently and he's been dying to get his hands on.
I told him we could walk, he could look - but we were not going to buy anything. Shoulders sagging, he agreed.
I made him walk all the way down to the end of the corridor, and halfway down, we were accosted by a young man weilding a tray of handcream.
Dressed in head to toe black with shiny patent leather pant boots, blousy sleeves, shirt open halfway down his front to expose a silver medallion, he put on his best Italian accent and offered to moisturize my hands. The stylish gelled hair and day-old beard stubble completed the picture of urbane young foreigner on the make.
I nearly laughed in his face. I am 46 years old and most of my years show. My hair is graying, my skin sags ever-so-slightly, I am about 60 pounds overweight - and my kid was standing right there, mouth agape.
But his offer took me back in time, back to high school and my very first party where people were drinking. Yeah, we were bad. We had an exchange student from France who was all-that (at least in his mind) who put the moves on every female at the party. He was dressed similarly to my handcream lothario, only his pants were skin tight and his accent was French rather than Italian. After going through the older high school girls and collecting kisses and boob-grabs like boy scout badges, he finally made it around to me. As he began his oily spiel edging closer and closer, my head began to swim. He leaned in for a kiss - and I leaned over and threw up on his lovely, shiny pant boots.
ZBoy and I moved on, turning around at the trampoline stationed in the middle and headed back to order Darling Man's dinner and go home. We passed the jewelry kiosk and the phone kiosk and Handcream Man came back into view. He looked up, breaking into a big, toothy smile.
"Ah! You come back for me!"
This time, I laughed.