Something Resembling Proof That I'm (sort of) A Bad Mom  

Posted by Heidi in

Growing up I (naively) assumed my life as a wife and mother would echo that of my own dear mother and older sisters. It would seem that God (or the devil—we’re not quite sure yet who to blame but blame we must) had different plans. Apparently, when the genes of a gal with my background and genetic make-up mix with those of a guy with my husband’s genetic make-up and background, well, things can get pretty interesting around here.

Case in point: my child who had the mental health crisis over the weekend (or: She Who Shall Remain Nameless)~

Monday, after posting my little sob story (thanks, by the way, for all of your loving comments! It really means a lot to me! You guys are the BEST!) I rushed SWSRN to her psychiatrist. Things were seriously low for her, clinically low and something had to be done, pronto! Seeing a doctor was super-uber important but the trip afterwards to the mall to buy clothes and Sbarro’s Italian fast food was what really did the trick. (Before we made any actual purchases, I warned her that as an adult she would be likely to develop a propensity to stuff her face with ziti while simultaneously donning band t-shirts whenever she feels blue. I also told her, by way of full disclosure, that if she were to find this to be the case, she would have no further claim on my monies or insurance in pursuit of professional “help”.) (We proceeded with caution.)

As we sauntered through the mall, sadly bereft of traffic on this late Monday afternoon (I swear most stores had more employees there-in than shoppers), so sadly bereft in fact, that we found our status increased from mere gnats-of-consumer-annoyance to full-fledged Mall Rat Royalty. I was asked “How are you?” (accompanied by gargantuan gratuitous smiles) so often I was tempted to have a t-shirt made up that read: “I’m fine! Thanks!!” and would have (which is to say, might have) if I could’ve figured out how to get the sarcasm across in print. Once we actually had a few shopping bags in tow, it got to the point where all we had to do was glance into a store from the (one would assume) safety of the mall to prompt an employee waaayyyyy down within the depths of a store to turn his/her head, flash us a smile and shout “How ARE you?” as if we were old friends, or at the very least, the direct opposite of old, smelly, garbage.

One intrepid salesperson employed at one of those kiosks in the center of the mall, had the gall (and plenty of opportunity to spy his lone quarry making its way up the mall) to actually step up and wedge his virtual shoe in our virtual doorway and say “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” Since he was tall, curly-dark and handsome and spoke with a delicious accent (Russian, I think) it would seem I was tempted to say “Mais, non!” (SWSRN claims I actually slowed, shuffled my feet and blushed before I said, “Yes! I mind!” and went on my merry way. Good thing I didn’t hear him say “Then might I ask your daughter a question?” or I might have had to hurt him. I mean, really! I look faaaaaarrrr too young to have a daughter who’s 14 but looks 17.

I know there is a moral to this story but darn (and tootin’) if I know what it is.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at Wednesday, May 20, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

35 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Maybe the moral is wear a shirt with some kind of evil saying splashed across it so no one would dare bother you!

May 20, 2009 at 4:32 PM

I HATE those kiosk guys. I always feel like such a jerk, but I just completely ignore them.

May 20, 2009 at 4:35 PM

This was supposed to prove your bad-mom-ness? Because all I see is a sad commentary on the state of our economy and a mother who is willing to drop everything to get her daughter what she needs (whether it be medical or retail therapy)

May 20, 2009 at 4:38 PM

The moral of the story is that going shopping actually contributes to mental health crises in the end.

I can't stand it when salespeople even look at me, much less talk to me. I guess I'm kind of a loner that way...I prefer to do my own shopping. Alone. With no help. Thanks.

May 20, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Who says stories need morals? Crimeny. That was just good readin'. And I'm at a loss as to how it proved you were a bad mother.

May 20, 2009 at 5:04 PM

How does this prove you're a bad mother?! You're an EXCELLENT, attentive, loving mother!

Although, I would have slowed for a sexy accent too!

May 20, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Thanks you guys but ten years from now when she's a whale in a band muumuu, we'll know who to blame. :)

May 20, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Hey that is how MY mom solved all of my problems!!! That's great! LOL... I also follow through with that tradition!

And I always say no to the sales guys too... even if they are super cute! Sigh!

May 20, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Clearly, the moral of the story is to never have a shortage of shirts/signs on hand that read "I'M FINE!" or "YOU'VE REACHED YOUR QUESTION QUOTA!". Ideally, they'd have an onslaught of well-placed punctuation marks in between (i.e. "I'M FINE, $#@!!!" since sarcasm takes more than three words in most cases.


May 20, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I love stories that kind of end with a question mark. It's kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure book!

I like some of the ideas of what the moral to this story is too :)

May 20, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Ugh drives me crazy those people who hunt you down to get your attention. Did you two have a good time together though eatin Sabarro? Mmm sounds tasty :)

May 20, 2009 at 5:53 PM

I'm terrified of the kiosk people. The ONE time I actually expressed an interest in what they were selling, I walked away with 3 handcare kits (because if you buy 2 you get the 3rd for free - what a steal!)

May 20, 2009 at 6:23 PM


I'm totally at a loss to see how this makes you a bad mom. I'm going for the very obvious thing that retail therapy may be cheaper the mental therapy and that I'm going to use it on myself when I'm blue next.

May 20, 2009 at 6:45 PM

If I had retail therapy when I was younger, I wouldn't be in the mess I'm in now! Throw in Sbarros and I would have a permanent smile on my face! True story. You rock Heidi!

May 20, 2009 at 7:09 PM

I hope your daughter feels better.

I know how you feel about the sales people. I only want them to talk to me when I want help. :)

May 20, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Hee hee.
My trick? I dress so frumpily and look like a person who never buys anything. They don't even bother. Maybe I also twist my face up a little bit like I'm ready to lash out at the next unsuspecting kiosk.

May 20, 2009 at 7:22 PM

I just don't ever make eye contact... also, I can look like a real bag a lot of the time so people tend to leave me alone hee hee hee!

May 20, 2009 at 7:45 PM

You guys are so funny! Honestly, if there were more people there, I doubt they would have even noticed us. It was the fact that we were so exposed that we were on everyone's hit list. And hopefully you're right (for those of you who think retail therapy is a good idea) that it's cheaper than real therapy (though she's getting that, too, now). I figure no matter how good of a parent you are, at least one of your kids is going to end up in therapy from some honest mistake you made. sigh . . .There are worse things to be addicted to than Italian food and band t-shirts, huh?

May 20, 2009 at 8:23 PM

I think retail therapy is the best. And I dont' think it makes you a bad mom.

May 20, 2009 at 9:03 PM

I have so much to look forward to when my two girls become teenagers, right? Can't wait.

May 20, 2009 at 9:13 PM

Hey, nobody ever smiles at me or asks how I'm doing when I'm at the mall. It must be the hair. Or maybe I'm shopping at the wrong mall.

P.S. I agree with everyone else. You are a great mother! Especially for having a 14 year-old that looks 17.

May 20, 2009 at 9:19 PM

I bought a $39 bottle of cleaning stuff from the fast-talking Advantage guy the other day (literally fast-talking -- he kept saying "I'm not going to take up a lot of your time because I know how it is for busy moms -- and then went right on talking and taking up my time.) Don't tell my husband. I'm usually a much harder sell, but the guy said it will clean the hard water off my windows. (I'm sure my husband would have said to use vinegar, and I'm sure he'd have been right.)

On the other hand, I've never once stopped to listen to a kiosk salesperson. Who does stop? Or is their time at work an uninterrupted onslaught of rejection? (Shiver.)

May 20, 2009 at 9:22 PM

I remember one of my missionary companions saying she was having such a hard time adjusting to temple garments, because in the past whenever she was down in the dumps, she would go out and buy sexy panties. At least pasta and t-shirts are forever...

May 20, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Now, why would you think you would have been unnoticed if the crowds had been bigger?

A little consumer therapy really does do the trick sometimes, huh?

May 20, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Actually I'm pretty sure this is more like proof that you are a good mom.

And if I had heard him the 2nd time, I fear eyes would have been scratched out. . .

May 21, 2009 at 6:39 AM

What's up with Baldwins and ziti?

Time to branch out. Haven't you ever heard of barbina or fagottini? Fagioloni? Tempestina?

May 21, 2009 at 9:28 AM

Reed--bwaaahhhaaahaaaaaa! Okay, wait, maybe those ARE real pastas. I do seem to recall you spent many long days standing in front of boxes and boxes of BOXES of obscure pastas . ...

May 21, 2009 at 9:34 AM

I'm kind of starving right now, and the second I read Sbarro's in this post I really didn't get much of anything else.

May 21, 2009 at 9:45 AM

Oh they be real alright.

May 21, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Reed--I guess then, the answer to your question about Baldwin's and ziti would be this--Sbarro's only serves ziti, lasagne and spaghetti. Barbaloot--you're so funny! Thanks for all the comments you guys. I am off to take care of my family now. (meh)

May 21, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Why do all the kiosk guys have accents? I think it's supposed to make us swoon and stop in our tracks.

You! Are an excellent mom.

May 21, 2009 at 10:47 AM

I think this should have been a Friday NPSA posting. Not that is shows any sort of neglectful parenting skills because you were helping take care of the wee one and her issues. Just is a funny parenting posting, and we all know I am all about the funny parenting posts.

May 21, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I was attacked my the kiosk guy once....well he grabbed my hand and started massaging felt pretty good, but the twins started to run away and the hubby left me and I had to walk away.....

May 21, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Retail therapy and yumtherapy are the best. Tell SWSRN that muumuus are very flattering and comfy too. Add a band logo and they're stylin' as well.

May 21, 2009 at 3:37 PM

I just caught up on your blog. I'm sorry it's been so rough for you lately. For what it's worth, I think you are a fabulous mother and writer, and friend. I appreciate all the help, advice, and support you've given me. This blogging world can be quite stressful at times, we need all the love and support we can get. :) You're doing a great job!

May 21, 2009 at 8:22 PM

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