As precise an instruction as “turn at the Starbucks.”
We are turning into our parents, all four of them. Unfortunately we are displaying the traits that ran us up the proverbial wall multiple times in our youth.
We had a list and we made it to the mall without incident. Brenda wrote down the specific exits and turns to and from the interstate. It’s a big mall. You can’t miss it. It’s right over there.
It had exactly one of the things on our list. So we asked an employee at the kiddie car shopping carts where was a place that sold craft items. First answer was not in this mall.
You go out that way ….. (and we obediently looked over our shoulders as if we could see it from inside a huge windowless mall) on Southcenter Blvd South and there’s a Michael’s and a JoAnn Fabrics just down the street after the MacDonald’s.
We went out the door and so help me, couldn’t tell which direction the person waaaaaay back there inside of the windowless mall was waving toward. Can’t see the golden arches, so we’ll get back out on Southcenter Blvd the way we came in and see if we can decide which curve will take us south-ish-like to the MacDonald’s. It so happened the curve we took was the freeway entrance ramp. U-turn at the next exit. You know, they don’t make exits the way I remember them on our trips through Iowa. We made our way back to Southcenter Blvd but turned off onto #405, a number the Radio Shack guy specifically warned us to stay away from. Why? Because we saw a bridge we didn’t like. Not paranoid. Just didn’t like it. When you’re in denial, you don’t make much sense and just plain don’t care.
“There’s a Target! Turn in!” You just have to reach out and grab life’s little moments with enthusiasm.
“No, we don’t carry that but we have this.” I asked the checkout lady which way was I-5. She’d just moved here from New York. I can only assume from her experience that most people from New York don’t figure out Seattle in a week. Neither do people vacationing from Tennessee. The other checkout people she asked looked
at through us, shrugged, and drifted off.
At the light we turned right. Wrong. I’ll keep scanning the immediate skyline for those arches. Or a flare.
A few circuitous miles later we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant that looked familiar mabybe because we’d passed it a couple of times. We parked, found a waitress who apparently majored in waitressing. She called over the manager on duty who was really nice. He walked with us to the parking area and said “You go out this way” making circular motions with his arm.
So we went out that way, saw Target and waved, turned left onto Southcenter Blvd and continued to scan for those blasted arches. They were about 14″ high and pasted onto the eave of a non-descript brick building. “Found MacDonald’s.” “We already ate.” “I….know….that.”
“I see the sign for JoAnn Fabrics” and there we were. They had our stuff. (And the sweetest, yummiest baby yarn for which I had no packing space.)
By this time we pretty much knew how to get back to I-5. See, you go out that way….