Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Story, Part 2

Once my mom noticed I was gone, the store activated the Misplaced Kid all points bulletin and numerous Bon Marche employees were given my name and description and told to find me, pronto. 

But that was easier said than done.

I strolled all over the first floor, at this counter and that one, looking at items, admiring the pretty Christmas trees, and occasionally hearing my name on the intercom.

I didn't listen to what they said after my name. Back in 1972 when grownups discussed a child, it was understood the child wasn't supposed to enter the conversation, even if he or she was standing right there.

This may be difficult to understand if you were raised in modern times because today grownups are concerned with how kids feel and what they think, but when I was a child kids were considered morons and so parents didn't consult with them.

It was kind of like how, if you were discussing your poodle with the veterinarian, you wouldn't expect the poodle to have anything to say. If my teacher was discussing me with my parents, it was none of my business. I'd hear "Amie" and would politely tune the rest out.

I knew the Bon Marche people were talking ABOUT me, which I thought was nice, but I didn't think they were talking TO me, so I just kept shopping.

In fact, I stayed on the lam nearly an hour and a half even though numerous Bon Marche employees were buzzing all around, looking for me. They were looking for a little girl all by herself, and wherever I happened to be in the store, I was always standing next to a grown up man or woman, who took no notice of me. To the Bon employees, I looked like a child standing next to my father or mother.

Unfortunately, my shopping trip was about to come to an end. It happened because I was tired of all the first floor stuff and decided to get on the elevator, to go to the second floor.

As I was stepping on (alone), a lady Bon clerk standing inside the elevator said "Is your name Amie?" I barely had time to look up and say "Ye-----" before she clamped her hand on my arm and was hustling my butt to the customer service office.

"Your mommy has been looking for you. She's been worried!" She told me.

"Oh," I told her.

My mom was sitting in a chair and three policemen were fawning all over her. I saw one of them hand her a cup of tea. She turned her head and saw me and frowned.

There was some conversation with the grownups: my mom thanking them, the policemen saying they were glad. At no point did my mom hug me or say she was glad.

When we were walking toward the exit she said she wished I had stayed gone just a little bit longer.

"Why?" I asked her, confused.

"They had just given me my tea!" she said. "It would've been nice to have been able to drink it, is all."

This was confusing, but not as confusing as the fact that she wasn't punishing me. There was no spanking in the ladies room or even threats about one. Instead, all the drive home, she kept saying "Wait till your father gets home!" She had her mean smile on when she said this, which I correctly translated to mean I would really get in trouble and she was glad about it.

Later, I was sitting at the kitchen table as my mom fixed dinner and my dad came home and sat down.

My mom's mean smile was even bigger and she was doing a little excited dance, like she had to go to the bathroom.

"Amie you tell your father WHAT YOU DID TODAY," she told me.

Her tone of voice totally went over my dad's head. "What did you do today?" my dad asked me.

"I went shopping!" I told him.

"Aww, isn't that cute? She went shopping!" my dad said.

"SHE'S NOT TELLING THE STORY RIGHT!" said my mom. 

She proceeded to tell the story, but she must not have told it right either, because my dad started laughing and found the whole thing adorable, which really peeved my mom.

Finally, she gave up. I never did get punished for my shopping trip and as I got older, my mother retold this story to me many times, always frustrated by my dad's reaction, and always mourning the tea she never got the chance to drink.

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