I had to go to the mall to get the screen replaced on my iPhone, and having been led to believe it would take 30 minutes, I took the next available, 6:15 pm appointment. When we got there, I was informed it would take two hours. There was a ( literally ) snot-nosed kid playing video games in the Apple store who wouldn’t answer JR when he said, “Hi!” so engagingly. Small consolation to me that it was most likely due to the younger boy’s shyness. Now, two hours is the minimum amount of time the Apple store should have held JR’s attention. Maybe it was late for him and he was overheating from the tail end of a cold. Or more likely his filial radar sensed that all I wanted to do at that point was put him in front of an iPad while I read a book and tried to stay awake, so naturally the appropriate response would be to insist on checking out every store in the mall. I was a little mad at Apple anyway, so I let JR drag me around. As he’s been doing with exciting frequency lately, he tries to read all the names and often does a good job. As usual, he strides right up to everyone and presents them with a bear hug of a “Hello!” If they are in the middle of a transaction with their back to him or stone-blind and deaf, no matter. If he isn’t acknowledged the first time, he’ll wait a minute and try again. A consistently breezy “Good-bye!” and “Thank you!” and we’re off to the next store.
Other than Apple, the one store I wanted to be empty but never is, we were the only customers at most of the stores. They let him try on sunglasses at Michael Kors and Coach. ( But I’m still not buying my 8-year-old $600 shades.) And hats at the sports hat store. (He liked the Yankees, of course.)We sniffed the soaps that looked like food in Lush. Neither of us was impressed, but we did like the name. In Ann Taylor Loft he spontaneously proclaimed, “We need to buy something for Mom here.” You’re welcome, future woman who will not deserve him. A woman who turned out to be a special-ed teacher at a local high school over heard and thought he was cute, so we exchanged a few words. As we chatted, something about the store’s dance music called to James, and it said to show this woman some moves. “I’m gonna to hang out with you!” he informed her afterward. No such luck for the vivacious young woman in the kiosk who tried to engage JR, only to be rewarded with a curious stare. Bleach blond, pale skin, ruby lips, dressed in black from neck to toe, her appearance was confusingly at odds with her approach as far as he was concerned.
“Are you a ghost?” he asked. But she took it in stride. Much more gracefully than JR trying to claw his way out of the vibrating reclining chair in Brookstone.