Well, that was exciting.
Husband nearly got me arrested for being a creepy perv who films teenage boys in department store dressing rooms.
You know what? This whole stressful thing is even more his fault than usual, because he keeps too much crap in his wallet (so it gets really thick) and then he refuses to take it out of his back pocket all day long, even though he spends most of his day sitting on it. So of course that pocket shows wear, and we have to replace the pants sooner than one would normally expect, and we’re right back in the mall, buying more pants.
Which is where we were last night, and everything seemed fine. He had a stack of pants he was going to try on and I was with him for… moral support? I don’t know.
Actually, let’s backtrack a bit and examine this.
ME: You don’t need me to go with you, right?
HIM: Yeah, I do.
ME: Why? They’re pants. You know what size you wear. Go grab some, try them on, and buy them.
HIM: You’d think it would be that easy, but you’ve shown us that’s not the case…
ME: Okay, let me stop you right there. That’s totally different. That was women’s jeans.
ME: Women’s jeans are like, fashion calculus. Don’t even.
HIM: I still need you.
ME: Why? What will happen if you go alone?
ME: What are you afraid you’ll come back with, if you don’t have me there trailing after you and asking you to remind me what size you wear and which cut you like?
ME: … You’re afraid you’ll come back with nothing?
ME: You seriously think you’ll walk into the store, look around at all the pants and say “yup, I’m out” and just leave?
HIM: I’ve done it before!
So I had to go with him to buy the pants.
And I trailed behind him, asking him what size he wears (which he never just answers; he makes me wait until he picks up a pair, and then I have to go and look at the tag and ask if that’s right or if he’s just grabbing it to ask if they have that thing only in his actual size, because I made that mistake before and let me tell you I am not repeating the frustration) and whether straight relaxed is the same as straight casual. All of which I knew was going to happen, and yes I did eventually hand him a pair but he didn’t end up buying them.
Now, not fifteen feet from where we ended our pants journey – in the pants department, if you will – there was a fitting room. It was well-lit and clearly marked, and when Husband said “I’m going to go try these on, now” I didn’t even glance up from my phone. I just made my way over, head down, and propped my shoulder up against the wall to one side of the doorway and sifted through my twitter.
Eventually, I glanced up and met the gaze of another woman, also fiddling with her phone and waiting at the opposite side of the doorway from me. “I’m just waiting for my Dad,” she explained, gesturing inside with her phone-occupied hands.
“My husband,” I said by way of reply.
“Yeah, I’m texting mine. Got to go wait for him next.” We commiserated briefly over the helplessness of men before her father came out needing help with his shirt and she went off to find her helpless spouse and I went back to my phone.
Time passed. Too much of it. Some people came and went from the fitting room, but none of them were my husband (who, let’s note here, dragged me along and didn’t even model the pants for me) so I paid them no attention and continued to wade through the clever things other people thought of first. Only….
I felt someone staring at me. Glaring, actually.
I looked over my shoulder to find two women with perfect “I Need To Speak To The Manager” haircuts murdering me with their eyeballs. “I’m just waiting for my husband…” I explained, trailing off as a young man of 17 or so came out of a changing room to ask the opinion of one of the angry women behind me. Another young man collected some things from the other woman and walked into the dressing room, so I popped over to the other side of the doorway to get out of his way and have a better look inside, my stomach already tightening with dread.
Yup. Nobody in that fitting room but two underage young men.
Fuck. I’ve been standing out here looking like a perv, haven’t I?
One of the women muttered something to the other – I couldn’t hear all of it, but the word “security” came through loud and crystal freakin’ clear – so I started frantically texting Husband.
ME: Where are you?
ME: I’m outside the dressing room like an idiot!
HIM: Just left fitting room, looking for you
ME: No, you didn’t
ME: Cuz I’m RIGHT HERE LIKE A FUCKIN’ PERV
ME: Did you go to the ladies’?
ME: Had to step away when a woman started muttering about security
HIM: Yeah, couldn’t find you
HIM: Am back by men’s
ME: So now I’m a safe 12 feet away
ME: AND YOU’RE NOT HERE
ME: Cannot BELIEVE you did this to me
ME: You owe me big time, assuming I don’t get arrested
HIM: Where are you?
ME: Where are YOU?
HIM: By men’s
ME: You went to the wrong damned dressing room!
ME: Go get more pants.
ME: Just COME HERE. Jesus.
When he finally* found me – and tried to tell me that he had only gone to the nearest fitting room – I wordlessly (because my face was on fire and I knew I couldn’t speak without screaming) flung out my arm and pointed at the fitting room not fifteen feet from where he’d picked up the last pair of pants.
“Oh,” he said, “I didn’t see that one.”
Just then, the woman who’d gone off in search of security came back – blessedly alone – and gave me that enraged bull stare, so I squeaked and took off running without looking where I was going.
Which caused me to crash into a clothing rack.
But at least Husband saw her face, and believes me now that she was a serious threat.
* Why didn’t I just start wandering around, looking for him and getting farther from the changing room? Because I was panicking, because it only took him about four minutes to find me, and because I was seriously worried that if I came out from behind all the racks and shelves of pants I would be immediately tackled by a mall cop.