The Mall by Mary Crosbie
Welcome to Grubman’s Accessories. Is there something I can help you with? We just got those tiny, adorable purses in today. We have them in all colors: ecru, taupe, bloody. Are you new? You look new to me. You have a fresh, new face. I see a lot ofsame-faces in here, and they get less fresh every time I see them.
Take my Aunt Mabel’s face, for example. Her face is sagging right off her head, ever since her daughter moved back in with her. Her daughter, my cousin Brittany, had a job here in the mall, at Kiddie Kobbler, she had a perfectly okay family, then she got fired and left her family, AND the mall! She lives in my Aunt Mabel’s basement now and smokes those e-cigarettes. I sold my Aunt a paisley scarf to keep her face up out of her food, poor thing.
The scarves are twenty percent off today, by the way. I offered Brittany a job here, but she claims she doesn’t have the ankle strength for retail. I told her she could get some sensible shoes from our sister store, Grubman’s Sensibles, this weekend only, buy one pair, get one half off, but she blew smoke in my face and asked if I had a boyfriend yet. Just rude.
And I don’t mean to be rude but that pendant would really complete your look. I saw a picture of Katy Perry wearing one just like it just today. I saw it and thought, “Oh, I’ve got those in the store, goody.” Then I thought, “Oh, great minds think alike, me and Katy Perry.” That’s right. I chose that very pendant from all the pendants the Grubman sellers showed me. They trust my taste, because I keep current with all the magazines, People, US Weekly, Women’s World. Did you know carrots might be fattening?
Here’s a secret. I like to keep inventory small but classy. Did you see the matching earrings? Here you go. Yes, I KNEW that an important piece such as the Katy Perry pendant with the amethyst-inspired stone needed earrings to set it off. And look, it goes so well with the bloody handbag.
I was born and bred here in the Fairview mall. My parents met here back in the day. My mother was a server in the Sears cafeteria. My Father was a junior salesman at Jean Machine. He’d come to see her every day and get a bowl of soup, and my Mother would only charge him for a cup. They began their courtship and both got jobs at Dillard’s selling floral nighties side by side. Their customers kept asking when was the wedding. So, they had it right in the store on a slow Tuesday. Their customers all came to the wedding. They got a lot of really nice maternity wear, so then they got the idea to have me. My mother had the clothes first! Isn’t that hysterical? She’s got her casket outfit picked out already: a rose embroidered pantsuit. She got in on clearance at Agnes.
Are you into skulls? Try this ring on. Anyway, eventually my Father went back to work at Jean Machine and got promoted to manager. His hours changed. He got preoccupied with things in the back room, things that weren’t in his job description. My parents grew apart. She transferred to the second floor of the mall to get some distance.
But, I have them to thank because I’ve got mall in my blood. I’d skip school and take a bus here every day. This was in the third grade. Just couldn’t take the pressure, and I had a medical condition where I had to eat a lot of mall popcorn. Had my first mall job by age 11 at the Kernels. Youngest mall employee. They gave me free french fries at New York Fries after my first year. They won’t give them free anymore, but that’s okay because I like Chop Crazy. Have you had that? They chop everything up into little tiny pieces. You barely need to chew. I have it every day. Every Day. I’m here every day. Are you a no on the bloody bag? It would look so cute. But who am I talking to? You’ve got a real fresh look, girl. I’m here every day. And if you want to meet my Mother, go to Lush. She’s giving free samples of the dirt masks today. They’re great. You just bury yourself in dirt, and all your problems disappear. Yes, we take Discover card!
© Mary Crosbie, 2015
Mary Crosbie is a comedy writer. Mary has too many cats. You can check out The Moe and Mary Show on Manhattan's Public Access any Friday at 6pm on channel 56, or at www.mnn.org, and she will probably be talking about cats. You can find out all about her at www.marycrosbie.com.
The Mall was read by Olivia Killingsworth, with music by Travis Tench, for the Brooklyn Book Festival on Wednesday, 13th September.