So... with a dry mouth after eating my tuna sandwich, and this strange new drink I just discovered - something called 'wah-tur' (spelling?), I decided (per my plan) to go to the big mall near the work place and
I walked into the mall, found it easily enough on a map of the facility and walked towards it.
I visit this mall maybe three times a week - going over to the LEGO store to bother the people who work there and to study the product boxes for tips on how things go together... you know, look for inspiration... but this Sephora store... I had never noticed it before... probably because it's pretty much on the level ABOVE the LEGO store.
I walked to the front of the Sephora shop and peered inside its walls for the first time...
I can tell you that what I saw filled me with dread and trepidation.
So took a little step, breathed in deeply and marched all the way in past the threshold.
As I passed the magical barrier that separated the Sephora shop from the rest of the mall, I felt a tingling. It may have been in my pants or it may have been in my arm. Which arm is it if it's a stroke?
One step inside, and it was obvious I had stepped through into another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind as well... at that cashier up ahead, my next stop - the Hello Kitty zone.
People... there were people everywhere... no, scratch that... there were women everywhere. I quickly accessed the clientele... except for myself... every single person in there was between the age of 15-25. And they were all female. And me, being in my late-40's, I felt like a complete pervert.
I suppose I could pretend I was in the shop looking to purchase something for my gay son or daughter - but no, since I have neither type of child, I must tell the truth. Aside from joking around, since I was 18 I have refused to lie. Of course, that has resulted in me not speaking for days at a time, but you know what I mean.
I walked in - and I swear the clucking of hens suddenly stopped in mid clu-! as it became apparent that there was a fox in the hen house.
In this scenario, despite not being a fox—just a bit of a chunky hunky (brought on my too much Chunky Monkey ice cream), I am the fox. The hen house is the store full of female chickens.
It was like 103 eyes suddenly moved to stare at me (one of the 52 women in the shop had an eye that didn't want to move). Despite not used to having that many women stare at me (except that rare time I forget to zip my zipper), I continued to march deeper into the store.
It was awful.
No, not being surrounded by 52 women who were all reasonably cute... what was awful, was the smell... the whole store reeked of it... the smell of fear (in me)... the smell of too much perfume wafting through the air.
Look, despite appearances, I am no wuss. I know enough martial arts to teach a Marshall arts if asked. But dammit, that stench of 47 different perfumes mixing together to make some sort of super stench that could embarrass a skunk, well.. all I can say is whatever they mixed there could take out a platoon of Stallone's and Schwarzenegger's and maybe even a Bruce Willis (during his Moonlighting Days).
And so, with tears in my eyes, I walked past the staring faces of the young women who were curious as to why a 25-year-old man (I look younger than I am) would deign to violate their sacred temple of worship.
The high priestess (cashier) smiled and hid her disgust as she asked: "Can I help you?"
"Uh... I like Hello Kitty," I began... and I swear, the whole store exhaled.... which was grand because they blew away the stench of perfume.
"You... you... like... Hello Kitty?" queried the cashier.
And then I explained the real reason I was there.
"Uh... yeah, I suppose I do. I'm a writer...
"Are you famous? Have I read anything you've done?'
"Yes, and most definitely yes... but that's not important right now. My, uh... gay wife (what the hell, eh?) asked me to do an article on the new Hello Kitty Big Pink Bow Perfume To Go Ring... do you have one I can look at?"
She smiled in satisfaction - not even realizing my wife is not gay - and pulled out a ring.She then proceeded to show me how it opens.
And then... I was transported again... I smelled vanilla... coconut... and pineapple. There might have been more scents in it, but truthfully, my nose is built for looks not use.
It smelled great, is what I meant to say.
The cashier asked if I wanted to buy a ring... but being broke, I mean not really wanting one, I stammered that perhaps I should bring my daughter in to see if she liked it first.
Accepting that lie, and not realizing I now said 'daughter', the cashier said "Of course! Can I help you with anything else today?"
Shaking my head, I still managed to thank her as the heady smell of Hello Kitty got itself stuck in my nose hairs... and I walked out back into the mall.
Let me tell you... that smell stayed with me all afternoon long.
At least my not gay wife didn't smell anything on me when I got home... but my cat, Spek... she jumped on my lap as I sat in front of the couch to watch SpongeBob Squarepants with my not gay son, and she began licking my nose.
That cat! She does realize Hello Kitty's a female, right? Or is my cat gay?
Somewhere discovering my zipper was down and that the smell of grapefruit makes my Lipitor that much less effective,
PS: Oh my god! I have now written about Hello Kitty for three blogs in a row! Next up, something Supernatural!