Ahhhh…the Mall of America. Where people shop, get married, and go to college. Then ride the rollercoasters. Typically, I don’t go to the Mall all that much. It’s giant. Too many options. Too many pre-teens, and not nearly enough aisle-side beer vendors (Currently: Zero). But I put on my walkin’ boots and headed out in search of a birthday present or two for Geo. It’s his birthday tomorrow and I have left the shopping until the last minute, which is actually very unlike me. So, I had to go to the place with the most to offer.
It was a pretty typical trip at first. Then, much to my surprise, I discovered that Tim Gunn (from Project Runway and my dreams at night) was making an appearance there to sign some books and no doubt, be very concerned with the current state of Midwest “fashion”. A very familiar feeling rushed through me as I slithered my way through the tangled crowds of people. “If Tim Gunn sees me, I’ll be famous.”
Wait. Huh? Yeah. See, I’ve always had this notion that if a famous and/or powerful person saw me at the mall (this scenario always happens at a mall for unknown reasons), they’d want to meet me and then fly me to Hollywood to be a famous something-or-other. Like, they’d see me from across the masses of dull, boring, average people and say “Now THAT girl is what I’ve been looking for!” and then they’d have their bodyguard or agent or handler come and escort me to a limo waiting outside. Then it’d be off to Hollywood to become a rich, powerful [insert current career-obsession here].
I’ve had this feeling ever since I was little. My sister Padrin thinks it’s hysterical. When I was much younger, Padrin would take me to the mall to watch her shop (apparently, I loooooved it). Padrin tells me that I used to always put on a skirt before going to the mall. I had like mousey brown hair, in a bowl cut, I was scrawny, dirty, and usually scraped up from head to toe from playing outside in the trees with my friend Claire. But, I’d put on a skirt every single time, in the hopes that someone would see me and want me to be a model. Something about putting on a skirt made me feel like less of the tomboy I was, and more like a girl in the Gap Kids ads. I was the undiscovered talent.
At any rate, all those skirt-wearing days must have really seeped into my self-conscious. To this day, I’m sure that some TV star or reality show crew will stop me in the mall. These days, though, it’s not to approach me with a modeling contract. It’s way more vague now, and depends on what I’m feeling/wearing/carrying/doing at that moment. Tonight, for instance, I had on a coat, jeans and boots. So, nothing room-crossing there. But my hair is like incredibly shiny, and I actually dried and straightened it this morning. In my totally messed up 9-year-old subconscious, I thought, “Tim Gunn will see me, and then compliment me on my hair. And then ask me to be in a Garnier Fructis commercial.”
You guys, I KNOW this is weird. I KNOW that none of it really makes sense. But somehow, in my puny little pre-adolescent brain, it’s the life I concocted. And now it simply won’t go away. Sometimes it feels really weird that it hasn’t happened. I’ve seen plenty of famous people (local weatherman/overly-tanned “celebrity” Sven Sundgaard was just outside my house TONIGHT on a run around the lake), and nothing has ever come of it. I’m quite the opposite of famous, actually. Still, though, at least it encourages me to not go to the mall looking like a homeless person. Nothing wrong with that, I guess.