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A Dying Mall, and Katy Perry Too!

Meet Betty:
who is just a whisper shy of 92 years old. Betty likes saying her most-treasured 79th birthday gift is her 13 year old granddaughter, Maddie.
Maddie, who lives near Seattle (named after Madeline L'Engle), is visiting Betty for some weeks this summer, and as Betty no longer drives, Carol, Maddie's Mom asked me if I might be willing to take her daughter out and about for an afternoon.......show her some local sights, that sort of thing. Are you thoroughly confused yet?  It gets easier as we go along.

And, so I did, picking her up at the sensible hour of 1:00 yesterday afternoon. Believe me, you should be glad, because had that not been the case, my post about Ponce Inlet etc. would have been even longer! You absolutely know I didn't take only eight photographs on that trip!

I digress.....

What shall we do? The mall? The movies? The park? My house? Decisions, decisions.  The movies--that's it! What shall we see? Because Betty's home is relatively close to ours, we drove home to check out the movie schedule on my computer. I know, my phone might have been enough, but my skills using it are not. So...she'd already seen Brave, no real interest in Moonrise Kingdom, but when I mentioned Katy Perry in 3D, she was all smiles. Checking the time, we discovered we could make the  2:00 show with no problem. Driving there, we chatted, getting to know one another, having only just met for the first time. She was a brave girl to come hang out with me!

Fashion Square, oh how that used to be a hot spot. And now it is not. Arriving in plenty of time, as we walked up I saw the theater was closed with a sign on the window stating they were having plumbing problems. "Sorry for the inconvenience."

Now what? Okay, we'll do what most women would do when faced with a similar situation--we'll shop. Except there are very few stores, and the ones that are still in business? Yikes! That said, we soldiered on, and I got a serious education about what there is to buy in a dying mall.  Our first stop was in a store, which I believe was called, Home Essentials. Home essentials indeed. The array of merchandise was really something. Both Maddie and I kept picking things up wondering what in the world people do with. Now, I'm all for people of color having their own things, but that did not stop me from wondering just what anyone would do with this stuff:
Mostly there were "accessories" stores, selling stuff that I'd always wondered where people bought, such as this display:
I believe this store was called, well I don't even remember the name, but apparently it is the adult version of Claires, making crystal clear why they carry a Marilyn Monroe flask.
Are women carrying flasks these days? Perhaps, you aren't in to MM, no problemo, there are other, equally as silly designs to choose from! If you are really into yourself, you can purchase one, or maybe several, depending upon just how much you love yourself, of these products:
Be careful of the glitter girls!

Let me just say I was so very happy I had my iPhone camera to document this stuff, otherwise, I wouldn't believe that I'd seen it! Strolling past empty store, after empty store, we finally came across this horrible place, selling, of all things, neon pumps that could be used as a stand-in for the orange cones used to divert traffic! The rest of the place is stuffed with equally as hideous merchandise.
And, such bargain prices to tempt a shopper! I believe these shoes were something like $12.99? Then again, perhaps Florida football fans might want those blue leggings to go along with the pumps?

 Now, I've always thought of myself as a bright color lover, but honestly, this bright?
Eventually we ran out of stores to gawk at, so we made our way back from whence we came. Stopping at Auntie Annes, we tried to buy an original pretzel, however, none would be available for eight minutes. Seriously? No worries, I paid for said pretzel, and we agreed to wait, spending our time in JC Penney because I'd been wanting to see what the store looked like now that an Apple big-wig is in charge. If you've seen any of their ads you have probably already noticed his influence. Sadly, with no staff in the store, all the great advertisements won't be much help turning the store around. I will say, on the other hand, that finally I saw at least a few cute things, unlike what we'd been subjected to during our stroll. We took our pretzel upstairs to share by the mostly empty food court, empty of both of people and eateries. Orlandoans? How darn sad is this taken at 4:00 on a Wednesday afternoon? 
Pretty much a ghost town. Although I'd read about this in the newspaper, seeing it with my own two eyes made it sadly real. Closing The Gap store was the beginning of the end.

The smell of popcorn led me to believe the theater had re-opened after solving their plumbing problems which proved to be true. Katy Perry, A Part of Me, here we come!

Believe it or not--I liked the movie. The SCREAMING FANS during the concert series brought back very fond memories of when, I too, was a SCREAMING FAN, only our screams were for the Beatles. I'll never forget watching the movie, A Hard Day's Night, screaming throughout! I think I was maybe 12 years old, and to this day, I still can't imagine a whole theater full of screaming girls. 

I kept wondering what in the world made her think to wear blue hair, or even pink hair. The onstage costumes? Amazing craftsmanship! She even has her grandmother in the film, who reminded both Maddie and I of Betty--very feisty in spite of her advanced age! There were a few brief moments when I even felt tears well up, which sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn't it? Unlike the U2 concert we saw in 3-D, this one was pretty tame as far as feeling like the onstage folks were jumping into your lap. So, I learned about the phenom known as Katy Perry, and despite my cynical nature, I quite liked what I saw.

There was more learning to come. Once we got home I began fixing some dinner for the two of us while Maddie watched a bit of television. Although I'd set the table in the kitchen, I quickly decided that the only place for us was in front of Toddlers and Tiaras, a show I'd only heretofore read about. If you thought I was going crazy at the mall, you should have heard what I had to say about that nauseating show. My gosh! The world is going to hell in a handbasket! J' Adore Myself indeed. What sort of FATHER drives 800 miles to pick up a gown for his 10 year old daughter to compete? The MOTHERS were insane, putting ridiculous amounts of makeup on four year old girls. Spray tans? Hair Pieces? Coaches? The Judges!!! The list of atrocities went on, and on, and on. It's safe to say that will be the last time I subject myself to that show! 

Maddie is the antithesis of all that I saw yesterday; a sweet, bright companion for the day. Not to mention she pushed me into the 21st century from which I've been mostly hiding. Will I become a "Katy Kat" anytime soon? Probably not, but you never know--stranger things have happened.
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