It's Black Friday and guess who will not be stepping into a mall today? Me!
That's right, us single, childless gals are rockin' a hangover from a kick-ass post-Thanksgiving party (how was yours?) and will gladly give this bizarre American middle class holiday to you. You can meet at Wal-Mart at 4 in the morning. I am more than happy to let you have the quesadilla maker at 20% off. My gift to you.
But for all the other days I will be in a mall or super-chain megastore, I think it's important to address the mother/child shopping etiquette that needs to take place this holiday season.
First and foremost, leave your child at home!
Shopping is intended to be an enjoyable activity. Why would you want to ruin this experience for yourself, the loved one you've dragged along and - oh, did I mention, every other human being trying to simply buy a gift card?! Listen, we may smile politely but in the back of our minds we're thinking, "Why is that thing in here?"
I get it. You strap your kid in because you think you're making a quick stop at Target, but it never works out. So, since you choose to bring little Jimmy into the hell that is consumer shopping, below are a few rules that should be followed.
1. Those dying bird and abused animal noises you're hearing are coming from your child. Do something about it or I will.
2. No splitting the line. We see you putting your kid in one check-out line and yourself in another to 'beat the system.' This is not clever or original. Let's play by the rules.
3. Dressing rooms are not anatomy class for your children. If your little Tommy peeps his head under my door, I have every right to notify mall security.
4. If you find yourself saying, "Honey, we're almost done here" - you should have left the mall 30 minutes ago. You and your child have already broken at least 3 rules on this list.
5. Aisle 9 - dog leashes. I'm just sayin'.
6. Because you are trying on shoes does not grant your child the right to occupy a seat. This is the one time I will allow her to play on the floor.
7. Leave the doublewide stroller at home. Your marching band of children are taking up the entire aisle and setting the world record for slowest walkers of all time. Get in. Get out. Go home.
8. Do not fuel A.D.D. with Cinnabon.
9. Congratulations! As a parent, you have earned an all-access VIP pass to three hot mall locations - The Child Plastic Playing Area, The Food Court, and Santa's Holiday Village. Enjoy!
10. And last but not least, it's called online shopping. Suck it up and pay the shipping costs. This will not only be a gift to your overall health and well-being this holiday season, but also a kind way for you to give back to your community.