Friday, June 29, 2007

Endangered Species

Sorry I've slacked on the posting. My mom has been here. So what does that tell you? Right. I've been shopping. I've been shopping so much I don't even want to talk about it. This in the same week as starting a mall walking endeavor makes me want to avoid any and all retail spaces for a long time. But what's that you say about mall walking? I know. I'm a total dork. But you have to understand that less than a half mile from my house is a really busy four lane road with lots of semi-truck traffic. And no sidewalk. And I have three kids and only a two seater jogger and really anything on no sidewalk is no good. I also just have this thing where I hate walking in the ugly. I know I should get over it, but the beautiful parks of Nashville and the quaint little town of Auburn, Alabama has ruined me. And now it's hot. So the swanky and safe, air conditioned mall is kind of a nice change. A really nice change. It's also hilarious. Because who mall walks? I know that you have a good guess and I will go ahead and tell you and you can give yourself a sticker for being right.

First of all, I have been at a different time every day. The first day I took the kids because I got there in the afternoon. Okay, so you're totally not supposed to mall walk in the afternoon or any other mall shopping hours, but this all started very spur of the moment when I had just had it with never getting the chance to exercise and so I just went then and there. I also had errands to do at the mall. I know, most people call that shopping. But I was careful to take the longest route everywhere and keep track of my laps and stick close to the wall like a true mall walker. This is so embarrassing to me. But what are you going to do when you can't afford a gym or child care on top of that? The answer has hit me like a ton of bricks- "go mall walking" of course! So going with the kids was not so awful. But the next day I went by myself, only again in the afternoon when someone could watch the kids. Without the shopping bags or stroller, I was a dead giveaway and was a little worried about getting in trouble for walking in non- mall-walker hours. But another girl was doing it even more rigorously than me. Her face was even all red. So I was less embarrassed and continued my rebellion against mall walking rules. I know, when will I ever grow up? Ha ha! I totally feel like a grown up now. Seriously, for the first time ever. Because the last few days I have been getting up in the morning. My friend Jessie was coming back from her run (she's training for a marathon!) at six fifteen yesterday and saw me leaving. She asked me later what on earth I was doing leaving the house at 6am. This is because of course she knows that I usually don't get up until around eight! That sounds worse than it is, I usually don't go to bed until around one, so it evens out! Anyway, I decided to be a grown up this week and actually stay up when the baby gets up at six and go walking with her. She didn't get up at six today though. She got up after seven. So it was all different today. Today I went at eight forty. But I have been aiming for right around six or six thirty, right when it opens.

The six o'clock hour so far is generally one of two types of people- elderly white people or middle aged black women. And I, if you haven't already guessed, am the spunky young mom with a stroller. They love me. They totally make my day! It's like being in the South again. Everyone says hello and coos over Elspeth. "Ooooh, God love 'er!" "Look at the sweet baby!" Even when she's just sleeping in the stroller or when they just saw her on the last lap, she seems to totally make their day. And the constancy of friendly smiles and comments is just the energy my little extroverted self needs (on top of the energy you get physically from getting a good daily workout). I love it! The Ann Taylor window displays are my inspiration. I think soon I will have to set a goal and when I make it, buy myself an Ann Taylor dress- once it's on sale of course, and hopefully in a size smaller than I'd get right now! Everything is a lovely robin egg blue and chocolate brown in there right now! So pretty! But today I went at almost nine. And while the Ann Taylor displays were the same, the people were not. I told George I have even more incentive to get up because I did not like the people today. He said "were they rich forty year old white women?" How did he know? I also mentioned the all white walking shoes. He said "naturally." They don't say hi. They don't care that the cutest baby ever born in the world is at that moment in their presence. They just walk. And lots of them are in a pair with some other lady just like the rest of them and/or carrying a Starbucks coffee (conveniently open at 5:30 am and located right next to the mall walker entrance). Even if you smile they don't smile back. So don't even think about saying hey. Yeah, I'm not going to be going back at nine. At least not without some sort of musical device. Incidentally, am I the only one left without an iPod? My new running shoes have some sort of sensor that sends signals to one to say how fast and far you're going and how many calories you're burning! But I have no iPod so I will just have to keep counting laps and listening to the elevator music renditions of "Strangers in the Night" and "Isn't it Romantic?"

So I' am now on my way to becoming one of the most mysterious creatures on the planet- the morning person. Who are these strange and beautiful birds? The metamorphosis has begun. But even if I can no longer be a night owl, I'll always be a Chi O. Hooty hoot! (I like to think of Rebekah and Elizabeth laughing and rolling their eyes when they read that. That's reason enough to post! ) Anyone else who wants to join my ranks as "mall walker- super dork" let me know, and to the Galleria we shall go! It's not just the night owl in me that's dying you know, it's also the child. Well... we'll believe it when we see it. At least I might become a slightly more responsible child.


Jessie said...

Abby, I walked in the mall a lot this winter - it was necessary in freezing weather. And I agree about walking where it is ugly...I only persist here because if you go far enough, it does begin to get not so ugly...but still, if we had endless money things would be different, huh? Anyway, way to go! I think morning person becomes you!

lauren said...

i love it! i'm so proud of you...i know what it's like to overcome the exercise dilemma when you can't afford the gym. i don't know what i'll do when we add another child to the family and can't use my stroller! and i would totally walk with you at the galleria if i were in st. louis. :)

jennifer said...

I am not rich, but I resent the 40-year-old white woman prejudice. I used to walk at South county mall with Anne H., and we only saw old people and a very creepy security guard. So at least you have some pleasant co-walkers.
Keep it up.
P.S. It will be no big surprise, but we don't have one i-pod at our house.

RHB said...

So impressed by your new morning routine! I can relate- the other day I went on a walk with SA on our same old route, but now that the weather is nice, everyone was out. I have never said so many "Bonjours" or gotten so many smiles before in France. It does make one fell good! Also, I got to talking to one lady that lives in an old farmhouse- and she recognized me snd SA from our running days. It was cool to finally meet a semi "neighbor".

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