That Christmas Feeling

I felt like I was an extra in Woody Allen’s Scenes From A Mall today.

I was at the local shopping centre(mall) and was a victim, more than once, of mistaken identity.

Admittedly, my appearance was a little, er, festive. My son Nick bet me two weeks worth of emptying the dishwasher that I wouldn’t have the guts to wear a Santa hat in the Mall.

Now I don’t know about you, but I will do almost anything to get out of emptying the dishwasher, so I agreed. This was what I wore while shopping.


I was also wearing my Great Gran Min’s antique pin which I like to wear at this time of year to remember her by, because she loved Christmas so, but unfortunately, the pin looks a little bit like a name tag.

The first case of mistaken identity occurred in the bookshop. I was carrying a pile of books and a woman asked me if I could recommend some poetry for her niece. She began chatting away about how well her niece was doing in English at school and how much she loved poetry.

‘Um, I don’t work here, ‘ I managed to squeeze in. I don’t think she actually heard me, so intent was she on describing her niece’s bright future. She carried on so much I had no choice but to take her to the poetry section and hand her a Treasury of 18th century verse, some Auden and 100 years of female poets. The woman thanked me and headed for the cash registers.

I had two further instances of mistaken identity in K-Mart.

A Chinese lady who could barely speak English was holding a frying pan and sort of brandished it at me as if she was either about to hit me or sautรจ me.

‘How much?’ she asked though gritted teeth. ‘You tell me how much.’

‘I don’t work here,’ I replied.

‘You tell me how much,’ she shouted.

Luckily, the prices were easy to find in the frying pan aisle. I located the item in question.

‘$12.99’ I said.

The lady smiled, showing a row of uneven, chipped teeth.

‘Aaaaah, very good. Very GOOD!’

I was in the gardening section looking for something for my Mum when I heard a couple mid-fight.

HE: your stomach looks really fat in those pants

SHE: it’s not my stomach, it’s the pants

HE: I think it’s your stomach

SHE: it’s the pants!!!!

She approached me.

SHE: my boyfriend is an idiot. It’s the pants that make my stomach look big, isn’t it?

ME: Oh, absolutely. The pants are a strange cut around the stomach. That’s definitely what it is.

She returned to her boyfriend.

SHE: see, even the K-Mart Lady thinks you’re an idiot.

Looks like I’ve missed my calling. I should be working in Customer Service at the Mall.

20 thoughts on “That Christmas Feeling

  1. I’d like to think I’m undecided on the whole wearing a christmas hat to the mall thing, but then again, if it got me out of the washing up for two weeks surely it’s worth it.


  2. Personally, I think it would be well worth the two-weeks of unloading the dishwasher just to have seen all that happen. The lady with the frying pan… oh, that was marvelous.


  3. It’s strange how when you dress outrageously, people feel free to start talking to you. It sounds like someone should have been following you around with a video camera.


  4. When I was in the Air Force, one time, we were discouraged from wearing our uniforms in public, for security reasons. But, when we stood down for Christmas, we just took our tunics or sweaters and ties off, and slipped on civilian jackets before heading down to the pub.

    A man came up to us, and said we did a great job … and it wasn’t till he’d been talking for a while that we realised he thought we were … ambulance drivers!!


  5. VIC – it was a funny experience. Luckily, I don’t get embarrassed easily. It was funny how people approached me. I must have looked like I knew what I was doing. If only they knew….

    KAREN – can you believe that lady? She was fierce. So insistent. I used to work in retail years ago when I worked in HMV in London and that was full on enough, but I have heard that it’s much worse in the department stores. People are very pedantic about their homewares. ๐Ÿ˜†

    RICHARD – my dream is to walk around either in a gorilla suit or as a stormtrooper from Star Wars. I would love either of those outfits. Imagine standing in the queue at the Post Office dressed as a stormtrooper? It would be brilliant!

    LISSA – it’s amazing how a Santa hat changes things. Really puts you in the mood.

    NAT – I can imagine how frazzled people in Wal-Mart must be. When I visited my sister in the States a few years back I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the stores. Our humble little K-Marts are an eighth of the size.

    TRAVELRAT – oh, that is priceless. People are funny about anything resembling a uniform, aren’t they? Such a great story!


  6. This made me crap up and all the tears from the last post were gone! I still have the image of the chinese woman in my head, something similiar happened to me once but I was working and the chinese woman kept asking questions in her little accent – it was so funny! I just loved this it made me laugh now I will fall asleep with a smile!


  7. Darling Selma, you look so darn cute in that Santa hat. Maybe you should be in the magic cave with Santa.

    You should have got commission on those poetry books by the way ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope you and your family have a truly special Christmas and that the New year will bring a change of fortunes for you. You deserve all the happiness in the world.


  8. Gutsy Selma, I’m laughing so hard. (We have K-Mart’s here.) And my daughter thinks I’m “weird”, even though she was a theatre major…
    You look adorable in that hat!
    I’m still smiling. I needed it today. Thank you!
    Happy Holidays to you and yours from across the ocean!


  9. lol. I’m always being taken for a member of staff in bookshops – I take it as a compliment!

    Love your festive tree (and the hat obviously!). Have a great Christmas – you’re bound to now that you’re off dishwasher duty for two weeks ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. Merry Christmas Ms S. I hope you don’t get attacked by flying monkies. Unless they’re special Christmas flying monkies.

    That would be awesome.


    Monkey Man


  11. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope you have a wonderful, beautiful day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOL!!! “The Kmart Lady”. Oh my goodness, Selma, that is sooooo funny! You have an approachable smile. I bet that’s what it is.

    Sorry I’m late reading stuff. I’m behind because at the last min. Redbeard decided we NEEDED to go home so I could see Dad again but he died before we made it. But I’m glad we came because Mom needed us here – Christmas without her grandkids would have been awful. I’m ok – I plan on writing a piece about it soon.


  12. TBALL- well, I am glad I could make you laugh. YAY!

    ROMANY – if Santa looked like Christian Bale or Keanu Reeves, I’d be there. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    That’s what I thought….where’s my commission?
    Hope you are having an absolutely wonderful Christmas too!

    GEL -so glad my son’s hijinks could make you laugh. I never could resist a silly dare. It’s the upbringing I had watching years and years of Monty Python. Have a wonderful Christmas, my dear.

    PUDDOCK – I suppose I should take it as a compliment, shouldn’t I? Hope you have a brilliant Christmas. I’ll be thinking of you in your beautiful part of the world.

    SIM SIM – how nice of you to drop by in-between wrestling monkeys. Have a brilliant Christmas, hon. XXXXXX

    INGRID – I love stories like that too. It was actually very hard not to laugh. Have a lovely Christmas!!!

    TEXASBLU – I am so sorry to hear that. So terribly sorry.

    GERALDINE – we’re going to have a great 2009, you and me. I can feel it!!!


  13. OMG Selma that made me laugh out loud so loudly I woke up the dog! Fabulous. Your tree looks so pretty and very tall! How tall are your ceilings? May I also say; you look smashing in a Santa hat!


  14. A uniform engenders trust in people, that’s for sure…

    I was dressed in full Minister of Religion garb once, backward collar and all, and attending a function at a church. So many people came up to me and spoke to me in reverent tones and enquired of me about all manner of churchly things and, with the encouragement of the actual Minister, I just played along.

    That is until an old Greek lady came up with her grand daughter on her hip and said that her daughter and son-in-law had never taken the girl to church and that she had seized the opportunity that morning to rush around to the church to ask if I wouldn’t mind at blessing the child for her.

    I immediately thought that I could pull off a blessing quite well, but then two things stopped me. The girl wouldn’t really be religiously blessed, and even if the grandmother lived out her days believing her to be blessed, God would know that she wasn’t and may not let the girl into heaven, and I couldn’t have that hanging over me.

    But the main reason I handed her on to the real Priest was because I wondered how God would view it knowng that an Agnostic was running around blessing people in his name… I mean I’m skating on thin ice as it is as far as getting into heaven, if there is one, is concerned. I really didn’t need to make it even more difficult than necessary.

    Ummm… what was the question again…?

    Sorry Selma, I’ve forgotten why I was telling you that… Happy Christmas, anyway.


  15. LAURA – I think the ceilings are about 12 feet high. Most of the houses in inner Sydney are Victorian in design. The house I used to live in had double reception rooms with 15 foot ceilings. It was fabulous but very tricky when it came to changing lightbulbs. So glad you liked the tree!

    BEAR – oh, you crack me up. Being busted while dressed as a minister. LOL. You did the right thing, though. I would feel guilty as well, thinking my blessing hadn’t stuck. Hope you’ve had a great Christmas, hon!


  16. too, too funny! sorry dear but with that hat at the jaunty angle and that smirky grin, you look a bit more naughty than nice – i’m surprised you didn’t have any other ‘interesting’ encounters ๐Ÿ˜‰ delightful – thanks for the smiles!!


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