Have you ever done something for a woman that you thought would be sweet and sort of charming and then mall security got involved? Recently, I was house sitting for a woman I was interested in. She has a stuffed animal that sits on her bed. At some point in our conversations we started talking about the Rabbit as if it was our Autistic child.
“How is buddy, today?” She might ask.
“He’s good but he misses you.”
“Don’t let him have a coke even if he asks.”
“What if he is a very good boy?”
That sort of thing.
In one of our conversations about Buddy, I said I was going to take him to the mall on the weekend. She thought this was cute and I thought, what if I really did? I could bring him to the mall; snap a few photos of him and I sitting in a food court and send those to her. It would be sweet. What could go wrong?
This is what went wrong.
First of all what did I expect? How would anyone think it was weird that a single man with a stuffed rabbit and a camera wouldn’t raise eyebrows? With Buddy under my arm I marched into the food court at the Merton in down San Francisco. I sat him at a table with a coke and a straw leading to his mouth. I thought it would be cool if I could get a shot of us sitting there with trays of junk food in front of us. So, I went around to some of the tables where people had left the remains of their lunches and piled it on our table. I started to notice people stopping their cell phone conversations, do a double take or simply start to stare in that way where you can’t believe what you’re seeing. It must of looked weird. Why would a guy take garbage from other tables and place it on a table in front of a stuffed Rabbit? Why? Because I like this woman. Because you do mildly crazy things sometimes to hear the person you have feelings for laugh. What are a few minutes out of a Saturday afternoon to achieve that?
Now I needed someone to take the photos. I thought about this. It couldn’t be a teenager because handing a camera to a teenager and asking them to get me and my Bunny seated at the table is just an Amber Alert waiting to happen. It couldn’t be an older person because I would end up with a great snap shot of their thumb. My best bet would be a couple. When they asked why I could say, oh it’s for my girlfriend. Hopefully they would find that charming and it would give the guy a chance to show that he can appreciate sweetness. After setting the scene and ignoring still more curious eyes, I found a couple and just as I thought, they were eager to help me out. They took a few photos and when they handed the camera back to me, mall security came up to me. Mall security, these are people who couldn’t get jobs at MUNI, right? I’m 5’6. The two guys who came up to me were maybe 5’0. They both had a look of fierce determination on their faces. They looked like really upset Hobbits who were forced to leave the shire and get jobs outside of middle earth.
“You have to leave the mall, Sir.”
Those were the first words out of the lead guys mouth. I call him the leader because he was the one without the lazy eye. I guess that makes him a good guard because even though he was looking straight ahead he could still keep an eye on what was happening to his left.
My first response was simply, “Why?”
True to form the lolly pop guild repeated, “You have to leave, Sir.”
The lazy eye one put his hand on my elbow in an attempt to get me moving. Here is a sentence I never imagined I would ever say indignantly, “I’m not leaving without my Bunny!”
He picked up Buddy and for a moment it was hard to tell who was bigger.
All my life I have been embarrassed about my teeth. I have often thought that I must be some lesser god of irony. After all, my job is to make people laugh but I am too self-conscience of my smile to let myself smile. I have always thought that to get a woman of quality interested in me I would have to fix my teeth first. Odd thing is, I attracted a woman who truly likes me for me and sees past the teeth. But I need to get them fixed now anyway because she broke one. Let me explain. We went out on a date. It was a pretty amazing date. We got back to her place and things eventually lead to the bedroom. Now, we agreed not to have sex because we want to honestly get to know each other and see if we have something special here. That doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy each other though. Then, at a particularly hot moment, she moved in such a way that I bit down and a front tooth that had a hidden fracture finally broke and flew out of my mouth.
You want to talk about a cock block?
The sound was horrible. It was an inhuman crunching noise that couldn’t be mistaken for anything normal. Her reaction was to stop and say, “What was that? Should we stop?”
My reaction, “No!” Keep going.”
Mind you, I wasn’t feeling any pain. I was too caught up in the moment for that. Nothing puts a stop to the action like having to turn on the lights and pat down the sheets to find a chunk of bone that just flew out of your mouth in the middle of feeling each other up.
I might have found the woman who doesn’t care about my smile but likes me for me, but now because we liked each other hard, really hard, I have to fix one tooth so I might as well finally go ahead and get them all fixed.
That Rabbit was looking right at me when the lights came on too.
By this time, a small crowd had started to form around me at the food court. I could see people taking their ipod ear buds out. People walking by slowed down and sunglasses came off. Teenage girls covered their mouths as they said Oh My God to each other before laughing. Parents hurried their kids along suspecting something bad was about to happen any second. I know that if the situation were reversed I would have stopped and would be telling this story from that perspective instead of staring in my own embarrassing moment. I realized that physically, these two weren’t much of a threat to me but why escalate it to that point? I got my photos so lets just leave. But I also had the feeling I get sometimes when a show is going so bad that all you can do is let go and start to have fun with how incredibly bad the show was going. OK, if I am going to be kicked out of a mall for taking pictures of a stuffed animal to make a woman smile, then I am going to embrace how weird this situation had become and make it weirder.
I looked around at the crowd, all of whom were looking but trying to look like they weren’t looking and then shouted at the mall trolls, “What kind of country do we live in when a man can’t take photos of a stuffed bunny in the pursuit of pussy?”
To my surprise, a handful of people, men, clapped their hands as I walked with my security escort to the front door.