As much as I like you, today is a day for No People.

Every time Meredith has money, she wants to spend it on gifts for her friends. I don’t think this is a bad thing, and I enjoy seeing how thoughtful she is becoming as she chooses The Perfect Gift for different girls in her class. Because we’ve heard rumors that a birthday party is being planned in February, Meredith asked if we could go to the mall yesterday. She has chosen a few gifts for the birthday girl, and the store that sells the gifts (Justice) currently has a 40% storewide sale.

Please note that although I mentioned the store name up there, I didn’t link to it. Because I don’t like it. Because they sell padded bras for children. I mention how ridiculous this is every time we visit the store, yet we STILL VISIT THE STORE. (The girls love their pajamas and jewelry.) (Oh! Please don’t tell me how terrible I am for even walking in the door KNOWING that they sell padded bras for children. As hackneyed as it sounds, you really DO choose your battles/boycotts. I tend to not purchase products that were tested on animals. If someone tells me that the best seitan is at Whole Foods, I’ll go to Whole Foods regardless of the CEO’s views on climate change. (I’m on the edge of trying seitan. I might take you with me on that adventure.) My kids have been vaccinated and they’re current on their flu shots. I made them watch the inauguration yesterday. I will never wear anything with a Nike logo on it. I would rather have a migraine than eat a hamburger. I will always turn to rescue groups when it’s time to adopt a pet. I’m just a big bowl of Ridiculous and Kind and Anxious and Smart and Thirsty. (My hot tea is brewing. It was purchased at a place that was recently acquired by Starbucks. I won’t stop buying my tea, because my tea makes me happy. If you’re rolling your eyes right now, I hope they don’t stick like that. I really don’t! I think you’re so pretty, even though we might make different choices.))

The four of us arrived at the mall at approximately 12:30 and none of us had eaten lunch, so we headed to the food court where babies were screaming and kids were running and strollers were being pushed into people (mostly accidentally, I’m sure) and so many people. SO many people and so much noise and terrible food smells and sticky surfaces and although I have a prescription for Xanax, I rarely carry it with me. I needed Xanax at the mall food court, but I settled for a veggie burger.

After eating, we headed to the store where Meredith chose a stuffed animal, a necklace, and a hat for her friend. Something that should have taken about three minutes ended up taking fifteen, and when we exited the store and Jeff asked if we needed to go anywhere else in the mall, all I could say was, “I just need to be in the car. Right now.” I know my kids think I’m a weirdo. I also know that when you have kids, you can’t always avoid crowds. So many parades, amusement parks, parties, et cetera. I try to keep it together. That’s all I can do.

This morning I was supposed to go to the J for a spinning class after dropping Harper off at school. I made it as far as the parking lot before turning around and going right back home. I really can’t do people today. (I try to make it to spinning at least thirty minutes before class starts. After selecting my bike (#4!) and placing my towels, I warm up slowly while listening to the other class members talk about how disappointed they are because the class has become so crowded with “all these people who made resolutions to get into shape!” I’m one of the people they’re talking about, and I understand that they’re bummed about having to show up a few minutes earlier to sign up and choose a bike, but I also know that my paid membership carries the same weight as their paid membership and Dear God I’m so crabby right now.)

Someone around here needs to go to the grocery store, and that someone is me. Less than ten miles from my house sits a butternut squash that needs to find its way into my oven. (I’ll be using the self check-out lane.) Enjoy your Tuesday. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

28 thoughts on “As much as I like you, today is a day for No People.”

  1. Oh, I hate Justice too. The blaring music, mixed with the crowdedness of the merchandise, mixed with the patience-challenging employees, I can barely stand it. My daughter knows this. I feel like it’s just too much sensory input at once and it makes me very cranky. All of which is to say, I understand. Enjoy your tea, feel good about knowing to choose your battles, and listen to some Ben Folds today. :0)

  2. I so understand! I think my family just rolls their eyes sometimes, but I can only take so much. Sometimes I just want to do absolutely nothing and have there be no noise. I try to tell them politely on those days just to let me be, but they don’t always listen. I am starting to think some meds might be nice for those extreme days. Right now deep breathing will have to do. Oh, butternut squash sounds really good. Maybe tomorrow I will have to buy some. I hope the rest of your day goes like you would like it to. Hugs!

  3. My god. I think you’re my doppleganger. I rarely get headaches, but when I do it’s because I’ve ventured into a mall or a department store. This can set me back for 2 days and explains why I’m consistently dressed in target yoga pants and t-shirts. *hot*.

    I also recently had a FB rant at a friend who went off about Whole Foods – my question being where exactly CAN we shop while still maintaining our high moral principles? Because honestly, I have to feed my family and my choices and time (and money) are limited and there are NO perfect choices. She says grow your own food, bake your own bread, etc. I actually DO those things and have not been able to eliminate the need to go to the supermarket. And lets get real.

    Enjoy your solitude. If I were you I would step away from the lace knitting because your mood sounds like the one that I tried to knit through and ended up needing to rip out every last bit of that darn scarf and start over. But you’re better than me.

    Tea and quiet and you’ll be right as rain.

  4. Re: choices.

    Oh, honey, there is no way to always make the perfectly moral choice in an imperfect world. You just go ahead and choose what is right for you right at that moment. The world will continue to spin, the sun will continue to shine, and your life will be perfect for that instant in time.

  5. I hear you. on EVERY SINGLE count. except I don’t have a script for Xanax. you would think I would, but I don’t. I have Justice though luckily there are none here. but I have to suffer through it in Florida twice a year and that’s enough for me. ditto on the pjs. I had a no-people day last thursday and I anticipate having a few more in the next 2 weeks. chill out and drink tea.

  6. Wait – what’s wrong with Nike??? And oh no, because they’re the brand that fits me best. :(

    I understand the people thing. I have days with lots of meetings (weeks with lots of meetings, like this one), and I have to counteract it with lots of closed-door office time because too much people time is exhausting. I try, but it is what it is.

  7. Donnie and I discuss the choosing of battles/boycotts thing. He is strong against Nike so I’m slowly but surely trying to get read of my Nike gear. (Hard! It’s so anti-chaffing!) and he doesn’t eat at Chic-Fil-A. We both hate Justice and have been able to avoid it on “principle” simply because Nikki isnt old enough to care. When she is, we will cave, because that’s how we roll.

    Man. It’s the textbook “introvert” thing – we need alone time to recharge. I have a “no people” day often and if I go against that instinct? I always regret it because it always ends in me being a jerk to some poor cashier at Target.

  8. I have days like this all of the time. Some of my family members don’t understand how I would actually WANT to stay home all weekend and not leave the house, especially because I stay at home most every single day. Gotta find contentment in your life. My new “escape” and me time is now filled with all things Downton Abbey.

    I kept looking at all of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people that were in DC for the inauguration yesterday and wondering how many are going to get the flu or be sick.

    I am curious about seitan. It might be a good protein source for me. Keep me posted.

  9. I’ve been seeing an energy/massage therapist. She’s always telling me that it’s OK to be where you are. So, I’m going to tell you the same thing. It’s OK to be where you are and if that means hiding out for a bit, then so be it.

    We used to get these really great ban mi sandwiches in OKC. The veggie one was made with seitan and it was delicious. I also have a friend that makes her own. I always feel guilty for eating it because it’s so much gluten and my body is not a fan of the gluten. But that ban mi is always worth it.

  10. I am very familiar with the feeling of wanting No People on certain days. My children have learned the indicators. They will come home to find me vibrating and say “Mom, did you go to the mall today?”
    Also, I’m okay with where you shop or don’t shop as long as you are okay with it. Isn’t that what matters?

  11. I think I am pretty firmly on record as a people-hating people hater, so I definitely feel you on that. Yesterday H wanted me to drive her to the store to buy hair dye (I let my 15 year old dye her hair! and sometimes I help her do it! but she’s not allowed to wear a pushup bra or stay out past dinnertime on school nights! even though she’s almost old enough to drive!) and I needed a few groceries but the parking lot of the grocery store was SO packed that we just drove on through and got her hair dye and as many groceries as we were able at the drugstore instead. Because: no people. I had palpitations just THINKING about walking into that grocery store.

  12. Are you me? That is how I feel at The Mall. Also, I did a stint at Starbucks and while they are corporate, they are pretty crunchy, don’t test on animals and do a lot of good.

  13. Also, my daughter does not know Justice exists and I boycott Chic-fil-a and would boycott Walmart if it weren’t so cheap and convenient sometimes.

  14. I am ashamed because this morning I actually suggested a slightly padded training bra to my daughter–it was entirely out of frustration because she is convinced that “something” can be “seen” through her shirt. There is nothing there that pokes out or is visible in anyway, but she is very nervous about it anyway and no amount of reassurance on my part seems to be helping her manage the fear that at some point during the day her nipple will be perceivable through her shirt. She has not experienced any growth in this area yet, and in my experience has never yet had an unfortunate nipple perception moment. Nevertheless it is a big worry for her. We’ve discussed the ridiculousness of these padded junior bras in the past, she and I, and so I think she was a bit taken aback by my suggestion. I made it because she isn’t feeling like her tank tops or camis, or her “almost bras” are cutting it. But, really, truly, they are fine. She decided that no, that isn’t necessary. A sports-style bra should do the trick. I don’t know what to expect will happen when the time comes that she actually needs a bra. See how you make me do the tangent thing?

  15. I am so sorry it’s been a rough bit. I feel that way as soon as I am in contact with folks. The need to just go back to my home and hide. Hope finding and eating the yummy squash makes the day better.

  16. I very often get into the no people for me space, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    As for shopping etc. I try to do the 70% rule, don’t try to be perfect, know there will be compromises made and choose your battles. Aim for 70% and don’t feel guilty about it. I’m currently trying for 70% eating vegan, knowing I don’t have the willpower or time and energy to figure how to go 100% but liking the benefits of eating mostly vegan without feeling guilt at not doing it better.

    Meredith sounds like a very thoughtful and kind friend, you’ve done a great job.

  17. No people days are so worth it! I actually try to plan my life so that I don’t have to leave my home on the weekends…sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We all have our “thing”. As for malls, I was so thrilled when my teenage daughter absolutely refused to shop the mall stores…Hollister, Abercrombie, etc. (talk about migraines!), preferring locally owned boutiques instead. That being said, I was absolutely thrilled to find Justice when she was a preteen and I could no longer find jeans for her that fit (read very long longs, very narrow waist and bottom). Those were the only items we ever bought . I had to pick my battle…my child had a right to wear clothes that fit!

    On a final note, over Christmas by sister and I were in a St. Louis Petco…by the time we left we both expressed the need for a stiff drink!

  18. One of my Top Five (maybe one of my Top Three) is gym “regulars” who make fun of / complain about / make funny faces at / don’t like people who are also in the same gym after making New Year’s Resolutions or rarely go or go and try their hardest even though they’re out of shape. Makes me sad/mad.

  19. I love you, that is all. I’m so glad that I care nothing and everything about your choices, if you know what I mean. Home is a good place – course so is being alone in a crowd. Lol. Hugs to you today, this week, or however long it lasts.

  20. I did not realize how much I need alone time until I got a full time job out of my house. I need a lt of time to decompress on those days.

  21. My 13 year old who eats no meat (pescitarian – 3 years now) just said “there’s no pork on my fork” and I totally thought of you! I know that has nothing to do with this post, but there it is.

  22. I’m with you on no-people days. They’re necessary and enjoyable.

    A friend recently told me she let her daughter shop online at Justice to avoid all the ‘junk’ items, and the endless shopping vortex that store becomes. I plan on encouraging my girls to spend their Christmas Justice gift cards online.

    And, for the person who suggested the padded bras to her daughter- Kohl’s usually has non-underwire, non-push-up bras that are lightly…’padded’ I guess, but uniformly so- it doesn’t add bulk, really. It’s difficult to find girls bras that don’t have underwires.

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