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Friday night was a bit of an adventure, and I was nervous about it, but steeled myself with the thought that if women like Mid-Life Traveller and Travelling Crone can head into unknown territory far from home, why can’t I? They are far braver than I, that’s why! And it really wasn’t all that far from home.

Little Guy had a birthday party at a party place, in an area I’ve rarely been in, during rush hour traffic. With the exception of almost turning too soon (I sat in a left turn lane trying to merge back into westbound traffic through 2 cycles of the light before a perfectly-coiffed lady in an SUV with a very large diamond ring let me back in), we arrived safely. I deposited my kid in room of “party mania” and made a quick exit!

Big Guy was heading into town for the weekend and knew roughly what neighbourhood I was going to be in, so I called him and arranged to meet him at a nearby mall. He gave me directions and assured me I couldn’t miss the mall!

You should have seen my spot, Jerry; it was right outside the door! I parked outside a store just like Outdoor Man in Tim Allen’s sitcom, Last Man Standing. The outside looks like a giant cabin, complete with moose antler door handles, and the store itself contains everything you could possible need (and then some) for hunting, camping, fishing, and outdoor sports…as well as specialized meat grinders and equipment for deep frying a turkey. Guy Heaven!

I knew I had a few minutes before Big Guy would arrive, so I thought I’d slip into one of my favourite clothing stores…First, I forgot the size of this place – I have only been here once or twice before. This mall has neighbourhoods! I looked it up and it has over 1.2 million square feet of retail space, and there are plans in the works to add more! I wasn’t wearing “hiking” boots and I kept slipping on the floors. The store I wanted to “slip” into was at least 2 neighbourhoods away so I had to hurry. I passed a hair appliance kiosk and the very bored salesgirl took one look at me and looked away, suddenly intent on the curling iron in her hand. I thought dryly, “good choice, honey”!

I did make it to that store eventually and I felt like I was trapped inside a really bad Wham! video…everything was tiny and fluorescent neon. I made a quick tour and decided, Don’t wake me up – I’m going to go-go!! Then I stepped into a lingerie store…more neon, only tinier! I’ve been told there are women who would kill for my hour-glass figure, but to be honest, I’m envious of them because they can shop in this type of store. Yes, there might be a few things that I could buy in there (and one of these days I’ll investigate), but since it required undressing in a change room, and the ambience made me feel way too exposed already, I just headed back to Guy Heaven to meet Big Guy. I passed the hair kiosk girl again and she looked away again…

Big Guy and I ate greasy food in the food court and I braved the traffic to pick up Little Guy. I only had one encounter with a “man” in an SUV who seemed to think he had the right of way (he clearly did not). To make a long story short, let’s just say walking through Guy Heaven must equipped me with “a pair” (to use a rather sexist expression). He ranted, he raged, he honked, he tried to hit me several times, and he graced me with that infamous one-fingered wave. But said “man” did not get to go! Go ahead, make my day!