We’re at the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock tonight for Carly Rae Jepsen and Katy Perry; it’s a new experience being the average age in a crowd of concert-goers. We’re usually the youngest people, like at Peter Frampton.
Y’all. This place is full of adult couples. And older adult couples. And families with kids. And packs of teenage girls chaperoned by the unluckiest mom on the block.
The couple in the seats in front of us have just arrived; it’s forty-five minutes to showtime. I feel so grown up and got-my-shit-together looking at them. Their iPhones are our iPhones’ great-great-grandparents.
And they just asked us to take a picture of them so I cannot possibly talk shit about them. They’re too cute. She has a darling ribbon rosette jacket over a black and white dress. He has a man bun, black plastic-framed glasses, and a neatly trimmed stage between five o’clock shadow and actual beard.
The couple behind us is supposed to be seated on our row, but they’re old and are still learning how to work smartphones. Someone will figure it out eventually.
There are so many blinking purple and red kitty cat ears in the audience. It’s going to be awesome when they turn the lights down.I have never seen such generous portions of chicken strips at a concessions stand. And funnel cakes that look like pies.
A girl two rows down has no qualms about showing all of us behind her nudes as she scrolls through her photos.
Thirty minutes to showtime. I am so stoked for all the little girls here that are so excited they’re about to burst.
I just photobombed the cute couple in front of us. It was an accident. We all laughed about it.
I’ll let you know how the concert is.
He wore a palm tree print button up shirt, and I’ve never before in my life seen a man who could rock a pith helmet as well as this man could, were he wearing one. Even without a monocle and large mustache.
If Vanilla Ice shaved his head and grew his eyebrows out I think I just met him.
He asked if I had change, I said yes sir, I have change. He said, no, I mean a lot of change like for $100. I gave him change for his $100, and he insisted that I check it somehow in the dark to verify its authenticity. I held it up to the streetlight and saw that it had a metallic strip in it so I thanked him. He must have forgotten that I have his phone number and address should something be wrong with his money.
And this guy. Jeez, this guy. I knocked on the door of his hotel room, waited, and knocked again. I heard nothing, so I called him to verify his room number. Yeah, that’s my room, but I’m not there. I didn’t know you’d be here so fast. So he left, apparently. And I am currently standing outside of this downtown hotel at ten o’clock on a Friday night waiting for him. He was quoted 45 minutes to an hour, and it’s now been 45 minutes on the dot, since I’ve been writing this post while I wait. Maybe this is him. It was him. He eyeballed me as he drove past, parked very far away, and then slowly moseyed back to the front door, where he complained that I was too fast.
And the lady who said let me just make sure there’s no onions before you leave like I was going to pick them off for her if there were.
Seriously though, I’m having a heck of a time back delivering pizzas. I love it.
It’s an odd mixture of hipsters and strippers at this new mall, sprinkled liberally with saggy-pantsed gangstas, rich white ladies, and classic four-piece nuclear families.
Is he old enough to drive? I can’t tell anymore. Maybe his mother dropped him off. But no, she was waiting for him on a nearby bench while he bought cookies to cram in his mouth by the handful. He brushes the crumbs from his fingers onto his shorts and helps her carry the Dillard’s bags.
He’s mall walking age, but the three piece suit tells me that’s not what he’s here for, as does his pose, leaning against the ladies wear storefront. His daughter comes out of the store, bag in hand, and they set off together. Perhaps she chose the flower for his lapel.
Rhinestones sparkle from her neck and wrists, and the clear acrylic platform heels click against the floor tiles as she rapidly walks by, holding a loud conversation via speakerphone. Oh no, honey, she got to get her hair did.
She drags two school aged children along behind her, scolding them each time they pause to explore some shiny distraction. She’s in a hurry; she has to be out of here by eight, she keeps repeating, whether to herself or to passersby or to me, I’m unsure. The children plead for escape with their eyes.
He sits next to his expensive girlfriend, texting on his expensive phone and wearing his expensive shoes. She talks without pause for breath, gesturing broadly with both hands. He continues to text, ignoring her.
Black button up shirt, black bow tie,black slacks that stop just shy of his ankle bone, black socks, polished black shoes. His face is stern and his beard neatly trimmed and sharply outlined. He stares straight ahead, no matter who he passes.
He looks her up and down as they pass each other, licking his lips before he loses himself in his phone again, She is oblivious to his lasciviousness, bags bumping her leg with every step she takes.
His stride is an easy stroll. The metal cane he carries may be an affectation, something he uses because of his calendar age and not because of necessity. He doesn’t seem to be leaning on it for support or balance. His head swivels back and forth, back and forth as he walks, peering into each and every store.
She clasps her wallet tightly against her chest as though the slightest release of pressure will cause it to leap from her arms and into a stranger’s. She wears running shorts and tennis shoes, but that wallet is too large for her to have been exercising while carting it along.
Mother and child, carrying lunch. Mother holds the bag of food and her large styrofoam cup. Daughter struggles to keep up with both chubby arms wrapped around her own small styrofoam cup. Short legs begin to fail, and mother now holds food, cup, and daughter.
Sweatpants, sweatshirt, hoodie–and flip flops. His thumbs flash across the face of his phone as I wonder what weather he dressed himself for today.
The scowl on his face would say hit man in a movie; here, he’s simply old and tired. The department store bag he carries swings softly at his side. His tennis shoes are falling apart.
His tan, his swagger, the fall of hair in front of his face: they all scream River Phoenix. Does this kid even know who River Phoenix is? Probably not. He knocks a shoe from the display and briefly juggles it before it gets away from him and hits the floor. He sheepishly replaces it, and I look away to save him embarrassment.
She hangs on his arm, letting him swipe his card at store after store. She wears sequins and lipgloss; he wears scrubs and bags beneath his eyes. Their footsteps stay in sync, the bags swinging from her hand and his hand in unison.
From the look on her face, the size of that coffee in her hand is not nearly large enough. From the speed of her walk, the comfort level of those shoes on her feet is not nearly high enough. From the longing in her eyes at the shop windows, the amount of money in her wallet is not nearly enough.
He dresses like a hipster, but his grandchildren are old enough to be hipsters. I’m proud of you, grandpa. Age shouldn’t dictate fashion. Personality should. Good on you.
He walks the mall nearly every day; on the days he’s missing, I worry. He’s always decked out head to toe in his college colors. He has a smile, a wave, and a warm greeting for everyone he passes. Yes sir, I will make sure I don’t work too hard. Roll Tide!
She works two kiosks down to my left; she also works two kiosks down to my right. Some days she’s here open to close; some days I can tell she’s really not feeling it. But feeling it or not, she’s stunningly beautiful, with flawlessly clear skin.
Backwards cap with sunglasses perched on top: do you shade your eyes with your hand outside? How cliche. But your shirt brags the same loyalty as my daily walking friend, so Roll Tide!
She tap-shuffle-slides her way down the mall, barely lifting her flip flops as she makes her lazy way. Wait! She comes to an abrupt stop and raps her dirty fingers on a glass storefront, pointing and waving madly until she has the attention she’s been trying to attract. She rudely leaves an entire handprint on the glass.
Her face is stern as she shifts her bags from one hand to the other. Her stride is slightly quicker than normal. Her lips purse in quiet disapproval at my blue lipstick as her gaze slides disdainfully away.