First of all, they closed Opryland to put in yet another mall. OPRYLAND! All through my childhood I'd spend every summer hanging out there. Watching "I Hear America Singing" until I had it memorized. Getting soaked on the Flume Zoom and the Grizzly River Rampage (where I learned, as a teenager, to never wear a white shirt). Riding the Skyride and waving to cute boys to meet us at the other side, telling them we'd wait for them. Then, giggling, we'd get back on going the other way and pass them again, waving like lunatics and repeating the entire routine again and again. Sheesh! Boys!
Riding the Wabash Cannonball fifteen times in a row. Ditto the Rock n' Roller Coaster in the Doo Wah Diddy area (a really cool fifties-themed area) with the most delicious chocolate malts EVER. And the Little Deuce Coupe. Riding the Tennessee Waltz and playing games in the State Fair area. Racing Tin Lizzies with my brother. Oh how I miss Opryland. A month after giving birth to my first child and looking forward to all the fun I'd have taking him to Opryland when he got older, they closed it. By the time my second child was born the new mall was open. And all that fun, gone, for another mall.
But we had to go there because we had a mall gift card that we needed to spend. Dan needed new shoes, so he decided to buy them there and use his certificate. I should've sent Dan by himself, since he passes Opry Mills twice a day on his way to his own mall. Actually, I think Dan passes three malls on his way to the one where he works.
Like this city needed another mall. When it first opened I said I was going to boycott the place altogether, but being a parent has forced me to go there a few times in the last ten years--mostly because of Rainforest Cafe and The Aquarium, which are places where you can see pretty aquatic life but should never, ever, eat. And here's what I truly don't get: that darn mall is full all the time! I've never been there when it wasn't completely packed out with the dregs of humanity.
Yes, it's quite an interesting slice of life you see at Opry Mills. It must be the mall of choice for all the toothless Bubbas in the mid-state area. Yesterday was no exception. I think they must've been running a 20% off special for all residents of single-wides with tattoos. Double discount if you're wearing a cleavage-baring tank top (Eagle tattoo on at least one breast is a given) with a hem high enough to show off your tramp stamp of the Rebel flag resting delicately adjacent to the muffin top, which sits just above the Grand Canyon showing out the top of your Daisy Duke denim cut-shorts with the frayed hem.
And don't get me started on the walking patterns of fellow shoppers. Too late. I'm started. First off there's the four-hundred pound Bubba crawl. This is the guy who walks at a pace that most snails would view as too speedy for safety. Why does he walk so slowly? Because his designer jeans are hanging below the southern-most end of his butt and his giant sh*t-kicker workboots are uncomfortable because they're still brand new because he doesn't actually wear them to work (his NOT having a job and all) and he just bought them because they look cool. And because he's so large there's no way to pass him so you're forced to crawl along behind him, wondering how much longer those jeans can defy gravity and praying that they continue to do so as long as you're trapped behind him so you won't have to view a sight that should never be witnessed when that denim finally falls.
When he finally gets distracted by something and veers to the left just enough to squeak by him on the right, you encounter another mall walking phenomenon. Next there's the women who are walking along at a somewhat normal pace who suddenly, inexplicably feel the need to slam on their proverbial brakes and have an inpromptu conversation in the middle of the aisle. Right in front of me. So that I can't get around them. Making me want to shout, "Excuse me! I'm walking here! Take your red-tipped, four-inch acrylic nails and your over-processed hair and move aside, honey!"
You might not have noticed, but I'm feeling a wee bit cranky today. Nothing a good funnel cake and a ride on the Screamin' Delta Demon wouldn't cure.