There appears to be an advent calendar thief in my house. I have questioned every member of my family very sternly and all have denied opening doors number 16, 19, and 22---we haven't even had the 22nd yet!---and eating the small morsel of Cadburys chocolate inside. Thus, it remains a mystery. I have started suspecting everyone, casting my mind back to recall who might have entered the house, opened the refrigerator, and pilfered the one small joy in my life while I wasn't looking. No-one is safe. Was it the gardener? My sister's mild-mannered little friend who came over to bake gingerbread on Saturday? One of the cats? Have I been sleepwalking? I just cannot fathom that I would be acquainted with---let alone related to---the type of person who would see nothing wrong with opening the doors of another person's advent calendar and stealing their chocolate. So what is going on?
In other news, I had a bit of a to-do yesterday at a shopping mall, when I was running between the six floors, meeting my mother in one store to discuss my sister's Christmas present, and then hurrying back down the escalator to meet my sister in another store to discuss my mother's Christmas present, all the while trying to drop hints about an umbrella I really wanted. (I know! My life is so exciting! In my defence, though, it's really a very cute umbrella, all polka-dotted and curlicue-edged. I will, however, admit that there is no excuse for the dorkitude of item number 9 on my Christmas list, which is NEW GLASSES. Welcome to the cutting-edge glamour of my exotic life, Internet, I hope you can take the excitement! Will I be asking for wallpaper next? Toothpaste? One of those things that slices a boiled egg for you?) (Actually, mum, I kind of want one of those if you can find it.)
Anyway, while I was running between floors three and five, the shopping mall apparently experienced a power blackout (I found this out later; there was no explanation at the time) and as a result, these heavy gray canvas curtains came down from the ceiling---I have NO IDEA WHY; to conserve the electricity we'd just been using, perhaps, in case some of it was still around?---and completely marred my view from one end of the mall to the other. It was like being inside someone's briefcase, or maybe the belly of a whale, and since this was not sitting well with me---this suddenly not being able to see thing---I moved one of the gray curtains aside so I could attempt to find the escalator and get out of there. But sweet baby moses, those curtains were SHARP, or at least the edges of them were, and they ripped a large gash in my pants, and also a large gash in my shin.
And at first I was just so angry! I was all, where did these large gray canvas curtains suddenly come from and why were they obscuring my view? And why were they SHARP at the bottom? And why have they ripped my pants? Don't they know I bought these pants in a market in Beijing specifically to wear on the Great Wall of China, and I bargained SO HARD for them, and also I only have, like, two pairs of casual pants in the world and this is one of them and the other is jeans and I AM MOVING TO SAN FRANCISO NEXT WEEK AND I WILL NEED CASUAL PANTS BECAUSE IT IS COLD AND ALL THE CAPRI-LENGTH FLIPPERTIJIBBETS I HAVE WON'T CUT IT, AND I REALLY DO NOT NEED ANOTHER THING TO WORRY ABOUT (OR SPEND MONEY ON) RIGHT NOW?
And then when I found my sister, I was undoubtedly all wild-eyed and deranged-looking and not only were my pants RIPPED, but they were also speckled with BLOOD, and first she was all "oh my god, are you okay?" and then she was like "actually, can you stand over there in case I see anyone I know from school?" and then we discussed what should happen next, namely that the manager of the shopping mall should let me have a new pair of pants from ANY STORE I WANTED, and also I should not have to bargain for them this time, nor should I have to wear them to walk the Great Wall of China because oh my god, no, once was enough.
And then my mother arrived and took one look at my flapping pants and my bleeding shin and marched us down to the manager's office, and the manager arrived and he was this very sweet Singaporean man called Jason, wearing an ill-advised lilac shirt, and he REALLY wanted to do the right thing, but he wasn't quite sure what the right thing was. And so he called some lady to come and dress my wound---apparently it's like at the airport, when the female security guard has to search you in case you accuse them of any funny business, or actually perhaps Jason just didn't know how to work a band-aid---and then he said he was very sorry and gave me a $100 gift voucher to buy a new pair of pants in ANY STORE I WANTED.
(Susie and I could totally not believe this actually happened, by the way, that our righteous indignation yielded exactly the result we were looking for. It made me want to close my eyes and say I SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO EAT ALL THE ICE CREAM I WANT WITHOUT IT MAKING ME FAT and then to open them and find someone standing there with a voucher promising exactly that.)
So when I was all bandaged up and it was decided that no, I most certainly did not need an ambulance, I mean honestly, I've had mosquito bites that bled more than this, we bid goodbye on fairly good terms with promises to come and see Jason in the manager's office the next time we came to the mall so he could treat us to a gingerbread latte. And then he followed us around nervously for the next twenty minutes, trying to make sure we weren't about to call a lawyer and sue, and I was all no, it's fine, now please go away, I have a hundred bucks to spend on pants.
Although maybe now I will just donate it as a reward to the person who catches the advent calendar thief. Eating number 22 indeed! Who does that?