In Which I Go Crazy With The Caps Lock Button (So Wait, What Else Is New?)

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?

1
mj
Dec 19, 2006

haha- I just bought one of those egg slicers at a Pampered Chef party. I just now realized how funny it is that I went to a party to buy something that slices my boiled eggs. But it slices mushrooms and strawberries too!

2
Erica
Dec 19, 2006

Sorry about your pants and leg - now rub some glittered lotion on it and get back in the game! Yay for the new pants with no bargaining or wall walking necessary.
Now on to more important topics: chocolate theif-catching. Open all of the rest of your advent doors and replace the Cadburys with some of those chewy chocolate laxatives re-seal the doors with some MacGyver maneuver. Wait 2 hours, then lock all of the bathroom doors in the house. First one to run screaming around the house while holding the back of their trousers is the thief.

3
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 19, 2006

Erica, BEST PLAN EVER.

4
Maggie
Dec 19, 2006

You really need to tell us more about these curtains. What was their purpose? To contain the frantic masses? Were they SUPPOSED to be sharp? Were they heavy? (I thought, at first, that you were going to say that this huge gray curtain fell right on top of you and that you were pinned underneath it until the power came back on.) Did nobody yell at you for trying to get around the curtain?

5
jes
Dec 19, 2006

Wow. Your british tone really came out in this entry. Is it all the time you're spending with your family? Or all the Jane Austen I've been watching lately? (Yes, watching. Though reading is better, it requires much more of my brain than I'm willing to sacrifice right now.)

Also, I have an extra egg-slicer thing from Pampered Chef, from a husband who accidentally bought me two, and if you want my 2nd one, neither of which has ever been used (I always forget about it when i'm slicing eggs!), I'd be happy to donate it.

Sort of like a housewarming gift for San Francisco, except you may be homeless. But at least you'll be homeless with perfectly cut eggs.

6
Laura
Dec 19, 2006

Ok, I can top your #9...
I asked my parents for a sink and a toilet! Yes you read correctly, not only a sink, which would be bad enough, but a toilet. I really shouldn't admit that, should I?

7
Sheila
Dec 19, 2006

Get Jason to follow around your family members and watch for furtive chocolate-grabbing. If anyone is good at catching shoplifters, it would be a mall manager, right?

8
barbie2be
Dec 19, 2006

sorry about your pants and your leg, but holly, darling... really you don't need one of those egg slicer things. that's what knives are for. :)

9
Adele
Dec 19, 2006

My husband's xmas shopping list of a few years ago included a microwave egg poaching kit and an electric nasal hair remover. Sexy eh?

(I would like to point out that his nose is no more hairy than the next man's...especially if the next man happens to be one of those old university professors with a forest emanating from their nostrils)

10
othurme
Dec 19, 2006

Holly, it seems to me that Jes's carefully worded comment may or may not be an attempt, upon your acceptance, to legally rid herself of, and bind you to taking, her 2nd husband, and not her 2nd egg slicer. Until complete clarification is made, I warn you against hastily agreeing to her arrangement.

11
PhoenixHearse
Dec 19, 2006

I am truly mystified by this whole "big gray curtain" thing (and by the way, gray with an "a" is also my personal choice, grey with an "e" just reminds me of Grey's Anatomy, and that makes me want a sandwich...or a scalpel, I can't tell).

So why are there curtains? We're they trying to herd together all the shoppers?
"Attention mall shoppers, sale at the Boutique."
"Uh oh, no one's going to the sale, DEPLOY THE CURTAINS!"

Seriously, this is killing me, I'm going to go Google it.

12
PhoenixHearse
Dec 19, 2006

And I must correct "we're" to "were", because it's making even my eyes bleed.

13
Kelli
Dec 19, 2006

Wow. Curtains in a Singapore mall. Hmm. Never, ever in my life would I have guessed that.

So, here's my take on your advent calendar. Have you checked the bottom of the box/plastic thing? Last year, I ended up missing at least 1/2 of my chocolate pieces and started going balistic on my brother "YOU HAVE YOUR OWN ADVENT CALENDAR! MOM BOUGHT US BOTH ONE. WHY ARE YOU EATING MINE?" (Yes, I'm 27 and this is how I behaved) until he calmly opened up the bottom of my calendar and showed me that somehow, during mailing or some such thing...some of the pieces had slipped out of their plastic casings and were all hanging out at the bottom. Maybe the same thing happened to you?

Although, if that's not the case I def. am all for Erica's plan!

14
Steff
Dec 19, 2006

So what pants did you buy? Or did you buy something other than pants? You dont have much time to spend it! Maybe you can hit some post holiday sales to make it streeeetch.

We have 2 advent calendars un opened, something is seriously wrong with my boys if they will not open these calendars and eat the chocolate! Need to have them checked!

For the record, I found this blog right as you were leaving SC. So, thanks for six months of a really good adventure!

15
Sarah
Dec 19, 2006

1. The power failed, so the reaction was to make the mall darker? Ok.
2. Ouch for the leg, but yay! for righteous indignation and then $100
3. Is it weird that Sean was a main character in my dream last night?

16
vague
Dec 19, 2006

I, too, am baffled by the curtains -- most especially, though, how and why were they sharp? Is a person supposed to go around watching out for sharp, dangerous drapery now? Jason didn't explain any of this to you?

Well, at least you can rest easy knowing that there are no dangerous drapes in San Francisco...that we know of.

17
Susan
Dec 20, 2006

I asked for an egg slicer thingy for Mother's Day a few years back, and got it. And I love it. Perfectly sliced eggs, every time.

Now let's talk about the pants.

18
jonniker
Dec 20, 2006

New pants? Seriously? That's awesome. And I was going to suggest the laxative route, or at least something very bitter and unpleasant, for the advance advent eating? NOT COOL.

19
Erica
Dec 20, 2006

Glad ya'll liked my plan to catch a thief. I come from a long line of laxative pranksters. My mom and I have both pulled various laxaive capers in the past. Holly, you must let us know if the chocolate was all in the bottom of the calendar though!

20
vague
Dec 20, 2006

Erica, that sounds both awesome and terrifying!

21
JB
Dec 20, 2006

$100? At ANY store you want?

Seriously, I think my heart skipped a beat. The excitement! The possibilities!

Please tell us what you end up getting...?

22
lisa
Dec 20, 2006

I told one of my middle-school students that I asked for towels for Christmas and he seriously had a cow for the next 30 minutes about how that was the lamest thing in the world to want. It didn't seem to change his mind when I told him that they were soft, pretty towels in exactly the right color to match my new bedding...

23
Wacky Mommy
Dec 21, 2006

That is one of the craziest and happiest stories you have ever shared.

24
Jessica
Dec 21, 2006

Hello, you don't know me, but I am going to need some details about the mysterious curtains! I am truly mystified here & having some trouble visualizing what you mean. Did they unroll and hang down from the ceiling like room partitions, or were they dropped like dropcloths, or what? Please update if you figure out their purpose; bizarre.

25
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 21, 2006

Alright, these curtains. Imagine a mall with the shops all around the edges and the big space in the middle, and on the ground floor there's a Santa's Workshop or something. And you walk along the corridors all around the edges of the mall, and there's a glass sheet to about waist-height and a silver handrail and you can see all the way down, and the escalators go up and down at each end of every floor. You with me?

Well, while I was in one of the shops, this so-called power cut occured, and as a safety precaution, these large gray sort of DROPCLOTH things rolled down in the space between floors, where previously there had been the aforementioned waist-high sheet of glass, the handrail, and, above that, the air. So now one can't stand next to the sheet of glass and look down -- in fact, one can't look ANYWHERE -- because there's this large gray curtain in the way, this big sheet of canvas covering all the open air between floors, and making one sort of TUBE with the shops on one side and the gray curtain on the other. Making sense?

They even hung down at the bits where you got on the escalator, so I pushed one aside -- not knowing why it was there, since it had appeared in the time I'd been in the store -- and THAT'S when it cut me, because it was a heavy piece of canvas and the bottom of it was covered in some sort of....metal, which sliced me as it brushed past my shin.

Does this make it clearer for everyone? Can we all sleep a little better at night now?

26
Jessica
Dec 22, 2006

For some reason, this is the funniest entry to me.

I think I've had too much eggnog.