We haven’t been to the mall in months. I can’t remember the last movie we saw. Because Speedy will be out of town for five days for his company’s annual conference, when Sam suggested seeing “300” yesterday, I didn’t give Speedy the chance to say no even though the past two weeks had been very stressful for him. I figured he could do with some time away from his computer and work too. We went out to catch the last full show but it turned out we were too early. It so happened too that there was a mall-wide sale.
I didn’t start on the shopping spree; Speedy did. He bought a pair of Nike, saw me checking out a pair of Keds sneakers and offered to buy them for me. When he went to load the boxes of shoes in the car, the girls and I moved from one store to another and I bought a pair of Diadora shoes for PhP 990.00, slashed down from the original price of PhP 2,450.00. Sam also bought a pair of Adidas flip-flops, also for PhP 990.00.
Nine hundred and ninety pesos for a pair of flip-flops (a hyped up term for the lowly tsinelas, inspired by Japanese sandals, that most of us wear at home) made my eyebrows shoot up. But footwear is footwear. Although I won’t be caught dead wearing tsinelas outside the house, I can’t insist that Sam wear sneakers, my footwear of choice, if she feels more comfortable — and more her age — wearing flip-flops. If I consider PhP 990.00 to be a good price for my footwear, why shouldn’t I feel the same about her footwear of choice?
Happy with our footwear, we went to see “300“, went home and psyched ourselves to wake up early on Sunday for lunch at my mother-in-law’s. I can’t remember exactly why we decided to pass by Gateway Mall after lunch and before going home. I recall that we were supposed to buy something — rechargeable batteries for Alex, I think — and because my mother-in-law’s is in Cubao, Gateway was the nearest mall. Fortunately or unfortunately, there was a mall-wide sale too. There was this gorgeous pair of light blue Lacoste sneakers and… well, I don’t usually buy shoes in that price range but they were gorgeous and I couldn’t resist. I gave in.
Anyway, the kids were checking out shoes too and, as often happens, we split up. The girls went with me (Speedy can’t stand how we pore over shoes and bags) and Speedy did his own shopping. This strategy of splitting up is most useful when we don’t want to be bothered by Speedy’s bored comments and long looks. He saw a pair of Hush Puppies and he said he was going to buy some socks so he could try the shoes on properly. We parted happily, each looking forward to his shopping loot.
Now, get this. We weren’t supposed to stay too long in the mall. Speedy had some reports to finish for the conference and Sam had a project to do. On the way to the mall, Speedy reminded us all that we wouldn’t stay too long. When he saw the Hush Puppies, he happily sent us off to do our own shopping. No rush, no stress, no time limits, no nothing.
Thirty minutes later, he was calling and sending SMS and asking where we were because he was going to join us. When he caught with us at the Olympic Village, he wasn’t smiling. The Hush Puppies… they didn’t have his size. He asked if we were finished; I said we were not. He abruptly told me he was going to the supermarket and he would meet with us afterwards. Fifteen minutes later, he was done with the grocery. He was hanging around and his body language was unmistakable — he wanted to go home. And it wasn’t just body language. He was short-tempered, he was irritable, he was a different person from the one who said goodbye to us on his way to buying his Hush Puppies. He started complaining about how late it was and how tired he would be to do his report when we got home.
We wrapped up our shopping (Alex had an L.A. Gear bag and a pair of high-cut Converse Chuck Taylor shoes while Sam had a pair of Reef flip-flops by that time) and started walking to the parking lot. Speedy was walking in front of us and the girls and I were snickering behind him. We knew why he was foul-tempered but we said nothing to him. Well, not until we were halfway home and he has had a chance to pull himself together anyway.
We minced no words. He acted like a complete asshole, so, why should we go soft on him? We told him he was masungit just because he wasn’t able to buy what he wanted. And we all had to suffer for it as though it was our fault. He never denied it. After a few minutes of tirade, he smiled, admitting defeat and acknowledging his fault. He took the attack good naturedly. Well, for the moment at least. Who knows how he will be the next time we go shopping and he ends up with nothing again?