As most of you know, I have put my career on hold for the last ten years to devote myself to my children and the domestic life. There are days when I doubt the sanity of this choice, but overall, I don’t regret it. Though I like to think of myself as an intelligent, career-minded woman, I feel that my children needed the hands-on, there for the little things, mother and I treasure all the special, tender moments we’ve had along the way. It also helps that, in my most antsy, struggling with a sense of self moments, I have the coolest friend in the world who allows me to live vicariously through her.
Christa Banister was an old college acquaintance for lack of a better word. We hung out occasionally, so we were more than acquaintances, but we really weren’t close enough to be considered friends. All that changed when she, like myself, decided to transplant herself from the Twin Cities down here to Dallas. All it took was one real conversation for us to realize that we would be friends for life.
As I mentioned, Christa is not only an amazing person, but she also lives the most amazing life. (Check out her blog to get to know her a bit!) She is a two-time published novelist which is super cool, but not the coolest part actually. She is also a free-lance writer who has a regular gig writing movie reviews. That means, not only does she get to see all the movies before they come out, but she also regularly gets to do press junkets to LA and NYC where she gets to meet and interview the actors. One of my favorite things to do is go through a list of actors and actresses that I’m curious about, find out which ones she’s met and get the skinny on them. Are they really as attractive as they seem? Are they nice or a spoiled diva? You get the picture.
So, this regular old mom gets to see the reflected glitz through her best friend. After one of her last press junkets (one that she wanted me to go with her btw but I couldn’t swing the airfare at the time!) she stayed at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and told me later than my crush Ian Somerhalder was staying in the same hotel at the same time she was. Sigh . . . granted the crush is more about the fictional character Damon than Ian the actor, but still! I couldn’t resist daydreaming about running into him in the hall on a hiatus away from Mommyville!
Though I have yet to go to one of the junkets with Christa, she has taken me to a few of her movie screenings. I have to admit, it is pretty cool to not only get to see movies before they’re out, but also to get to walk to the front of the line passed the mass of people who have been waiting for a couple of hours and getting to sit in a chair that says “Reserved for Press” even if I’m only there by association and am not the real deal myself!
Last night was one of those times. She asked me to go to see “Snow White and the Huntsman” with her. It took a little brainstorming since my in-laws are out of town and my husband works late and has a long commute. We decided that I would take the kids with me and that Aaron would swing by on his way home and take them off my hands (we were also trying to avoid the cesspool known as Dallas traffic!).
The meeting spot was at the North Park mall. I cringed. You see, there are malls, and then there is North Park. Get the image of the traditional, child friendly mall with the standard Gap and Charlotte Russe type stores out of your head. There is no child play area at this mall. Oh, no. North Park would much rather you leave the kids at home!
North Park is what you would call an elitist mall. You don’t dare go to North Park in jeans (unless they are True Religion) and a t-shirt (unless it is an obviously high end designer one). Hair and makeup had better be up to par and you’d better pull out all the stops. Even if I dress my girls in the latest Gap outfit, I feel a bit cliché at this mall! Better to pull out one of the boutique outfits if you don’t want to feel like a wannabe!
Okay, so I’m exaggerating, but not by much!
I didn’t know there were actual stores for Versace and Gucci until I unsuspectingly stumbled into this mall for the first time! The very air smells rich. If ever a mall was pretentious, this one would be it!
So, you can imagine my tremor of concern at the idea of taking three young, easily bored children into such a place. My kids aren’t bad kids, but they are kids, and being that not one of them is confined by a stroller anymore, well, this Mommy was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the very thought!
Still, despite the difficulty, a night away from Mommyville with one of my favorite people in the world was too much of a temptation. I just had to brave it!
I was in for a pleasant surprise. North Park mall might not want kids, but, the Disney Store, of course, feels differently. They’ve had a bit of a renovation since my last adventure to the “Upper East Side” so to speak. Now they have an actual walk-in castle with three magic mirrors where the little girls can admire themselves with all the princess beauty in the background until Rapunzel magically appears in the mirror before them. They now have a coloring station with a large movie screen where they can program a playlist of all their favorite Disney movie tunes. A bit over the top? Maybe. But this was North Park after all and it was heaven to this stressed out Mama!
We made the most of it and settled in until Christa and my hubby showed up.
Lily’s favorite thing was standing before the castle mirrors and waving a wand at it yelling, “Bippity, boppity boo!” in an attempt to make Rapunzel reappear. When she didn’t come on command, Lily would just yell at the mirror which I found hilarious.
When Christa arrived, we stood nearby, next to a “Tangled” display, chatting.
Christa glanced at the display, laughed a little, pointed to the doll of Flynn Rider and said, “Look! It’s Aaron!” I laughed. She was right. The doll could have been modeled after Aaron!
“Looky there! I married a real Prince Charming!” I couldn’t help thinking to myself. I felt a burst of pride and admiration until that thought was followed by a more sobering one. How in the world did Flynn Rider end up with Mother Hubbard?!
One never thinks of Rapunzel turning into Mother Hubbard, but there it is!
It is a very sad state of affairs that men get better looking with age (at least mine did!) and women, well, we just age! The most that could be said for me is that I look good for my age or that I look good for having four children. Aaron needs no such qualifiers! It’s enough to put me in a good pout!
At least, the movie cheered me up a bit. Kristen Stewart’s youthful attractiveness couldn’t hold a candle to Charlize Theron’s more seasoned beauty. Maybe there’s hope for us yet . . . then again, I’m no Charlize Theron! 😉