Some highlights and thoughts:
Tysons Corner is where my mom took me a lot when I was young. I have a lot of good memories attached to that mall, although it looks totally and completely different than it did in the 1970s. I liked taking Christopher there for the same reasons. And aksident. And now Scarlet.
Scarlet’s “girly princess” phase is almost over. She’s still clinging to a few points, but it’s evident she’s advancing to a more mature state about such things. We ended up at “Libby Lu” which... I cannot describe without having a streak of horror. Yes, I *know* I am a boy, and girly stuff is supposed to be icky-poo, but the whole place has a hint of “prosti-tot.” I am guessing the demographic target of this place is aged 6-11, but it was evident Scarlet was feeling a little uncomfortable after a few minutes there. The store seems to be one of those “girls are glamorous” and “wannabe adult or at least older teen-aged sister” places. While I did detect some direct influence of her older sister (13) on her, Scarlet is surprisingly different in a lot of basic ways. We discussed how beauty in advertising is screwing up a girl’s image about herself. I told her how they use computers to make a woman look a lot different than what she looks like in person. We discussed makeup, and with some of what anyarm taught me, we discussed how makeup is supposed to accent what you already have, not cover it up.
I also wanted to make sure she understood that I would never ask her to hide secrets from her parents. I think it’s really, really unfair when an adult does this to a kid. When I was a kid, it was fairly evident to most adults who cared that my parents were not very good parents. Usually right after meeting them, most teachers changed their attitude, and when I got a copy of my school records, I saw a lot of notes in margins by teachers suggesting social workers needed to get involved. That being said, whenever an adult said to me, “Let’s keep this a secret between you and me,” THAT felt terrible. I can’t quite explain why, but when I went to those foster classes in the 90s, that topic was brought up about adults that use children to hide secrets they are ashamed of.
On that note, she said that she wanted to go into Victoria’s Secret because they were having some promotion on their “Pink” line of products. I laughed, partially because I used to tell this joke where if you want to get thrown out of the mall, go into Victoria’s Secret and ask if they have children’s sizes. Man, I even get creeped out going into “Limited Too.” “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said. “A big guy like me talking a nine year old girl into Victoria’s Secret. They don’t have anything in children’s sizes there, I assure you.” She agreed it was a bad idea, and later admitted the store was a little scary.
One of our discussions was about witchcraft. Ha ha ha... [nervous laugh]. “Do you think there are real witches...?” she asks. Yes, Scarlet. Yes there are. :) I explained a little about witches I knew, how they didn’t look like or act like they did in Hollywood. The usual, “So, what is Wicca?” speech I was given way back in the days when I discovered like half my friends were Wiccans... and again, I feel unqualified to give such a speech because it’s not like I keep up with rituals.
I got Halloween earrings from Claire’s. I got diamond spiders and a small post set with pumpkins, ghosts, and black cats. There just seems to be a lack of interesting earrings for men, but I think this will do. I love my diamond spiders...
We saw dagopher and Tammy, of all people. Somehow, despite his best wishes, dagopher is still employed at his... place of work. He wants to leave there, but every time they have a layoff, he never gets canned. He said morale is at an all-time low, and everyone is giving the company 1-2 years tops before it vanishes as a memory of the dot com era. Tammy was just in a car accident (she was rear-ended on the beltway; no serious injuries), and this was her first day out. It was a weird coincidence: while Tammy was in the hospital waiting room waiting for painkillers, Scarlet was also in the emergency room for antibiotics for a bout of strep she had. If I can read the universe gears correctly, this means that her and Scarlet have a link of some kind.