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I Am Invisible

Two skirts and a blouse, just part of the "one thing" I bought.

This past weekend my husband and I went to see a movie (21 Jump Street, surprisingly entertaining). This particular movie theater is attached to one of those outlet “Mills” malls, and I managed to talk him into shopping after the movie. Just for a minute. I just wanted to pop into one store and get one specific thing.

His eyes narrowed suspiciously on the “one thing” part, but he agreed to spend a few minutes shopping. We head into the mall with an actual destination in mind and made a bee-line for it.

Or we tried to.

To say the mall was packed is to sell the situation far short of reality. People filled the hallways and stores in numbers that defied capacity limitations. An amazing thing happens to me in situations like this.

I become invisible. 

It would be a fantastic talent if I could turn it on and off when I wanted. Unfortunately, it only seems to spawn when I’m in crowded malls or the grocery store.

We strode through a store which spans the center of the mall in an effort to take a short cut to our destination. This particular store is filled with people under 21, their parents, strollers, rack upon rack of clothing, and harassed salespeople. I tried my best to stay in the limited open areas.

First, a stroller ran over my toe. That could happen to anyone, right? Then a woman raises her arm to excitedly point at a clearance rack and rams my nose with her elbow. Coincidence, I’m sure.

By the time I got through this store to the other side of the mall, I’d been hit by two strollers, three different women and four small children. All of them ricocheted off me and continued on their way, oblivious to the damage they’d cause and unaware that they’d struck anything.

Once out in the center of the mall, I set my shoulders and dove into the stream of people heading to the left, my husband single file behind me. I was going to Old Navy, which was only a few stores away.

Apparently so was everyone else.

I wove my way in between people like a salmon swimming upstream (cliche, I know, but that’s what it felt like). When I finally found a bit of open space, I breathed a sigh of relief and slowed a bit. That’s when I saw her. She was a rather large woman, using two shopping bags as punctuation marks for the conversation she maintained with a friend as she strolled. She looked right at me, so I assumed she saw me, too.

You know what assume means.

When she was five feet away and obviously not slowing down, I braced myself for impact, and shifted to the right a bit, in order to avoid her. Her blank stare followed me, as did the rest of her body. Two feet away, I dodged left. She tilted her head to listen to her friend speak, drifted in my direction and rammed into me with such force my husband had to catch me. Did she see me? Of course not, I’m invisible! I wonder what went through her mind as she rebounded off me. She probably wondered how the air had suddenly become so solid and cushy. I think she muttered something as she continued on her way.

After that, my husband walked in front of me to act as a blocker.

Once in Old Navy, I was pelted from all sides by people who were obviously taken in by my transparent nature. I was accosted by two more strollers, several women grabbing for sales racks, and one wheelchair. At least the person in the wheelchair said “oh dear, we hit you” after the fact. I imagine her superpowers include  x-ray vision. She was the only one who even noticed me. The two men who shoved me out of the way to get to the front of the line at the register certainly didn’t.

I’d blame it on the fact that I’m short, and therefore underneath the average person’s eye level, except for one thing. At the Irish Festival a few weeks ago I sat on a concrete bench to enjoy my lunch. A few moments later, a man intent on doing the same thing sat on me. He didn’t see me until his butt actually made contact with my lap, at which point he sprung up looking stunned, muttered something I can only imagine was an apology, and wandered off. Since he was looking for a place to sit I must infer that he looked down to find his seat. And yet his derrière made contact with me anyway.

Imagine what I could do with this incredible ability I’ve fostered. I could sit in high level meetings for corporate espionage, or find out the latest scandal before it even hits the tabloids. I bet the government will be contacting me any day now. They’ll want to hire me as a spy.

As for the shopping, I ended the trip after the trek to Old Navy. Invisibility is exhausting!

16 comments on… “I Am Invisible”

  1. This is priceless. Either you’re invisible or it’s a sign that people in our society are becoming so wrapped up in themselves and their own concerns that they’ve stopped looking around. If it turns out you really are invisible, I have a couple jobs I’ll hire you for 😉

    • I say it’s me being invisible, because this sort of thing never happens to my husband. Of course, he says it’s because he’s 6’3″ and nobody wants to hit what woud amount to being a brick wall. I asked him if I should carry a flag and wave it above my head. He said that would distract people and I’d get hit even more lol.

  2. People step on me b/c I’m so short, but I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone sit on me! Maybe you should try growling and sneering at them? 😉

    • I do, sometimes! lol. Yes, if I put a slightly insane look on my face and square my shoulders and ball my hands into fists they do generally get out of the way. But that’s so tiring!

  3. Wow, invisibility, now that’s cool, sort of. Sadly, it’s just that too many people are mot paying attention to their surroundings. I often stop and stand still right in the path of someone using a cell phone while walking. I hear the dangedest things when the bounce off me.
    Melinda, this was great. Loved it.

  4. Did you ever watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer? It reminds me of an episode for that show and I find that kind of sad. Invisibility to others finally led to the real thing. That will never happen to you because you are very visible! But wouldn’t it be cool to be like one of the Fantastic Four?

    • I’ve watched a few of them but I’ve never seen that episode. Interesting! It IS frustrating sometimes, because I feel like shouting at people “I’m here!”. And I’m not even THAT short. I’m 5’2″. What happens to the people who are 5′ and under? Notice the kids aren’t getting bumped into…so there’s a no-man’s land of height in there. Or…yes, I maintain I’m invisible lol

  5. Invisibility’s a cool superpower but not if people ram into you and sit on you. Would you consider wearing a hat as a kind of trademark? People notice hats, and you’d have fun choosing them.

    • That’s not a bad idea. At least it would put something in their line of sight heh. Especially if I wore one with a really tall feather or something. hmmm. I could be THAT woman.

  6. That’s one good thing about being 6’2″. Anyone who bumps into me is usually the one who needs catching!

    • See, that’s why my husband usually walks in front when we are in a crowd. He’s my blocker, because at 6’3″ most people go out of their way to avoid hitting him…which means there’s a wake for me to walk through lol. He says the same thing, anyone running into him is going to find themselves on the ground and in pain just from rebound 😀

  7. *giggle* This is why I avoid the mall at all cost. At least the guy who sat on you realized when he did it, I had a woman sit on me while waiting for a seat in a restaurant and I actually had to pull my purse and leg out from underneath her. She did’t say a word, and all I could do was walk away laughing.

  8. Your post had me thinking of that video of the woman texting and walking in the mall that ends of walking right into the mall fountain!!

It gets lonely out here in the big wide webs. Talk to me!