It is amazing how being a parent changes the way you look at something as simple as walking.

My mall is the worst designed mall in the entire world. Instead of flattening out the land before construction they just built the whole thing uphill so every 40 feet there are 2-3 steps. On both floors. I never noticed what a stupid design this actually was until I tried to walk it pushing a stroller. To accommodate the pushers – and probably to comply with the handicap-accessibility laws – the kind mall designers built one single ramp for each set of stairs (actually, four sets of stairs, two on each side of the mall).

In theory, this system works fine. The ramp is wide enough that  two normal-sized strollers can pass, so even on a busy day you aren’t stuck waiting and can get from the As Seen on TV Store to the sketchy Asian import/”relaxation” store*as fast as your tacky crap buying heart desires.

But in practice, people are idiots. Lazy idiots who see the ramps as the best way to avoid walking up steps instead of a necessity for people who can’t navigate the stairs. Lazy fat idiots who walk two across so you end up standing in line for your turn to push the stroller down the ramp. Lazy fat deaf blind idiots who move at a glacial pace and don’t even notice the moms glaring and sighing in frustration. I tried just running them over with the stroller but that was about as effective as trying to move a tree out of the way with your car. I commented to the girl with the stroller waiting in front of me how rude I thought this was, and she said “It’s even worse for me since all the old women use the opportunity to scold me for being a teen mother. This isn’t even my kid – she’s my sister!”

It took becoming a mother for me to realize that while children can be inconvenient, they aren’t intentionally difficult or rude. I always thought little kids were the most annoying part of parenting but it turns out it’s other adults that are the real pain in the ass. Where can I go for good old fashioned hold-the-door, mind-your-own-beeswax, take-the-stairs, smile-at-your-neighbor living?

*The mall also sucks as a mall, with about half the store fronts empty or containing temporary displays. Unfortunately it’s where our Old Navy and H&M are so I can’t avoid it entirely. Plus, again, AIR CONDITIONING.

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