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Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Welcome to the North Pole (Courtesy of Governer's Square Mall)
I don’t remember whether my parents ever took me to see Santa Claus at the mall, but I’m sure they did. Maybe I’ve blocked it out. Or I’ve forgotten the pictures they had taken. Or something.

Michelle wanted to take Mia to see Santa and have her picture taken with him. Now, I wasn’t against it, but a small part of me was dreading it. Would she slap Santa? Cry uncontrollably? I really hate embarrassing and/or uncomfortable situations. And, like the it’s-gonna-happen-someday trip to Disney World, I didn’t think she’d get anything out of it just yet.

So, we ventured to the mall last night. Weeknights are the best times for this type of activity, as one might guess. As it turned out, we only had one kid in front of us. While we waited, we talked to the “photographer” (let’s go ahead and use that term loosely, shall we?). Did we want to purchase a photo package? Why, yes . . . sure. We went with a "Family Value Package" . . . Package B, in fact, which included a 5x7, two 3x5s, and four wallets . . . for about $25.

When it was our turn to approach Santa, I let Michelle take Mia while I stayed back. Mia wasn’t too interested in the ol’ guy. I went over to “help,” but I guess that just further complicated things. So, Santa suggested that we could all be in the picture. I sat on one side with Mia in my lap, and Michelle sat on the other. When we got our instant, computer-generated “prints,” I mistakenly thought we got the picture on a disk. (That was after I thought, “What the fuck did we pay $25 for?”) So, we shelled out the additional $5 to get a disk so that we could share the picture with the world. And here it is.*


* It should be noted that Michelle and I were not anticipating being in the picture, and we’re coming off a day of work, although that might not explain the strange, somewhat-smarmy look on my face. Michelle is her usual perky, photogenic self. And early evening isn’t exactly Mia’s most lively time, which goes a long way in explaining the bewildered look she has. But Santa . . . man, that fuckin’ guy looks great!