Dim Sum Diaries

Let's Take a Meandering Trip Down Memory Lane

There is a certain weird sense of deja vu when you take your children to visit your parents. Your child sleeps in the room you once called your own. Since my parents are notorious packrats (a trait I will possibly acquire when I get older), the children play with many of my old toys. In fact, my books and even the drugstore makeup and perfume I used to buy (because it was all I could afford as a teenager) still sits on my old bookshelf.

This sense of deja vu is extended to the the small town I grew up in, where the local mall is the only place of relief from boredom and the heat. I decided to visit the mall in order to buy ballet shoes for my daughter. The "Town Centre", as they call it, was where I hung out and even worked at. After school, my friends and I would flock to the Burger King. We thought we were the shit when we could afford to buy fries and a small coke. Then we would hang out there for a couple of hours, talking about the boys we thought were cute, doing homework and taking advantage of the unlimited refills (unlimited refills was a big thing back then, at least for me).

So as I walked through the mall with my daughter, I bought her the ballet shoes and I decided to "make the rounds", as I used to call it. I walked around, eyeing the stores that were still there and used to frequent. Red Eye, purveyor of "cool" (to my teenage eyes) and inexpensive clothing. I had to to stop by Waldenbooks to buy a romance as well, some things never change. I passed by Athlete's Foot, where I purchased my first set of track shoes, then Marie Calendars, which I used to think as the ultimate in fancy restaurants. Then there was Mr. Entertainment, where I would sing karaoke on my breaks from being a sales clerk at Electronics Boutique. I walked around some more, hoping that the guys I had tried to pick up as a teenager weren't still hanging out there some fifteen years later and going to jump out of some corner and confront me. "Why didn't you ever call me?" they would demand. As we passed the food court, the ubiquitous smell of funnel cake continued to trigger memories. Memories of a younger, awkward Mir trying to navigate the teenage years.

"Mommy, why are we walking around in circles?" my daughter asks me, interrupting my train of thought.

I shake myself from my reverie. "We'll be going in a bit, sweetie, but first let's go eat lunch at the Burger King that Mommy used to hang out at when she was a little girl," I tell her.