Mall #22. Hairstylist in Black Cocktail Dress Chainsmokes and Pollutes Without Shame


Arguably the worst week on the calendar for me every year is the week after Labor Day, with fair sightings season over and a return to my traditional bleak sightings landscape.  But the one upside is that I can return to the malls on Saturday afternoons for whatever sightings they have to offer, and on the second Saturday of September in 2016, I had a surprisingly strong haul.  Far and away the day’s biggest star emerged as I was making my final walking loop around the mall around 3:30.  Turning a corner and walking towards me was this very attractive 21ish light brunette with long curly locks highlighted with blond streaks running all the way down her back with cigarette in hand.  Most striking was her outfit though, as this cutie was wearing a short black cocktail dress.  It was such an odd sight at the mall and I wondered if she was a store employee dressed this way and simply out on a break, a theory that would eventually bear fruit.

What a striking image of this nicely dressed young cutie wielding a cigarette and dragging from it shamelessly as she walked towards me and one of the main mall entrances.  She never really made eye contact with me but after we crossed paths I turned around and followed from a reasonable distance, admiring the frequency of her drags and the steady stream of toxic, smelly blasts flowing my direction after emerging from her pretty face.  Even though I’d have enjoyed a slightly longer sighting, she ended it with flair taking a final double-pump drag and then obnoxiously tossing the cigarette into the shrubbery to her right as she got closer to the mall entrance.  The smoldering blond butt had the telltale markings of a Camel Turkish Royal left there to stink up the area for a few minutes and upset others walking towards the mall.

This 60-second moment was by itself the best moment of my day thus far, but I was just getting warmed up as I then took to my car to drive laps around the mall as I do after a few hours of lapping the mall, and damn if I didn’t get the timing right here too.  As I lapped the mall, there she was, the curly-haired brunette beauty in the black cocktail dress sitting at a bench outside the Dillard’s department store where I frequently see employees out smoking.  At the moment, she was sitting there attending to her phone and eating some snacks, but I knew there was another reason she was sitting on this bench and that patience would be a virtue.  I found a close parking spot overlooking the bench and just took it easy for a few minutes before getting my reward as she removed a cigarette from the pack in her bag and briefly dangled it from her lovely lips, sparking it up and bringing it to life.  Obviously I’d have preferred an even closer vantage point but I still got to see everything and it was a wonderful show with very nicely paced drags and solid exhales from such a pretty face on such a well-dressed professional-looking girl.  It was a great five-minute show and she ended it as beautifully as she ended the earlier show, tossing the butt carelessly and piggishly to her side and just letting it smolder, my favorite way for a girl to dispose of her cigarette.  She got up in less than a minute and, as expected, approached the employee entrance at the rear of Dillard’s.

It was my cue to approach the now-empty bench and check out the pollution she left behind.  Right away I spotted a Camel Turkish Royal left to smolder out but a second later I noticed ANOTHER Camel Turkish Royal inches away from it that was still smoldering, the cigarette she had just tossed.  Between these two and the one I watched her smoke while walking, the evidence was in that this was a three-cigarette lunch break for her.  It was joyous reconciling the face and image of this girl being such a badly mannered heavy smoker.  It wasn’t like being at the Minnesota State Fair, but at least for a few moments that afternoon, I wasn’t missing the summer that just ended.

When I returned to this mall a few Saturdays later, my radar was high for this girl.  I walked through Dillard’s and saw they had a cosmetology department where I was able to discern from the other girls’ outfits that my girl worked here, although I didn’t see her there that day.  But when it opened up with no others around, I had to evaluate the smoking area from where I saw the great show a few weeks earlier.  I counted no fewer than 20 Camel Turkish Royal butts scattered about the general area, meaning it was clear that this girl took frequent smoke breaks and that it should only be a matter of time till I saw her on another multiple-cigarette break one Saturday at this mall.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened in the months since.  In fact, my evaluation of the smoking area by Dillard’s has turned up next to no Camel Turkish Royal butts since early October, suggesting she’s no longer employed there.  Much as I’d have loved her being a regular fixture on my mall sightings tours, she sure delivered the one day I was there to see her.

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