An evening earlier this week, I went straight from work to downtown Seattle to attend one of those free movie screenings, this one for the movie "Leap Year" (yes, I'm a sucker for rom-coms, and on top of that, I love Matthew Goode). Once I got downtown, I had just over an hour to kill, so I walked to Pacific Place, a huge mall/restaurant/movie theater complex across the street from the theater the movie would play in. I went inside the mall, and then as I headed toward an escalator, I walked by this questionable-looking guy (read: a bit unkempt, shifty). Right as I walked by he said "Follow me out, OK? Let's go." I pretended I hadn't heard anything -- at this point, I thought he was maybe talking toward someone already on the escalator -- so I kept walking. I got on the escalator, and as I was going down, he said "They're watching you." I stealthily looked around, and didn't see anyone he could've been talking to. So.. he was either just talking to no one, or just to me. Um, yikes! He got onto the escalator a few stairs behind me. As soon as I got off, I booked it to the other side of the mall. Thankfully, I didn't spy him again.
I wandered into some random stores with "Sale" signs out front, making sure to quickly walk past Victoria's Secret (where the big Semi-Annual Sale was going on) and Express (where the famous Box Sale was going on), two places where I have little will power. Swung through J. Crew, and then went next door to BCBG Max Azria (which, as I side note, I used to think was Max "Azaria," as I confused it with the actor Hank Azaria), a place I normally would never go into, but this time I was lured in by the "Extra %30 off clearance items" sign. Most of their clothing, even marked 50% off, and then an additional 30% off, was still waaay too expensive for me, but I found a casual jacket and a couple skirts to try on. A saleslady led me over to the dressing rooms and then opened up one for me. I walked in, closed the door behind me, and then turned around and around in confusion: There was no f'ing mirror in the room!! I then remembered that as I'd waited to be let into the dressing room, I'd seen a man and two kids sitting on this large sofa thing, and the mom of the family had come out to show them the dress she was trying on. There were mirrors on the outside of each dressing-room door, so she was obviously showing them the dress while also getting a first look herself. BCBG is such a high-end store -- and yet they only have mirrors OUTSIDE their dressing rooms?! Luckily, I at least didn't have all stubbly legs, as I'd had swimming the night before, but there was still no way I was going to step outside to show off every bulge and dip. The jacket I'd took in to try on was much to short -- I didn't need a mirror to figure that out -- so that immediately went back on the hanger. Next, I tried on the two skirts. Herein was where I ran into a bit of a problem.. I tried to take some self-photos on my iPhone, but as all other iPhone owners know, this is a pretty impossible task. At right, you can see the results of those attempts. The skirt was actually quite cute, but being that it was all black, the details don't show on a low-resolution/badly lit iPhone-camera picture. The lack of being able to truly see how the skirts fit, combined with the still steep price of them, led me to easily decide to not buy either of them (though I could've of course bought them, tried them on at home at my leisure, and then returned them). One of my friends suggested that the no-mirrors-in-dressing-rooms thing is so that when you step outside to look at yourself, the salespeople can come over and start lauding you with compliments, so you get all excited to buy everything you try on. I definitely don't mind stepping out for some compliments/affirmation on something that looks good on me, but only after I've looked at myself for 10 minutes and from every angle in front of the mirror inside my dressing room. So...yeah. Now we all know!
After wasting some more time at other stores in the mall -- and not spending any money: snap! -- I headed back out to walk over to the movie screening. About 20 minutes into the movie, the screen suddenly went white, and we saw the film literally melt right there. It looked like someone stretched some thin caramel across the screen, and then it just tore apart and disappeared. The theater was at full capacity, and we all laughed nervously and were like, "What the--?" About 10 minutes later, we were back in action, though the film obviously started again at least a minute or two from where we'd last seen it. Twenty minutes later...another film meltdown! This time, it only took them about 5 minutes to fix things (after each meltdown, the rep from the film studio told us "Sorry about that! They say they'll have it fixed within a few minutes!"). Once again, the film started up. And then 20 minutes after that...a THIRD meltdown! Jeezus! I heard later that a couple people walked out during one of the meltdowns, but in general, everyone took it with good humor. Certainly, no one was yelling or complaining loudly or anything. And after the third fix up, though the screen definitely had a blurry section right in the middle, it was smooth sailing through the end of the movie. As for the movie itself, well, it was up and down. The best part, for me, anyway, was Matthew Goode. Oh, and as a bonus -- on our way out, we each got a free ticket for an upcoming movie as the theater's way to apologize for the technical problems. My boss was like "You attended a free movie, and got a ticket to see another free movie?" Um, yes. And why not?