Against my better judgement, I promised my youngest I would take him to Build a Bear at Kenwood Mall in Cincinnati. By now we had 2 teenage girls in our group who were bored as hell so I asked them if they wanted to come along for the journey. They practically attacked me.
We piled into the SUV around 3 and headed North. 20 minutes later we were pulling into the Kenwood Mall and so was the entire population East of the Mississippi. I told the girls I would meet them in 45 minutes outside the Pottery Barn Kids. C and I checked the directory to find not only were we on the right level but we really weren’t that far.
15 minutes into walking we were confident that we clearly missed Build a Bear. Turns out the map was NOT to scale and we just hadn’t gotten there yet. We checked another directory in the wing to confirm this. 5 minutes later we were walking over the threshold of Build a Bear.
I’ve always had a thought about Build a Bear and it is this: What adult man applies AND works at Build a Bear? Build a Bear corporate, that’s fine, I get it. But when you are wearing an apron, with an Easter bunny rabbit in a nylon backpack, while dragging around a wiener dog on roller skates, that signals a mental problem.
“Can I help you?” Ken doll says without blinking, eyeing my youngest.
I push C behind me as a form of protection. “Oh, we are just trying to figure out what bear to buy. We’re good.”
“Ok, well my name is Ken. Lemme’ know if you need anything.” He says, eyeing my child like a sweater he wants, emphasizing the word need.
Then the cult magic of Build a Bear happens.
“Do you want a smell to put in your bear?” The bear maker asks, splaying her hand out to what looks to be miniature soaps.
“Nope, we’re good. I’ll just use perfume.”
After a minute, Bear Maker asks C what his name is and if we’ve ever been to Build a Bear.
“Do you want a voice for your bear?” She asks.
‘Jesus Christ, we just want the f-ing bear.’
C picks out a Boba Fett costume costing more than the bear. For Christmas he received a $10 gift card and I had “bear bucks” that were to expire 3.15.16 allowing this trip to be a little cheaper. He attempted to rally me for a $12 light saber in which I immediately put the squash on.
“Would you like to purchase a nylon backpack or just use the cub condo?” The teenage girl at the wrap desk asked.
“How much is the backpack?” I asked.
“C, you want a backpack?” I was willing to get this for him as he would be adorable with a bear hanging off his back.
“No. I just want the cub condo.” He said as if he was reaffirming his lunch selection.
“You qualify for a $10 gift card for only $5. Would you like that?”
“No thank you.” I said politely. I was officially loosing my shit inside.
Once out of Pedophile’s paradise and ready to head back to the our car I saw a unicorn. Not an actual unicorn but a type of person I’ve only seen 3 other times in my life- a midget.
She was walking along with her friends, completely animated. She had a super long weave and I really felt like the weave wore her and wasn’t proportionate to her body type. Then again, I really shouldn’t judge.
After we met with the girls and got in the car, one of the girls began to rattle off things she can’t stand. I don’t know how we got on the topic.
“I can’t stand clowns, sporks or cockroaches.” She announces as if she was telling us what extra curricular activities she participates in.
“What? Sporks?” I ask her, giggling at the randomness.
“Yeah, I was once hurt by a spork and have hated them ever since.”
“Well…what if you had a clown, using a spork to each cockroaches?” I said slowly so they could process the epically awesome concept I had just thought of.
“Yeah, no. On their own they are awful.”
“True,” I concurred.