Merry Christmas – Now Get Out of HERE!

Today was one of those boring, ho-hum kind of days. It was overcast, drizzling and basically miserable outside.

Against my better judgement my husband suggested that we go to the mall. Ugh! I don’t like going to the mall. Especially on a Sunday and on a miserable day. Everyone will be at the mall. There was nothing else to do.

We should have taken the bumper to bumper traffic as a sign not to go to the mall. But did we? No! We just took some side roads and came out almost ahead of the traffic.

Our “quest” for this mall adventure was to find a pair of DC sneakers that my daughter wanted. She saw a pair online on sale for $29.99. I told my husband to order them but he said why pay shipping and handling if we can buy them locally. Oh how he regrets that now!

The only store that carried them that we know of is Journey’s and they didn’t have any of THAT specific sneaker. We asked our daughter to consider another pair and she wanted a pair of $60 sneakers. No way!

We walked around the mall trying to find these other sneakers she wanted but for a better price. Being the lovely wife that I am I kept harping on my dear husband that he should have listened to me and ordered those other sneakers online when we had the chance. They are no longer on the site. We had the clerk at the store look them up for us.

While we were walking around my husband and I were talking about the holidays. When we spied the Hallmark store we made a bet on whether or not they would have the Christmas ornaments out yet. To satisfy our curiosity we stopped in the store. Sure enough the one front wall was covered in Christmas ornaments.

Sorry about the horrible pictures. My husband took these off the Blackberry. Some day I hope to get a more portable camera that I can carry with me for impromptu shots like this.

They had some SUPER CUTE vintage Fisher Price toys ornaments including the barn and the airplane. They also have a cute talking Peanuts ornament.

While we were enjoying checking out the assortment of ornaments we saw a flashing light go off and a odd siren. All of us thought someone had walked out of the store without paying. Then we realized the siren and lights were coming from inside the mall its self.

As the siren was going off and the lights flashing we heard a voice say something to the effect “For your safety please proceed to the nearest emergency exit as soon as possible”.Say what?! You better believe it that we high tailed it out of there immediately.

As we were quickly rushing to the side doors to leave the mall we noticed that maybe 25% of the mall occupants were actually rushing to leave. Almost EVERYONE was hanging out, conducting business, browsing…


Did these people NOT hear the siren and the robotic voice saying to LEAVE NOW?

When we got to the side doors we noticed people standing around, but no one was leaving. The closer we got to the doors we realized that it was pouring BUCKETS outside. Did we have umbrellas with us? Of course not!

While most people were huddling in the area between the outside door and the inside door, my family and I made a mad dash to our car. Seeing as how it was a rainy Sunday afternoon we had to park back in “Siberia” (meaning far away in the middle of no where).

Our darling daughter chose to wear flip flops today of all days so she couldn’t really run through the parking lot. They were slippery and the parking lot quickly flooded and had puddles easily 6″ deep or more. So being a Mom I stayed behind to walk (quickly) with her while my husband and our son made a mad dash to our car.

We were SOAKED to the bone when we got in the car. Everyone was soaking wet. Worst yet me, my husband and our son had on glasses and there was NOT ONE DRY THING in the car to clean them off with. We finally had to clean them off with material found under our arms. Ewww! We had no choice. My hubby needed them to drive.

Because there was a mass exodus of people to leave, topped with the torrential rains, the parking lot was at a stand still. Thankfully we know of some ways around the traffic, but still, we had to spend some time stuck in the lot.

Thankfully we got home OK safe and sound.

I don’t know what bothers me most. The fact that the store has Christmas ornaments available for purchase NOW, on August 22, or the fact that most people at the mall totally ignored the flashing lights, sirens and voice instructing everyone to GET OUT!

What would YOU do? If you were at the mall and saw flashing lights and heard sirens and a voice telling you to get out would you rush to your nearest exit or would you just hang out and continue to shop?

What do you do if you are watching a movie or eating a meal? Do you just leave? What about paying the bill?

We didn’t see anything as far as rescue vehicles or Police cars. I don’t know why the alarm went off. I know our mall has received bomb threats and other “incidents”. Still, you would think there would be some kind of an emergency response team there.

So that was my interesting day. I hope you all have an interesting day too.


About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.


  1. Wow..that was an interesting day to say the least. If I am somewhere and hear a siren and something telling me to leave…we are going to leave. I am not worried about a movie, or a meal…those can be replaced. My family can’t. I really feel for your daughter…I had that happen to me once when I was in Flip flops and my feet were just slipping like crazy. It actually hurt. Don’t even get me started on the stores and Holidays…drives me crazy. Can I at least make it to October enjoy Halloween before you start on Christmas? I agree, next time..online is the way to go. 🙂

  2. We are hitting the mall today for back to school shopping. I hate going on rainy days, because I have a feeling everyone will be there. If I was in the mall…or any where…and heard a siren and was told to evacuate, I would.

  3. Lauralee Hensley says

    Well if you needed to pay for an already ordered meal or in the middle of purchasing other items it would probably be best to finish that. I don’t think I’d finish eating, but would grab what I could. See at a mall I’d probably have already paid for what I ate before I started eating it, the food court quick restaurants is usually all we’d go to, to eat at a mall.
    Otherwise I’d get out. Better safe than sorry. The alarms may have been triggered by a quick lightening strike to somewhere along the roof that caused a puff of smoke to enter the tiny attic area of the mall. They have sensors in those areas too, in malls. At a nursing home I worked at we had that happen once. A lightening strike like that, but no fire because it was raining too hard. It caused a tiny hole in the roof and probably just one tiny puff of smoke and the sensors caught that scent and man did the alarms go off.
    We evacuated one ward in the alarm zone (60 patients), most in bed and most wheelchair bound in less thatn 5 minutes flat.
    We were good. We had everyone evacuated even before the fire dept. got there in 6.5 minutes. The fire dept. found the problem quickly. We reset the alarms. Maintenance was called out and it was found to be safer for them to wait awhile to fix the tiny roof hole, since it was still lightening and the hole was more over a linen closet than any patient rooms.
    We just relocated the fresh linen carts and put a large plastic container in there in case the roof leaked over that location.

  4. I’ve been in stores and the mall before when sirens went off. I always started toward an exit and looked for security personel who could tell me if it was something to be worried about or not. These days with all the crazy bomb people I’d be more apt to just leave.
    I used to work in a grocery store that had an alarm( someone opened an exit door) go off all the time, and there wasn’t any real threat. Most of the people just continued shopping, and only some would stop me to ask if anything was wrong.
    A couple times the fire alarm went off and our manager would order us to get everyone out, as it was a law or some such.

  5. I forget what year it was but I happened to be at work at old navy when the entire north east coast lost power due to a blown transformer. The old navy I worked at was 2 stories and had 2 mall entrances plus one entrance to go outside. Over the malls pa they told everyone to leave immediately. For people who already in line or walking around with items we offered to put their items in bags with their names so they could come back later when power came back. At the time we didn’t know how widespread it was. Of course we had pol making mad dashes to the exits with unpaid items. luckily our store had a fairly large loss prevention team as well as 4 or 5 managers on duty at the time so we were able to pull our security gates down and only let people leave in an orderly fashion. Some people insisted we ring them up manually even though mall security was urging them to get out. It was so dark we were using flashlights! Then we had to like walk shoulder to shoulder through every department looking for anyone still hiding in the store. It was hours before we got to leave!

  6. Goodness! Glad everyone is all right. I’ve never had an experience like this, but I’m pretty sure I’d be getting the #@*& out of there when the alarm started sounding! There was a mall shooting near where my sister lives in Nebraska a few years ago, and the memory lingers.

    And the Christmas ornaments in August?! They show up in the Hallmark stores around here in July. I once asked a clerk why so early. She claimed it was because the customers demanded it (?!?) I love Christmas as much as the next person (maybe more!), but I’m just not in the mood for snowmen and Santas in the summer.