Saturday afternoon, probably around 5 pm, I'm wandering through Carousel Center Mall chatting away on my cell phone with my parents, when a tubby, acne-ridden teenage mall employee, complete with red vest and walkie-talkie, gestures to get my attention and says something to me. Realizing that he is in fact addressing me, rudely ignoring the fact that I am mid-conversation, I look at him inquisitively, at which point he firmly repeats what he just said.
"Miss, you are aware that the under-18 policy is in effect right now?"
"The under-18 policy is in effect."
"Uh, yeah. I'm 23."
"I'm gonna have to see some ID."
I mean, are you serious? I got carded AT THE MALL. For WALKING. Apparently this rule is the result of some violence a few years back. Regardless, it made worse an already less-than-great day. I know I didn't have any makeup on and I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but do I really look 18? For good measure, I put on a nice don't-mess-with-me scowl every time I passed a red-vested mall worker for the duration of my visit.
And just to clarify, here's the mall's policy, copied from the website:
Parental Escort Policy
Carousel Center has instituted a Parental Escort Policy on Fridays and Saturdays between the hours of 4pm and closing.
Anyone under the age of 18 visiting Carousel Center must be accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older. One parent or guardian (21 years of age or older) is permitted to supervise up to five teens. Teens must remain within the company of their parent or guardian. Acceptable proof of age is a driver's license, state/provincial non-driver ID, military or college ID, passport or visa.
This policy does not apply to the cinemas or stores with exterior entrances.
Cinema patrons under the age of 18 are asked to use the White Commons Entrance, located between H & M and JC Penney, facing Hiawatha Boulevard, when the policy is in effect.
Thank you for your cooperation.