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Thanks to my parents, I believed that the only way you could open one of those Automatic Sliding Doors (the kinds at Stores) was by smiling really big.
I'm sure the camera people thought I was nuts!
When I was little I used to think that the handicapped spaces were for people who had to go to the bathroom really bad. I thought that the picture of the person on the wheelchair was someone sitting on the toilet.
Years ago, when VCR's and Beta machines were newly available for household use, I remember going to video rental stores and seeing areas that had curtains over the entrance. I was told that there were poronographic movies there, and I thought they were filming them, not renting and selling them! (No, I didn't try to peek through the curtains, you pervert!)
When I was a kid my dad used to tell me that there were two toys-r-us's. One was a real toys-r-us and the other was a fullscale cardboard cut-out model of the real toys-r-us, and me and my brother used to always ask "dad, dad, is that the real toys-r-us?" so he always got away without buying us toys.
I used to believe that the phrase "window shopping" actually referred to the act of shopping for new windows.
I spent much of my youth wondering why my mother wanted so many windows, as well as why she was finding it so hard to find any as she always came home empty handed.
When my younger sister was just beginning to read, she would try to read all the signs she came across. In one of our favorite stores were dressing rooms bearing the sign "no more than 2 garments in dressing room at one time". She thought it read "no more than 2 grandmas in dressing room at one time" and was very concerned about what would happen to the 3rd grandma.
When I was about seven years old I remember seeing the "adult store" sign while riding in the car and thinking that I can't wait until I am big enough to start wearing adult sized clothing instead of little kid sizes. My Mom had to gingerly explain that it was not that kind of store.
My 5 year old sister became terribly excited while we were out shopping, and went running over to this man shouting " a man shaving a window !".
I think she made the day of the window cleaner who was using a squeegee to clean suds from the shop window.
Now I can't stop imagining hairy shop windows, that need to be regularly shaved.
I used to go to the Thrift store every week with my Mom when I was about 5. There was a Soda Machine in the store. I always thought that people would donate their half empty sodas to the thrift store and those sodas were put into the machine. I never wanted a soda from their.
A physician I work with once told me, that when he was a little boy he believed, when a store "Closed for Inventory", it meant that they were closed so they could "invent" new things. He couldnt wait for them to reopen, so he could see all the new things they invented.
Growing up, we didn't have much money so my mother was always telling us different reasons why we couldn't go to various places. When a 7-11 convenience store opened near us, we wanted to go but she told us you could only go if you were 7 or 11. I believed this until I was 10 years old, when my aunt stopped there for gas and started to take me inside with her. When I explained why we couldn't go inside, she explained my mother's reason for the lie.
From those Florida orange juice TV commercials, I used to believe that when you went to the supermarket for orange juice, you could reach through into an orange grove and a farmer would hand you a freshly-filled carton.
My mom told me when I was very young that you had to have a drivers license to push the cart at the grocery store (she thought it was annoying when people let their kids do it). I believed her until I was probably 11 or 12. Whenever we saw a kid pushing the cart I would want to find a store employee to inform them that a customer was breaking the rules.
When I was little my big sister told me to say hi and be nice to the mannequins at the mall because they were people too!
I use to believe that a stripmall was a place where people could shop naked
When I was little I used to have the habit of sticking my hand up inside vending machines, trying to reach the candy.
One day my mom told me that I shouldn't stick my arm up into the machine, because there were little men inside who dispensed the candy, and if I put my arm up inside far enough, they would grab me, pull me in, and I would forever spend my life as a vending machine worker.
To this day (I'm 22 now) I still have to get someone to reach into the vending machine pockets to fish out whatever I purchase.
My mother would put quaters into the shopping carts at Superstore. For a period of a couple of years, the Canadian Mint put out a new batch of coins each month with a special design on them. You were supposed to collect them and my mom did. She never let me put any of the coins with special designs into the shopping cart slots because she belived that you didn't get the same quater back. I once spent an afternoon convincing her that the quater you put in was the quater you got back. She still doesn't belive me.
Ok, I haven't even started reading this website yet, but I just had to post this. Did anyone else have an obsession with mannequins when they were little? I had all kinds of ideas about what they did, how they "lived". One of my beliefs was that when the store closed, they would go to the pajama section, put on pajamas, and if it was a department store with furniture, they would lay on the beds and go to sleep. If there were no beds in the store, they would "lean" against the clothing racks.
One time when I was little, my mom took me to a department store in the mall for some Christmas shopping. The store was somewhat busy. For some reason, I just blurted out, "Mom, do mannequins have BUTTS?!" Some people looked over and smiled, and my mom was kind of embarrassed. She said quietly, "No, they don't." I blurted out, "Well then how do they go to the BATHROOM?!"
I used to beleive the elevator in the Department store was somewhere you went while they rearranged everything.
I use to believe that when we grew out of our clothes we would have to go around naked until our parents bought us new ones. I use to wonder what they would pick out for me because I wouldn't be able to go shopping with them naked.