You know when you embark on a little, peculiar challenge to amuse yourself and maybe stem the haemorrhage of your ‘savings’ account while deciding to share the mundane and reputation-diminishing intricacies of that strange and arguably trivial personal quest to a transient and disinterested internet community, you never really expect it’s going to ruin your life.
But then, you know, it goes and does.
Ladies and gentlemen, the thrill is gone.
Tuesday was a textbook case of when the stars align to present a single individual with the optimum shopping opportunity. Tuesday was the first day back at work after a long weekend. It was also the fourth day after my shopping detox ended and five days after pay day.
After a breakfast meeting in Soho, I tore myself away from the good lighting and nice folding of the local boutiques to trudge down to my office out of the city. Oooh, I thought. If only I could shop, but gosh darn I am on the clock.
I arrived at work to a total blackout. No computers. No telephone. The kettle worked, but alas, no one else could. We were sent home at midday.
And so there I sat: with a full pay packet, a half day spare, store credit at my favourite shop and needing to go past it (albeit on a tube) to get home. Visions of sugar plums danced in my head. Today was the day. I was back on the wagon.
I entered the shop and the world fell before me, in all its embroidered, bustiered beauty. After whirling around the shop desperately trying not to appear frantic – during which point my eyes may have rolled back in my head as I muttered to myself – I whisked up about 8 items and dragged them into the amber lit change rooms, where a pretty girl chatted to me with the bright-eyed over-confident over-friendliness of a baby sitter I was about to leave my fictitious young children with for the night. She wrote my name on my change room door and referred to me repeatedly by it. I turned around and faced the skirts and tops and trousers I’d temporarily scarred my forearm carrying around the store.
Ah, methought, I’m back.
Not quite. Not at all. Maybe not ever.
I started to get frustrated at the soft lighting. I couldn’t see anything, although the lights around the mirror did give some part of my eyes a strange but self-hypnotising twinkle. The vanity sizing was so extreme as to be insulting. Don’t play with me Anthropologie, I am not a size zero. Do you think I’m a big flabby idiot? I started checking the fabric content; synthetic, synthetic-cotton blends. What was this? Was I totally blind to the con? Had I been so taken by the ironic use of astroturf that I allowed myself to feel some bizarre love/loyalty to a store that wrapped each item in tissue paper and had good looking staff talking into their expertly frayed lapels like some kind of folk-chic secret service?
And then I had to pay for things. And that’s when I really noticed the change. Gone was that post-purchase giddiness. That ‘ooh, no I shouldn’t have but ooh’. That imagining of when and how the items will first have their public airing.
Just a resentment that I’d paid for anything, really. Stuff I know I’ll use, but whatever. Blah. It’s just blah.
In news just in Trixie The Enabler, after a month back on the wagon, has decided to go back on the detox for another month. For her too, the thrill is gone.
This is a new, scary world.