Encounters With The Others

August tomorrow, then, folks – almost the end of the summer already. (WHERE DID IT GO?!) Soon I’ll be sharpening my pencils, packing up my satchel and putting on my blazer and tie, ready for another new school year. Except, no, I won’t be doing that at all, will I? No, because I’m a freaking GROWN WOMAN, aren’t I? Try telling that to the random people who like to stop me and buy one make comments about my age,though. They all think I’m still at school, apparently. I kid you not.

It happened again, today. I was standing at the checkout in WH Smith, buying a Grace Dent novel (which, OK, was really written for teenagers, but I didn’t know it at the time. And it was totally in the General Fiction section.) a Really Useful Box (I have a number of these boxes. I keep my makeup in them, organised by skincare/face products/eyes and lips and they are, like, really useful. This latest one will hold my nail polish, because I am THAT kind of organised. Oh yes.) and a 99p pink pencil case (FOR MY MAKEUP BRUSHES! I mean, what do you keep your makeup brushes in, I ask you?) when I realised that someone was standing so close behind me that I could actually feel their breath on the back of my neck. I hate that.

“What are you buying those for?” demanded the newcomer (a female) suspiciously. “Are you going back to school or are you going back to college?” (Now, even this strikes me as strange. I mean, why would she care? Do people really ask strangers stuff like this? “People like to start conversations with children,” said Terry when I told him this story. BUT I AM NOT A CHILD! Please, people: NOT. A. CHILD. Yes, even although I sometimes behave like one.)

“I’m not going back to either of them,” I replied, bemused. “I finished school quite a long time ago, actually.” I was going to go on to explain the whole “I am really anal about the organisation of my makeup” thing, but really, why should I have to explain myself to complete strangers? Especially ones who are looking at me funny.

“Really? Did you?” asked the neck-breather, giving me a look that clearly said “I don’t believe you, you dirty rotten liar”. I quickly paid and moved away, my precious pink items safely stowed in my bag. I mean, it’s always flattering when people mistake you for a teenager but I’m thinking I may have gone too far with my “buying of teenage fiction” thing, no? In my defense, though, I am a huge fan of Grace Dent’s Big Brother blog, and, because I am stupid and not really “down” with what the kids are into these days, I didn’t actually know she wrote teen fiction, too. Still, it would honestly never occur to me to question a complete stranger on their purchases in a store, you know? Is it just me?

Speaking of dirty rotten liars (which we weren’t really, but hey), remember the eBay seller whose dog ate my boots? Well, you will never believe it – I certainly didn’t – but the dog has miraculously regurgitated the boots! Of course by “miraculously regurgitated the boots” I actually mean “that didn’t happen at all, but it’s no less believable than what the seller is telling me, so hey, let’s go with it.”

So, last time on “The Dog Ate My Boots”, the seller had said that she would send me a cheque for the £3.20 she owed me, and I had said that no, she wouldn’t send me a cheque, because I couldn’t accept one for that amount. So, yesterday morning, she sent me a cheque for £3.50. Groan.

I have to admit that it was sheer bloody mindedness that made me pursue this. I am poor – oh, so poor! – but not poor enough to be in desperate need of the £3.50. However, I’m not much of a one to tolerate fools gladly, either, and this woman clearly thought I came down in the last shower, so I emailed her and carefully explained the difference between “No, I cannot accept a cheque” and “Sure, send me a cheque!”

Two hours later, an email flooded in. It seems that, in the short time that elapsed between receiving my email and replying to it, the seller had somehow managed to have the boots re-heeled. They are now as good as new, apparently, and will be on their way to me today! Phew! Looks like the dog only chewed the very tips of the heels after all, eh? What a stroke of luck.

Related: How walk in stilettos

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books by Amber Eve
  • Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog…glad you enjoyed it. And I have to say, your hair is GORGEOUS!

    July 31, 2007
  • Thanks for dropping by my blog!

    Also – eBay sellers are nuts. NUTS. Good luck with the boots, I trust we’ll be updated on them!

    July 31, 2007
  • Anne


    Neg that seller for sure I say 🙂

    August 1, 2007
  • Hehe, you’re lucky – I’m 22 and people think I’m much older. Have never been asked for ID in my entire life.

    I once went to buy the school uniforms for my teenage – yes, TEENAGE sisters when my family was on holiday. The woman at the till put them through and then said, ‘So, when do your kids go back to school?’

    Me: ‘Um, I’m 19…’

    Cue embarrassment on her part, and anger on mine, coupled with the realization that I might be needing Olay sooner than I thought…

    But why on EARTH did a total stranger ask you those questions?! The mind boggles…

    August 11, 2007
  • ‘None of your business you old trout’ would have been my reaction. Who does she think she is?

    June 4, 2014