coffee shop

Saturday Morning Shopping

I wear earplugs every night to sleep. It’s partly because our room can be quite noisy, between one thing and another, but it’s also because I’m such a princess that even the slightest noise when I’m trying to sleep will irritate me beyond belief. So I wear my earplugs, and I guess it’s become part of my nigh-time routine: I switch off the light, then I switch off the sound, then I sleep.

(Actually, I don’t sleep: I mostly lie awake thinking there are crabs invading the bed, but that’s a whole other story…)

This Saturday, I had an appointment with the optician, and I also had appointments with aaaalll the shops in the mall where the optician is located. By the time I woke up, Terry had already left for the gym (“I worked out for two hours,” he told me later. “So did I”, I responded: because if running around a mall in 4″ heels doesn’t count as a workout, I don’t know what does…), so it was just me and Rubin. I made my coffee, fed the dog, and then returned to the office to drink said coffee while playing Sims Social doing important work-related stuff.

Then I showered, blow-dried my hair, put on some clothes and some makeup, settled Rubin down with his toys n’ treats, and headed out to the car.

(This post is fascinating, isn’t it? I bet you all wish I would relate the mundane details of my mundane life EVERY day, huh?)

I was out of our estate, and well on my way to the mall before I realised I was still wearing my earplugs.


(I was quite relieved to make the discovery: up until that point, I’d assumed the car stereo was playing up…)

Things didn’t get much better when I reached the mall, because entering into it was like plunging into the depths of Hades: partly because of the seething mass of humanity that lay within, but mostly because of the temperature, which was sauna-like. I had anticipated this, and was wearing lightweight clothes, which were totally unsuitable for the time of year, but within seconds I was drenched in sweat, and having to restrain myself from just throwing people out of my way.

“Why did I do this to myself?” I wondered. “Why did I come to the mall on a Saturday? I mean, I’m self-employed. It’s not like there’s no other possible time I could shop.” And yet, of all of the days in all of the week, I had to walk into this one, and now I was paying the price. The hot, sweaty, uncomfortable, crammed-into-a-small-space-with-The-Others price.

The Others were at their absolute worst that day. They were all doing their slow-walk, spread out across the aisles so as to prevent anyone passing them. Any time I spotted an item of clothing I wanted to try, The Others would all rush to snatch it out of my grasp. God, I hate them.

With fifteen minutes to go before my appointment, I found myself in H&M, with approximately one thousand items of clothing to try on, and the main fitting room closed for refurbishment. I went upstairs to the children’s department fitting room, which has only a couple of cubicles, and joined a line which snaked all the way to the exit and didn’t move AT ALL in the time I stood in it. Now, our mall is HUGE – seriously, it occupies a square footage that is probably larger than my hometown – and the H&M is as far as you can get from the optician’s, while still remaining under the same roof. I had no choice: I ran frantically around the store, replacing all of the items I’d been going to try on, and then I RAN to the optician’s… or rather, I slow-walked to the optician’s, held up at every turn by the antics of The Others, who were all dawdling along, forming an impenetrable barrier between me and my goal. I couldn’t get past them, and it’s illegal to kill them, so I had to content myself with jogging frantically on the spot, and trying to dash through any small space I could find. It was no fun at all.

By the time I reached the optician’s (mercifully on time), I was a complete wreck of a person. My face was tomato-red and shiny with sweat, my clothes were twisted and rumpled from the many times I’d wrenched them all off to try something on. My hair was a tangled  mess, my eyeliner had started sliding down my cheeks, Alice Cooper style, and I was pretty sure my shirt was on backwards. I didn’t just look like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards: I looked like the hedge had actually attacked me, and then asked all its friends to join in.

I reached the waiting room with seconds to spare, threw myself triumphantly into a seat (everyone nearby instantly moved away at the sight of the deranged sweatmonster who’d just joined them: why couldn’t that technique have worked on The Others?) …

… and the optician was running 10 minutes late.


I MISSED OUT ON SHOPPING TIME FOR THIS! I yelled. Inside my own head.

Anyway, the optician eventually came to get me, and I was ushered into his office. And as I sat there, patiently trying to work out whether the letters looked better or worse with THIS LENS or THIS ONE (God, I hate it when they do that. The letters always look exactly the same to me?), I glanced down at the shopping bag beside me, which was gaping open on the floor…

… and there, right at the top of it, and threatening to spill out onto the floor any second, was the new bra and knickers I’d just bought, along with a multipack of seam-free undies.

I can only hope the optician approved.

[Photo by Jojo Yuen (sharemyfoodd) on Unsplash ]
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  • I love those shoes!
    I know what you mean. My dad flat out refuses to go to shopping centers on a weekend because he argues it’s filled with ‘zombies’, I think I’m becoming more like him as I get far too angry, especially when they block my route to pretty clothes!

    March 5, 2012
  • Sandy


    I think it’s a shame Others can’t be killed, I found my path blocked numerous times when doing a dash/guilty shop while hubby was having an op. I even feel heartless posting that I went shopping instead of waiting in the hospital….it was routine! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! LOL!

    I can never tell the difference on the eye test too, I always feel like they know I’m fibbing!

    March 5, 2012
      • Sandy


        It was “only” a hernia op, the perils of getting on a bit in age! LOL!

        My friend had an eye test recently and got sent immediately to the eye hospital, she wasn’t too pleased! Fortunately all seems ok, I don’t think I helped much when I said her eyes might explode tho. Haha!

        I avoid eye tests by having such bad eyes, I WAS that child with the wonky eye which resulted in blue NHS specs and a patch!

        March 5, 2012
  • Oh dear what a nightmare. I hate shopping like that… “Oh no, please take your time! Can you go a bit slower? I think in this pace I could still make it on time!” GAH. Nice shopping foray though 🙂 I LOVE mint and I plan on stocking my closet with it, too… Not that I do have enough clothes to begin with, of course 😉

    March 5, 2012
  • I’ve already told you on Twitter how gorgeous are those shoes! I’m also obsessed with mint lately, and I bought many stuff the other day!
    I hate crowded places, and I try to avoid going shopping on a Saturday, but it happens. The thing is, when I see too many people in the same place, or waiting out of the dressing rooms, I usually leave the store without buying anything and come back another day! I can’t shop with so many people around. It’s crazy!

    March 5, 2012
  • Simona


    Hi Amber! I really like your new shoes, it is possible to buy online!?! Thanks!

    March 5, 2012
  • Ez


    LOVE those shoes! Can’t wait to see how you style them 🙂

    Strange question but do you have a brand of earplugs you would recommend? I am a light sleeper and easily disturbed by noise but I find earplugs hurt my ears when I sleep on my side all night!

    March 5, 2012
  • And if anyone in the world is going to see those undies in all their ultra-focussed detailed glory, it’s going to be the optician. Unless he doesn’t follow his own advice, of course!

    March 5, 2012
  • I can sympathise with much of this. I am forced into daily, traumatic contact with The Others on my commute to work, and most days my train journey is only 11 minutes each way! Sometimes though, that 11 minutes is enough to dent my day (like yesterday, when I sat opposite a determined nose-miner, and it made me want to be sick)

    Good work on all the mint, you’ll look gorgeous in it 🙂

    March 6, 2012
  • KON


    Reminds me somehow of Ikea on sunday-morning. With kids running wild and so on.

    But you gotta be a shoeperhero to buy such decent stuff in a hurry. I could never buy shoes without re-thinking about three times whether I ‘need’ the shoes, where I can wear them or with what I would wear them. I mean, its shoes, this is serious business.

    March 7, 2012
  • Hi Amber

    I am wondering what type of camera you are using for all your pictures, they really look good. 🙂

    March 8, 2012
  • I wish I could just zap people out of the way when that happens, the world would be a much nicer place if we could do that

    June 19, 2014