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.