SHOPPING is a funny thing. I’m a girl, which I’m told means I love shopping. Magazines are pretty keen to tell me I love shopping, though less clear on why exactly I love it so much.
In truth I am the reverse – if shopping were compared to motherhood then I’d be the equivalent of the woman who ate her baby, or left it on the Metro.
What I actually love is the opposite of shopping – the anti-shop – throwing clothes in the bin.
For the past two years I have done this on a regular basis for the sheer satisfaction of hearing the wind play around in my empty wardrobe, rattling the unused hangars and playing with a single tattered dress.
The downside is that my few remaining clothes all have to work twice as hard since I wear them on constant rotation. No surprise then that they are falling to bits.
So overworked are my lone pair of jeans that last week the crotch fell out of them with a sigh. Like an overworked Moroccan donkey they simply lay down and never got up again.
As I said my goodbyes I pondered the end of an era – a blissful era devoid of shopping.
It was time to face facts and make an effort to replace my tattered threads.
This is what my trip taught me.
1. The people who are now in charge of making jeans do not like women much. Everything appears to be cut to make you look as squat and overweight as possible. If nothing else, I have very thin ankles, and everything I tried on felt as tight as a compression bandage.
Presumably these jeans, for anyone who actually buys them, are the new chastity belt, since they squeeze all of the blood out of your nether regions and up into your stomach.
2. Buying a sports bra is like hunting a cape buffalo – dependant on a rare blend of skill and luck. Nowhere that had helpful shop assistants sold one. I know because I asked. After a sweaty trek through H&M the trees thinned into a clearing and I saw a lone sports bra grazing amidst the sweaters.
I immediately threw caution to the wind and wrestled it to the ground and bought it before it could disappear.
3. Dresses have become better to look at, but harder to care for. They mainly seem to be made out of very improbable materials like tissue paper.
I bought one that was black with a little bit of gold glitter on it. By the time I got it home the glitter had germinated and hatched over all my other purchases and climbed onto my face and into my ears.
My wardrobe is now shin-deep in the same glitter and I am pondering asking a gang of scientists round to come and tell me where it is coming from.
The dress is still glittery and yet against the law of physics, everything else I own is also glittery.
It is like having a house pet that wees everywhere without ever dehydrating.
The washing instructions are longer than Ulysses, something about bathing the dress in the light of the moon on the third Tuesday of each month. To my mind this translates as ‘Febreze it’.
4. Shopping is exhausting. I needed a nap afterwards. No wonder I avoid it.