I’M A WALKING CATASTROPHE on a shopping expedition. If it’s true that some people feel panicky when they’re required to walk into a church, it’s also true that my sympathy for them is magnified a million times over when I’m occasionally required to buy a new suit!
I’ve intentionally lost weight. Puppy fat doesn’t look good after half a century. Weight loss great, but not the consequence that my clothes have come to look like hot air balloons draped across my shoulders. So today was earmarked as new suit day. And it started out well. Sunshiney. Luxury Hot Cross Bun and Coffee. So far so good.
But then came the traffic! Followed eventually by the store’s lighting, the kind that has me pinching my paled pallour to see if I’ve died. And the hovering sales-persons, (honestly, I’m really not planning to nick a new suit), the huge choice (but probably not in my size), the ridiculous and unnecessary packaging and pinning and clipping and stiffening of plain white shirts (and ten bits of cotton to be unpicked from the suit and disposed of when you get the thing home), the expense, the changing rooms wherein every choice makes me look and feel like a sack of potatoes – “panic” doesn’t do the feeling justice. I think that, where clothes are concerned anyway, I’d have been a happy monk. I’d have made do with the same habit until it fell apart.
Actually I used not to be a big fan of “casual dress”. For years and years the dark suit and dog collar was my usual mode of attire. Perhaps it’s “an age thing” but oddly, late in the day, I’ve taken to being altogether more comfortable, as often as I can, in jeans and shirt. And one of the chief joys associated with that kind of clobber is that, by virtue of the wonders of the web, I can buy them right here at my own dear desk.
Anyway. Home now. Time for another hot-cross bun and a slight shame-facedness about the fact that, whilst I couldn’t wait to get out, those kindly, well-meant sales-persons are still there, having to put up with another crowd of middle-aged male catastrophes like me.