Sunday, 1 November 2015

Retail Therapy

I love shopping.  Well, not supermarket shopping.  Proper shopping.  You know, clothes…and handbags…and shoes…and more clothes and handbags and shoes.  You’ve got the picture.  Yesterday I decided to go lingerie shopping.  Having spent the last twelve months in a sports bra due to injury following my argument with a Dyson vacuum cleaner (never row with a Dyson, never), after two operations I decided it was time to try wearing a normal bra again.  My daughter materialised by my side.
            ‘Did you say you’re going shopping?’
            ‘Food shopping?’
            ‘No, lingerie shopping.’
            I should have lied.  Too late, I saw the error of my ways.
            ‘Oooh, wonderful.  Wait for me.  I’ll just slick a bit of lippy on and I’ll be with you.’
            ‘I could be some time,’ I warned.
            Wrong response!
            ‘I mean, er–’ Quick! Think of a real put-off excuse!
            ‘Fab,’ I replied weakly.
            ‘Are we going to Victoria’s Secret?’
            ‘No we are not,’ I scowled.  Between you and me, that had been my intention, but not now my spending budget had halved thanks to the company of my shopping plus-one.
            ‘So where are we going?’ asked Eleanor, undaunted.
            ‘M & S.  We shall buy something boring and sensible.’
            Actually, have you visited the lingerie section of M & S?  It’s gorgeous!  My daughter was in seventh heaven collecting armfuls of lacy this and leopard that.  Not to be outdone, I grabbed something that promised to give a bigger cleavage than Dolly Parton, and more lift than a helium balloon.  Uplifted (no pun intended), I went off to the changing room.
            ‘Wait for me,’ said Eleanor.
            ‘Go in your own changing room,’ I protested.
            ‘The others are full.  Come on, Mum.  We can share.  All girls together.’
            Actually, that’s where she was wrong.  We were not all girls together. We were one girl and one middle-aged woman, the latter with surgery scars and a mid-riff that looked like dropped knicker elastic.  There is nothing more demoralising than stripping off next to an eighteen-year old that weighs eight stone with curves in all the right places.
            ‘Oh yes, this is fabulous,’ said Eleanor as she worked her way through a selection of figure-enhancing items.  ‘How are you getting on, Mum?  Oh dear.’ Yes, oh dear indeed.  I surveyed my reflection in dismay.  Think of a trussed up chicken.  Apart from anything else, it was beyond uncomfortable.  ‘It’s still early days after your surgery.  Why don’t you go for something wireless?’
            I stared at my daughter in confusion.  Wireless?  Had they invented a bra that picked up the internet?
            To cut a shopping tale short, we left the store with half-a-dozen fancy bras for Eleanor, and a sensible cotton jobbie for me.  Sigh.  Which reminds me. Designers have invented a new bra for women of a certain age.  It’s called The Sheepdog.  It rounds things up and points them in the right direction…

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