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I sometimes wonder if I’m a proper girl:

  • I never paint my nails.
  • I look like a goose on stilts when I attempt to walk in heels: waddle, waddle, waddle.
  • I don’t buy make up and only wear free stuff from magazines or things my friends give me.
  • I loathe massages, spas and beauty treatments.
  • I prefer action films to chick flicks and I don’t watch The Hills or Madmen or the Essex programme or Peter Andre anything.
  • I only recently figured out Jessie J was a girl and I still don’t know who Kim Kabardashiayasianan is.

But what sets me apart most from my fellow sisters (meant in the cool ‘go-women’ sisterhood way) is my complete and utter loathing of clothes shopping. I only have to think about it and hackles stand erect; a growl burns in my throat.

It’s not that I don’t like clothes – I wear them every day after all.  Its just don’t like the process of acquiring the garments. Does anyone else have this allergy? 

I tried to explain it to someone yesterday (a boy) and they told me I was wrong and a liar.  I’m a girl so I don’t ‘really’ feel this way, I’m just attention seeking.  Not wanting you to think this of me, dear TP readers, for the sake of this piece I shall therefore state plainly: I’m in fact not a girl but BOY [sic].

Moving on.

Clothes shops make you feel bad about yourself in every single possible way. It’s not just the poster models you don’t look like, wearing clothes you can’t afford, posing in ways you never could without looking like a jerk at the bus stop.

But it goes right down to the very detail of the shop.  Like the lighting.  You look gaunt and pale.  No wonder you convince yourself you definitely deserve that extra shirt/trouser/strip of cloth.  Perhaps that’s why they do it.

And the mirrors.  The cheating lying SCUM mirrors.  ‘Don’t I look slim!  But wait…suspiciously I can’t fit into my normal sized jeans.  For Pete’s sake, do up dammit. Mirrors – don’t – lie…’

I aged recently and found some vouchers leftover from last year’s birthday.  Faced with the knowledge I’d be wasting someone’s hard earned cash, I was guilted into a shopping trip… The very worst experience of my week.

How it’s possible to walk into The House of Clothes and still find nothing to wear, I’ve no idea, but anyway I managed it.

An hour later and I was about ready to rip my own clothes off in frustration.  Tearing round one particular store, as if stuck in a revolving door, I swooped items off a rack with vigour:

Grab, grab and I’m done.  Buy.  No wait – urgh – I should probably try them on first.  Shudder at the thought of a repeat visit.

I joined some tiresome queue, laden with clothes (one only wants to go through the changing bit once).  When I got to the front I was told I could only take in 4 items.  This was most baffling.  What was I going to do to the fifth item, I wondered?  Eat it?

I trudged into the only free cubicle, taking much pleasure in observing the suspicious hairs, plaster and sodden footprints on the floor as I entered.

Looking around the drab space I considered what an odd concept it was, changing in a changing room.  Effectively, I’d walked in off the street to get naked behind a curtain and stare at myself in a mirror.   Like the very worst type of peepshow I could imagine.

Naturally my impulse grabs looked ridiculous.  What’s wrong with simple, well-cut clothing these days?  Why frills?  Why ruffles?  Why flower arrangements and fruit baskets?

Huffing and puffing, I selected 2 of the least dreadful choices and fled.

More queuing at the till, one lined with bags and bags of multi coloured gummy sweets – a final two-fingers from the Powers of Shop: 

Remember those jeans that you just couldn’t fit?  Well this is why, Porker, now starve.

When I got to the cashier, I handed over my wares and slide my voucher card across the counter.

Beep-Beep-Beep. *EXPIRED*

There’s an expression which goes like this: ‘Shop til you drop’. I think I now know what it means.

by Beenie Langley