So yesterday I thought I'd better go and buy something to wear.
'What?! More clothes?' Husband said. 'What about all the clothes in your wardrobe?'
I shrugged and set off for town.
Or rather I set off for prison where I was being supportive at the service. Do you remember the Friday before last I was propositioned by an acquaintance recently released from prison? He's back in. In fact he was back in the same day.
It was his turn to shrug when I said, 'Oh Cookie!'
'It's my home,' he said.
So, anyway, back to the shopping.
I spent an hour that lasted a lifetime in Debenhams, tried on a dozen frocks and finally settled for a red lacy one. By the time I'd queued, paid and got back to the car I was already having second thoughts. Husband's reaction when I tried it on to show him made up my mind. 'I don't like it. Red doesn't suit you.'
I rummaged through my wardrobe; perhaps I could wear something I already owned. The best I could come up with were a lilac shift dress and a pair of white trousers.
'I could wear that dress but I'll have to shorten it a bit.'
I had to admit Husband had a point.
Today I returned to town to return the dress. Perhaps I could find a pretty top to wear over the trousers.
There was a pretty top in Monsoon that I liked but when I tried it on it was very low in the armpits. I assumed it was the design and it wasn't until I'd taken it off that I discovered it wasn't a size 12 but a size 22. (Note to self: wear glasses when shopping.) (Notice that other than the armpits it was fine; I just thought it was meant to be loose and flowing.) (And they only had it in 22.)
Three shops in and I was giving up the will to live partly because most of my time seemed to be spent avoiding eager youngsters trying to guilt me into sponsoring a child, taking up zen buddhism or joining the socialist worker party and partly because no-one ever make anything exactly as I want it. (Maybe I should give up writing and become a fashion designer. How does one go about that?)
It was on my fourth tour of Debenhams that I set myself this rule: you will not leave here without buying something to wear. Even if you hate it.
I must have looked pathetic as I loaded up my arms with things I didn't really like to try on because the Personal Shopper spotted me and hollered, 'Did you want to try those on?'
Now I didn't know she was a personal shopper at that point or I'd have said, 'No, no!' It wasn't until she led me into a little room labelled Personal Shopper that I began to get an inkling. Now I'm a bit wary of personal shoppers fearing that I will be talked into spending lots of money on something I hate but this one was very good and did find me the dress I ended up buying.
And she said I was petite. (Okay they're paid to make customers feel good but it worked.)
And Husband liked it. And, even though I bought a top as well - to wear with white trousers - both items together came to less than the price of the original dress. And despite what Husband thinks the whole kerfuffle wasn't a cunning ploy on my part to make my purchase seem like a bargain.
But I might bear it in mind for future purchases.