Little Shop of Stationary
Shopping would be a more pleasant experience if it weren't for other people. It's depressing to see teenagers walking round a shopping centre, yet alone working there.
I was in a store searching for a Christmas jumper. The season of good will was nearly upon us and I wanted to be a bit festive this year. In previous years I hadn't really looked forward to Christmas, but this year I had someone to share it with. I picked out the jumper I wanted and went to wait in the queue for the checkouts.
I get to the front of the queue to be confronted by a twelve year old boy, with what can only be described as a whipped cream hairdo. You know the ones, shaved at the sides and back with a dollop of hairy desert topping on the top. It was the sort of thing that was popular back in the 80s for a day, but then, understandably, promptly went out of fashion. He was also wearing those trousers that look like they should only fit girls with stick legs. They were so low, his shirt needed to be tucked in to hide the fact he was wearing children's y-fronts. But the most off-putting thing was the fact he wanted to have a conversation with me. Things like, "how's your day been?" "Do you have much more shopping to do today?" Do I really need to have a conversation with a twelve year old just to buy a Christmas jumper?!
The saga doesn't just end there. I decided to look in the music shop. I hadn't been in there a while, and just wanted a look round. What I hadn't counted on was that it was half term. There were teenagers everywhere. I like to look at the alternative section, but on this particular occasion, there was a group of giggling schoolgirls. Girls of that age shouldn't even know what alternative music is. I hate to be ageist but they're aren't mature enough to understand the symbolism within Machine Head or Metallica albums. I decided to have a browse around the Blu-Ray films. That was until I overheard a boy of no more than seventeen proclaim... "Scream... that must be at least fifty years old." I went to the cinema in 1997, just after it came out. I lied about my age as I wasn't eighteen yet. I can't believe they believed me, I was twelve. At this point however, I never felt so old.
So, by this point I'm pretty bummed. My fiancé and I meet up again for the next shop as she is in need of my student discount card. So we're looking round this clothes shop and there's this rack with clearance items on it. There's a woman looking at the rack and it sounds like she has whooping cough. Walking up and down the rack, coughing on every item of clothing and all I can think is, "Just fucking die already." It was one of those coughs that a kid in primary school, who can't do PE, has. One of those rasping in the throat coughs that rattles your head off. Every five seconds. It was so loud you could hear her at the other end of the shop. Even the shop assistants were getting pissed off with her.
We get to the back of the shop to the fitting rooms, and I sit in the man chairs. More men come in. We sit in awkward silence, all waiting for our significant others. It's strange how if you put a group of women, who don't know each other, in a room, they'll start to chat and gossip and do all the things women do when they're in a group. Men on the other hand are content to sit or stand in a stony silence, avoiding eye contact and looking for excuses to not have a conversation.
To cheer myself up, I decided to go to a department store to look at kitchens. Because that's how grown up I am. But even in the most grown up department store, there were kids. The difference with these kids are that they aren't teenagers. Also they're very middle class. To hear a child yell "Mummy, look at me, mummy, mummy, mummy look, mummy, mummy look at me, mummy, mummy...." and so on, really grates on my nerves. Especially when they're trying so hard to break a rowing machine.
I made my way back to the kitchens and thought I could take out some of my frustrations on the display cupboards. Unfortunately to my horror, they now have soft close cupboards so you can't slam them. No matter how hard I tried, there was no satisfying slam. Every single show kitchen I looked at had these soft close cupboards. There would be no frustrated release here.
I once again met up with my fiancé, and she had the brilliant idea to browse for potential shoes for our wedding. What really cheered me up was that the shop we went in sold cherry red Dr Martin boots. The exact boots I wanted for our wedding. We were both planning to get married in Dr Martins, and these boots would match her red wedding dress perfectly. They had my size, and accepted student discount, so the decision was made to buy them. This not only confirmed my love for her further, but also deepened it.
The time had come to call our shopping trip to an end. This came with the promise of a trip to Toys'R'Us the following day, when we took our nieces out for the afternoon.
Unfortunately, my nieces are obsessed with stationary. Instead of Toys'R'Us, we went to Staples.