Friday, January 05, 2007

I Shop - Therefore I Am

I Shop - Therefore I Am

My arms full of dresses I stumble towards the changing room.

'No more than six items' proclaims the sign in front of me.

I stare down at the items in my hands. Definitely more than six, even I as a non-mathematically minded person can see that.

I peer round the corner, no sign of any shop assistant. I give it a good ten seconds before having another look.


I have options here. I can be good and leave some of the offending articles. Or I can claim ignorance [maybe that I can't read?] and take all of the dresses in with me.

Given that I'm not intending to shoplift I decide that it's ok and walk into the changing room, the sign scowling down at me.

Once encased in my own protective cubicle I start arranging the dresses into colours and sizes. The irony is of course that, strictly speaking, I do not need a dress. I have 11 dresses, of various hues and lengths, hanging in front of my wardrobe. I wouldn't like to hazzard a guess as to how many I have within the wardrobe's confines. And even if it is Cat's birthday, and even if I'm going to see Amy's View for my own birthday, and even if I'm going to meet John Barrowman - it remains. I probably don't need a new dress. I have a dress from Whistles I haven't worn outside the confines of my own room.

But meeting John Barrowman? I'm going to want to look fabulous for that, even if he won't see my dress because I'm wearing a big coat over it. I think he's the type of boy who appreciates a fabulous dress. And arranged in front of me are a parade of utterly fabulous, shiny new dresses, all with at least 50% off their price tags.

I have no will power.

I try the first dress on; it's gold with a tiny waist and huge skirt. The minute I look at its reflection in the mirror I know I can't give it back. It is far too beautiful. This will be the one.

But since I'm here, with my illegal six items plus, I might as well try them on.

I'm in the midst of trying on Dress Four - a silver number that I imagine is something Sienna Boho Princess might wear on a night out if she too shopped in Zara - when it occurs to me what fabulous music is being pumped into the changing rooms. Not fabulous music in music that I would store on my playlists but what fabulous music in terms of making me want to dance and buy these clothes*. Charlotte Church, Louise Nurding [as she was then] and now Atomic Kitten shrilling about the tide being high and all that. Girl power, as someone once said.

I waft the dress around and shake my head, momentarily feeling like I'm in the M&S advert with Twiggy and co.

I'm still dancing in Dress Five - a black number that is beguiling simple but which is a thing of wonder when it's off the hanger - when I realise that I've fallen in love with this dress too. Not as showy as Dress One but in its own way every bit as beautiful. Bugger Atomic Kitten.

I brush its sides down. I mean it's black and not at all revealing. I could wear this to work. Not for every day I know, but for stuff like Press Nights.

Yes, a Press Night Dress.

I'm at the till handing over my debit card before it occurs to me that I'm not quite sure where I'd put the radio. Ah, well.

I'm walking with a spring in my step and my new purchases hanging off of my arms towards Borders when I run into Dean (almost literally) who is brandishing a copy of American Vogue.

"I bought dresses" I say it sheepishly not because Dean will tell me off for expanding my wardrobe** but because I promised I wouldn't buy something new to wear to Cat's birthday, thus plunging Dean into a fashion crisis where he too has to buy a new outfit. Before he stopped speaking to me because of the whole sharing a hotel room with an engaged actor thing N, our boss over the summer, told me he thought that Dean and I rung each other up each morning to co-ordinate our outfits. Whilst not entirely accurate he probably wasn't too far off of the mark.

In a bit to cut off any recriminations I pull the bag open, letting the Magic Of The New Dresses diffuse through the air. Dean peers in.


It works.

I let Dean drag me to TopMan where he buys a pair of boots in approximately ten seconds, employing the sort of targeted force I can only wonder at, before we head back towards my intended destination.

We're hugging goodbye when he hisses in my ear:

"History Boy!"

I stop.


Dean gestures to Borders and, sure enough, there is History Boy. In a bookshop. Of course.

Dean smirks: "Now I'm going to get to walk to work with him".

I jab him with my finger, not exactly sure whose crush this is. I'm about to say this when we're interrupted -

"How are you two?"

I smile at History Boy before we run through the plans that have each of us running off in different directions. No walk to work for Dean. I just about stop myself from emitting a 'Ha!' out loud.

When we've all said our goodbyes I make my way into Borders. Despite the fact I have gift vouchers I don't buy anything, super human strength undoubtedly demonstrated because I have two fabulous dresses. And a little bit of a crush.

* Unlike New Look who were playing 'Chasing Cars - The Dance Remix'. I was a rabbit in the headlights, I couldn't leave until it had finished but I knew it was going to make me die.

** See Dean's reasoning for why he would make a good husband: i)I'd encourage you to buy dresses.


Val said...

I once bought a skirt in Jigsaw because they were playing Bring It On!

Dammit, even though I've already bought two dresses in the sales, I now need something new for a)Cat's party, and b)John as I also believe he'll appreciate a great dress. ;-)

Nik said...

Even though you and Dean both have new outfits I am resisting getting one, mainly because clothes shopping does my head in and then I end up in HMV or Waterstones and spend money there instead...