Sunday, September 16, 2007

At Least This Time I Didn't Injure My Foot By Kicking Anything

At Least This Time I Didn't Injure My Foot By Kicking Anything

"We want to be through this door".

Dean leads me through one of Selfridges's many doors so we end up next to the TopShop concession.

"Oooo". I say looking at a particularly attractive blouse. I find that I am ooo-ing at clothes a lot at the moment, undoubtedly a by-product of the fact that I am purchasing my autumn wardrobe and, on account of working stupidly over the summer, I am in the surprising position of actually having money to spend.

But I am not to be distracted by TopShop. Oh no. Dean and I are here for much higher purposes. Moschino winter coat purposes. Moschino-would-be-the-most-expensive-single-purchase-since-my-computer purposes.

I'd stumbled across The Coat the day after I'd left Oxford. It had drawn me to it, calling out across the department floor. I'd made the mistake of trying The Coat on and then looking in the mirror. And it was perfect. Striking but wonderfully simple. Fitted to the waist and then flaring out, just enough. And, to cap it all, a perfect fit in a size 8. Moschino, you really are spoiling me.

Only, even in all The Coat's perfectness, I could acknowledge that The Coat was a lot of money, and I wasn't quite sure how much my desire to buy it was built into what is scientifically known as The Umbrella Effect. And this would be one huge umbrella. Director Boy was more blunt: "the only way to justify The Coat is if you had [insert something that C and I definitely did not do, because I am a lady]".

So I left The Coat. Predictably I have dreamt of it ever since.

I have attempted to distract myself with other coats. A significantly cheaper Ralph Lauren mac. An Oasis almost-copy. But it remains - they are not The Coat. I suspect I have been spoilt for all future coat purchases.

So, two weeks later, Dean and I are back. Only I have set down the ground rules:

I will only buy the coat if it is there and in my size. There will be no ordering. No phoning of other outlets. No pleading with Moschino. If The Coat is there then our relationship is meant to be. If not, then so be it. I will find another coat. I will grow to love this other coat.

We go up the escalators, past the bikes, up into the women's designer section.

"We want to go past the shoes" Dean asserts, for this is a mission for him as much as for me I suspect.

"Yes, if we hit Chloe we've gone too far". For I remember the route.

We continue along the familiar collections until -

"We're not in the right place".

It is true, I do not recognise anything. The rails of clothing hang from the ceiling. And I would remember that.

"Maybe we want to be more to our right". And then, because I am not letting this slip away, "Yes, we want to be this way".

I lead Dean across the pathway, until we have left the suspended rails behind for the sturdier, legs on floor versions. And there in front of us stands the Moschino Cheap and Chic section.

Only - it is not right. It is not in the right place. It is not the right bit of Moschino. There is nothing remotely red about it. Most noticeably of all, The Coat is not there.

"This isn't right either".

Dean and I stand and look around. And it dawns on me what has happened.

"It was where that box is now".

We both look to the giant box that is covering a large section of the floor, hiding from view the work that is being done to Selfridges's second floor. There is building work. Where my coat was.

"I'm being defeated by Selfridges!"

We have been walking the floor for ten minutes now. I know what this means.

"It's not meant to be, is it?".

Dean looks at me. It is clear that after already having had a morning where he fell up the escalators at Victoria and broke his Oyster card he is taking the disappearance of The Coat as a personal slight.

"Now I'm annoyed!". I make a mental note never to stand in the way of Dean and an expensive item of clothing.

But we both sense the reality and make our way out of Selfridges, chuntering slightly.

There is only one thing for it - I go to the half price ticket booth in Leicester Square and console myself with the aid of seat five rows from the front at Avenue Q.

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