"I would like to pop into the hat shop" I say, trying to make it as casual as possible.
The eyes do not quite roll but there is some movement.
"I'll be quick, I promise".
"I'm willing to bet that you won't".
"No - " I protest. "It'll be quick. Either they have something in the right colour or they don't. Easy".
I get the sense that I am deluding myself rather than the person sat opposite me.
"And - " I continue because I want to sell this idea "It's in a shop next to the building with the wonky beams and potentially wonky floor".
The wonky floor doesn't attract me, I admit, but who am I to judge the inner five year old in a twenty-something male? I, after all, have a Mini David Tenant doll.
"Ok, we can go if we buy marbles on the way there".
It is a fair enough compromise.
We eventually enter the hat shop. It is full of hats of varying hues and shapes. It is a little bit wonderful.
"Ten points if you spot something in royal blue" I say, as I start scanning the wall covered in fascinators.
"Here you go -" comes the reply a few seconds later.
I look round. I am being offered a royal blue flat cap. It is safe to say it would not go with The Dress for The Gay Wedding of the Decade.
It is not a time for polite response. "Get lost".
I go back to looking at fascinators. I discard one for being too big. I am in the process of trying on another one.
"That one's even bigger!" comes the slightly exasperated response.
I decide that it is also not the time for me to try and explain how girls' shop. It is obviously logical, after all, that a different style may be ok for being larger. I do decide, however, that it might be time to concede a point.
"You know when I said I was going to be quick..." I trail off, the rest of the sentence obvious for us both to see.
There is a slight smirk. "I already knew you wouldn't be".
"But I still haven't been as long as you were in the music shop". I counter for I am not one to lose an argument unnecessarily. Just as there is only so much time that a non-hat wearer can spend doing non-hat wearing things in a hat shop there is only so much time that I, a non-musician, can spend doing non-musician things in a music shop.
"Not right" I say.
"Too many feathers" I say.
"Too bridal" I say.
"But there's a space going for a bride!" comes the response. I discount this immediately.
I decide to state the obvious. "You really were the wrong person to do this with".
There is no need for a direct response.
"I think I'm going to get one of these". It is a brown flat cap. "It will go with my brown suit".
The brown suit acts like Boris Johnson, Student Loans and Deck Shoes: it is a cue to annoy me.
I do not take the bait, however, feigning deafness because of the feathers instead.
"I'd say there's a 70% chance that you're going to come out of here without having bought a hat but with an umbrella or a handbag instead".
It is a moment of clarity, possibly the sign that I am understood a little too well for my liking.
"Well, the umbrellas are beautiful..." I concede. But I do not need a new umbrella, at least not for now.
Eventually I pick out my choice, watching it being wrapped and boxed with a curious glow whilst acknowledging that I probably owe a beer because of this. The glow manages to persist for some time until, several hours, much vodka and a couple of cocktails later, the realisation dawns that I have left my beautifully wrapped headwear under a table in Evil Eye.