As we will shortly be heading into the season of commercialism and excessive spending, I’d like to take this time to reject a massive female stereotype and make a bold confession: I hate shopping. While I love having new clothes, the act of buying them, for me, is tantamount to torture.
I don’t understand the gaggles of girls that flit about shopping centres in their droves as a source of entertainment. Shopping is not a group activity. It is not a game: it is a serious mission. You start off the day as glamorous Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and end up as haggard Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way. I helped my sister shop for dresses a few weeks ago and after seven unsuccessful hours, I felt like we had just run a mini marathon. I finally understood the universal male agony of waiting outside on the little couch, wondering if we were ever going to eat or be happy again.
First of all, you have to traipse everywhere, laden with baggage. Ireland being Ireland, rain will undoubtedly have turned your paper bags into brown mush and you’ll have to clutch everything to your bosom. You’re dehydrated from stuffy dressing rooms and starving but you already ate that granola bar at the bottom of your bag and you need to pee but you know if you sit down you’ll never get back up. You curse your foolish decision to wear jeans and boots on your sixth attempt to pull them off and on again.
What’s more, you have to endure the absolute fakery of shopping room assistants that tell you those leather pants are fabulous even though you know you look like a moose. They ask if you need any assistance and you suppress the urge to ask why all of their stock is sized wrong and if there is indeed a skirt that doesn’t risk a serious wardrobe malfunction, à la Sharon Stone.
Also, what is going on with the lighting in these dressing rooms? River Island, half of your expenditure must go on lightbulbs and shelling out compensation for blinding customers. I didn’t ask for a filter to be added to my life and don’t appreciate looking like Jennifer Lawrence in the shop and Jo Brand when I get home.
Back to sisterly shopping day, I was forced to take a photo on my phone to prove to her that one particular dress was deceivingly tight. The shop assistant thought I was a monster which was slightly hypocritical due to her culpability in the realm of evil lighting.
Online shopping must surely be the answer, right? Wrong. It is my firm opinion that you must try an item of clothing on your own body, not trust the loveliness of the 5’9” Cara Delevingne lookalike on the Boohoo.com ad. Case in point: I ordered a dress online recently in a size 10. It came three weeks late, labelled ‘Medium’ in Chinese, and was shorter than most tops I own. I felt like big Alice when she bursts out of small Alice’s clothes.
Be safe this season, girls. Wear runners and fat pants. Eat at regular intervals. Avoid Penneys at rush hour. And bring your mammy; she’ll tell you the truth and fend off fellow shoppers who don’t understand personal space. May God be with you.