A BIG DAY OUT
Some may view me as a disgrace to womanhood, but I detest buying clothes. It’s not that I don’t like to look nice, but it’s so time consuming and irritating. The older I get the more I dislike the whole business.
Anyway, I set off on a two day shopping trip to Sydney recently, staying the night on the North Shore at Mosman. The city is always a shock after my quiet Blue Mountains nest. In fact, I’ve been known to change my mind on these city trips, choosing to spend the day at the State Library instead. However, there are times when I have to grit my teeth and go forth.
As I walked through Martin Place damn me if there wasn’t a busker playing Silent Night…in mid September! Life slips by too fast for me already, so I only gave him a dollar. And do you know what? There was an ibis listening to him. I swear they’re taking over the city. I’m worried it might be emus next.
On I went, nearly colliding with a life size hippo in Pitt St mall. Something to do with Taronga Zoo I think. I skirted around it, because sometimes the staff have live snakes they encourage people to pat. There are enough snakes in my own garden, thanks.
I prefer department stores to boutiques, because I don’t like to be pounced upon and pressured. Cynicism comes with age you know, and when someone says, ‘You look fabulous in that, Sweetheart,’ I don’t believe a bloody word of it. And then there are the shops that play VERY loud, thumping music. Is that really necessary? As my mother used to say, ‘I can’t hear myself think!’
I avoided George Street and the light rail construction work. Just hurry please is all I’ll say. I want to be agile enough to get on the new trains….or are they trams?
There always seems to be a sale on these days . Am I right to be suspicious, or is this just another indication of my advancing age?
Mind you, the big stores do have their own hazards. Even though Meyers has multiple exits on different levels I am sometimes completely unable to find my way out. I wonder if this is all a deliberate ploy by marketing psychologists? If so it doesn’t work; a panic stricken woman hardly has more shopping on her mind.
I will gloss over the horror of finding the fitting rooms and endlessly struggling in and out of clothes. Sizing is all up the creek these days. I know I’ve lost a bit of weight, but it’s crazy that I now fit into size 8 pants instead of 10. I suspect the manufacturers just want to make us feel thinner and more inclined to buy. At least I found a few things eventually. Oh joy! Might have to take the hems of the pants up though. Why do they make them so incredibly long?
Thankfully hat buying was far less stressful. A fellow shopper joined the search. We had so much fun that she even took my photo. At least she was honest in her comments, and actually very helpful. She said she was supposed to be looking for a dress to wear to her granddaughter’s wedding. To my shame I did not offer to help her in return, though I wished her well.
Bought some shoes. Flat soled, soft leather. Soon I’ll be buying Hush Puppies.
Clearly the store staff had been instructed to ‘engage and chat’ with their customers. As I handed over my credit card the middle aged assistant said;
‘You are very energetic!’
What a peculiar thing to say, I hadn’t exactly been leaping about the store…or swinging from the racks. I was unable to respond, apart from a quizzical smile. Her English was not fluent, but I took it as a compliment until she added;
‘Some people are in a really bad way’. It’s terrible…. they can hardly walk. Even people younger than you. So don’t be sad dear!’
Oh good grief! And I’d been feeling relatively chirpy after my ‘finds’. I thought the sixties were supposed to be the new forties. Pity she couldn’t have seen me on a trampoline a while back. Naturally I headed for the nearest mirror for reassurance. I didn’t think I looked too bad. Mind you, I do have the beginnings of cataracts; OMG, I probably can’t see myself as I really am.
It was clearly time for a big hit of caffeine and carbohydrate. I sat down after selecting what I thought was a cream puff, but which was described as custard filled profiterole. Oh yes, give it a French name and charge me more. And look how the bloomin’ thing was served. No wonder it cost so much…I was probably charged another $5 for the giant plate and the swirl of syrup. Hmm, slightly worrying shape too…..
I caught the bus home after that, still in a state of confused deflation. As usual, it was very crowded so I had to stand up. A man smiled kindly at me when I nearly fell over as the driver braked suddenly on the harbour bridge. He didn’t offer me his seat, but I smiled back because he must have thought I looked young and energetic….relatively speaking!
As evening fell back ‘home’ in Mosman a full moon rose over the heads. I like to think this explained a lot. Lunacy!
FOOOTNOTE – I bought two hats that day…… should last me a while.
Have you had a day similar to mine? Do leave a message in the comment box below. As always, scroll down and complete the simple anti-spam sum before pressing SUBMIT.