There’s a shop in town I don’t mind going to at all – and I’m not much enamoured by shopping.
The establishment in question is my children’s favourite place to buy shoes – the VANS shop. I like it too, but mostly because 1). they do very good sales, very often. I’d never buy anything full price. And 2). the opportunity to truly embarrass my children in there is enormous.
For example, yesterday, we needed some shoes for some pre-teen feet which are growing by the day. It’s astonishing. Let’s go to VANS! I said, already chuckling at the thought of the fun I was going to have. In we went. It’s dark in there, for some reason, as though groping about in the gloom will make you spend more.
I marched straight through to the sale shelf, while my children tried to look as though they weren’t with me (although they were being forbearing too, as I had the cash). Here, we are! I shouted merrily, grabbing some perfect shoes from the shelf, and checking the price: look! Waving energetically at the young male assistant: Dude, let’s have these in size 5 please!
I dial it up on purpose, as you can embarrass the assistants too, who are also desperately posturing as only young people can. It’s so great. There’s not much payback when you’re a Mother, despite old ladies telling you it’s the ‘best time of your life’,* and you have to take the fun where you can get it.
Well, we bought the shoes, and this time I didn’t even whisk out my reusable shopping bag like last time (‘Do you need a bag?’ ‘Are you serious? I’m a Mum, I’ve got my own bag right here!’ The kids actually died as I reached into my handbag for a nylon packaway shopper, opening it with a flourish). Nor did I engage the assistant in a discussion about Skepta (I’m saving this one up for another time, it’s going to be excellent. I just need to get more clued up on grime music first, to sound more authentic).
So we all survived quite well.
When we got home, everyone settled down to something, but I just couldn’t. It’s been a long week inside my head; you might have noticed. C’est la vie. I put on the TV. At 3pm. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. There was a film – Sex and the City 2. I usually look for documentaries about Dostoevesky, or some such, so this was a departure, but I decided to give it a go.
awful great. I loved it. I laughed and cried and covered my eyes with a cushion and got lost by myself in the bonkers made-up world of it for 2 whole hours.
‘She’s drinking tea and watching middle aged women from NYC in designer clothes having wild romantic liaisons in the desert.’
‘Let’s go out.’
Dude, I think it’s called relaxing. I don’t know why I don’t do it more often.
*I can’t say either way if child-rearing is or isn’t the best time of your life, as I’ve never had a wild romantic liaison in the desert, so who knows?