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December 31, 2005

People shopping

A quick dash to the sales. Needed a few things - table mats and crockery for New Year and stuff like that. (God, how middle-aged is that? 5 months and 3 days and counting).

So we went to Merry Hill (Merry Hell, the LOML's dad calls it), which for the uninitiated is a big mall. In Dudley (in Doooodliiiy). I got an ace Animal top and an Oakley tee - who's middle-aged now? - on the way to Debenhams for the mats. Like you do. While the LOML was ferreting through Monsoon I stood outside and had a chav count. Scarily, by my maths-in-my-head calculations, 61% chav. And that's being generous - not everyone in sports gear is a chav, for instance. I decided you need additional razor lines in hair or eyebrow (male) or a Croydon facelift (female), or Argos gold jewellery (either), or a padded denim jacket (either). Who thinks that a denim jacket over a shell-suit is a good look? Ffs.

Got some tees from Gap for 99p. Fab. Will wear them under my new snug-fitting v-necks in a slightly David Baddiel on What Not To Wear stylee. One of my v-necks is lilac: draw your own conclusions if you must.

Finally into Debenhams for mats. I like the etched glass ones, which are also the most reduced, or acrylic ones with a sort of watermarky pattern in terracotta colour. These match the dining room. She says that these might match the dining area now, but we're not going to keep the dining area that colour for ever. So now we're trying to match tablemats to some as-yet undecided colour we may have at an undetermined time in the future. She shushes me and says people are laughing at me. I point out they're probably blokes laughing with me and at her.

Then, THEN, in some bizarre ritual of female solidarity, some middle-aged woman (by definition, therefore, older than me) comes over and starts explaining that it's a girl thing and men can't be expected to understand. She points at the pinkish cloth mats that the LOML is currently holding would work much less well with neutrals than the greeny-bluey-greyey ones she's holding. Who the fuck to you think you're talking to, you patronising bitch? I'm a professional designer, I know about colour; I've forgotten more about colour than you've ever been able to comprehend with your limited intellectual capacity. Why do you assume that everyone lives like you in a Barratt rabbit hutch decorated in neutrals - assuming that you think all-over magnolia is 'neutral' rather than just a stupid cliche - some of us have taste and know how to use colour properly and boldly and why the fuck do you think we are interested in your fucking undereducated opinion anyway? Fucktard.

Is what I should have said.

Of course, in reality, I just smiled and nodded and did that resigned 'I'm a bloke in a shop and I don't understand' look. The LOML pretended to look interested in her opinion, and gave her a considered look like 'I'm taking your opinion seriously, and thank you for sharing it with me', and in due course Mrs fucktard came to the end of her dribbly spiel and went off. I could just tell she was thinking in her own little world that she had been kind, and authoritative, and in several different ways superior. I refrained from eating my own forearm in frustration. The LOML muttered 'fuck off, who asked you anyway?', which both amused and vindicated me.

We had the pinkish cloth ones in the end. They came with free matching napkins, after all.


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