Picture the scene, it’s a Saturday, and She Who Must Be Obeyed wants to go shopping in Brighton. And we are not talking food shopping, no, we are talking clothes shopping. And we are not talking just the two of us. Small Person One Of Two wanted to tag along.
A nightmare scenario for any man – being dragged around so many clothing shops which seem to be selling exactly the same items!
And why do they call it shopping? It seems to me that we have to be dragged to several shops looking at clothes which the women then try on only to decide they don’t like them or they don’t suit them. Then several shops later, we normally return to the first to buy the first item they tried on!
Surely there should be another term for the first part of this experience and we should only use the word ‘shopping’ when we are actually in the process of buying something. After all, when buying a house, one goes house hunting and viewing before buying.
Perhaps from now on we could go ‘clothes hunting’ or ‘looking’ with a view to it turning into ‘shopping’!
So there we are, in one of the many clothes shops. It is spread over three floors. It does have a section for men, but only a small amount of floor space is set aside for male clothing. In fact the area for women’s shoes is larger!
Now, both She Who Must Be Obeyed and Small Person One Of Two want to try something on, so off we go to find the ladies changing rooms. They are on the ground floor, and despite the store having three floors of clothing, that is the only place to find them.
Naturally with so many clothes and so many women and young girls, the changing rooms are pretty busy and there is a queue. The men’s changing room, which was up one floor, was empty. But then there wasn’t much to try on!
For the sake of the health and well being of the men, couldn’t these stores provide a waiting area with coffee and newspapers and maybe a television with a sports channel? It is very awkward standing outside the changing rooms in case one’s opinion is required. I lost count of how many times women asked me if I was waiting to go in.
IT WAS A FEMALE CHANGING ROOM!
Sorry to shout.
Why would I be waiting to go in? I know we were in the gay capital of the south coast, but I’m pretty sure the gay men of Brighton would use the men’s changing rooms. I wasn’t even holding any clothing to try on!
Some women also look at you as if to say ‘pervert’. Where is a man supposed to go? He doesn’t want to wander round the rails of women’s clothes, that would look just as bad unless of course, being in Brighton, he was getting something for his drag act! He can’t wander too far away in case he needs to give a nod of approval.
I have just realised what was playing on the radio as I wrote that last paragraph. Once again I am listening to Elaine Paige On Sunday and she was playing The Best Of Times from La Cage Aux Folles. And for those not familiar with that musical, it is set in a drag club! And yes, I have played one of the ‘girls’ – so maybe that’s why I was getting funny looks. 😉
Meanwhile, back to that nod of approval – there’s a fine art to it. One has to know when to say it looks good and when to gently persuade that it doesn’t suit. One can’t say it’s too tight can one! As it happened, my nods were not required. She Who Must Be Obeyed didn’t like anything she tried on, and never came out of the changing room for a second opinion. Let off!
It wasn’t a complete waste of time, She Who Must Be Obeyed did get a handbag and I got a pair of socks – neither of which needed trying on!