Does anyone else find themselves filled with all-encompassing dread at the very thought of an afternoon spent delving into the summer sales?
Everything about clothes sales is violent. Prices are “SLASHED”, bargains are “hunted” and clothes are strewn around shop floors like decapitated, fashion-forward ragdolls. That phrase “EVERYHTHING MUST GO” seems to flip some sort of apocalyptic switch in people’s brains, causing us to lose all sense of civilised behaviour for the duration of the time spent in the store.
As far as I’m concerned, summer sales bring out the very worst in humanity. Toes are stomped upon as shoppers trundle through the racks, elbowing you out of the way should you dare stand between them and a perfect pair of loafers (reduced by 60%). In fact, you’ll rarely come away from a summer sale without at least one bashed rib or crumpled extremity.
And then you have to try on the clothes in the changing rooms, where it’s hot. So hot, in fact, that your body swells to at least 120% of its usual size within minutes of stepping inside the cubicle. This means that as you squish and squirm your body into a pair of half-price jeans, you are often forced to make an executive decision. Either a) these jeans are not fitting because your legs now resemble two rolled up sleeping bags as a result of the heat, or b) these jeans are not fitting because the last time you went jeans shopping was two years ago, and you actually just need to ask the dressing room assistant for a larger size.
“It’s all part of the fun of shopping,” simpers the deluded fashion addict behind you in the queue. And that brings me onto the issue of queues.
Add up all the time you spend standing and stopping; standing and stopping; snailing around unnecessary barriers, waiting to pay for your discounted purchases in the stifling heat, and you’ll be horrified. Hours on end are wasted in a glassy-eyed robotic trance, listening to thumping music that seems intent on punishing you further. Then, when you do finally reach the top of the queue, it’s only to meet a completely dead-eyed cashier clerk who asks whether you have a student card.
“No Linda, I don’t have a student card. Don’t you think if I did I would have taken it out as I waited for 20 minutes in an effort to distract myself from the terrible music your store insists on playing on repeat? I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to snap at you. My legs have just swollen to the size of two cedar tree trunks and I’m feeling a little stretched, both physically and emotionally.”
There are just so many mistakes waiting to be made when you expose yourself to the hectic, frantic nature of summer sale shopping. Even if you want nothing more than a pair of hoop earrings, once you spot those fellow shoppers gathered around a table snatching items out of one another’s reach, the urge to see what all the fuss about is often overpowering. “I don’t know what happened? I only came in here for a pair of earrings!” you’ll cry, emerging from the shop 40 minutes later, sweaty and frazzled with a pair of snakeskin brogues, two sun hats, a kimono, and no hoop earrings.
Summer sales shoppers, you have been warned.