Shopping – From Enthusiasm to Desolatation In Under Three Hours.

The planets must have aligned briefly, the other morning, as I found myself in a shopping centre with some disposable income and only one placid child dozing in her pram. I had money to buy myself a belated birthday present and it was a Tuesday morning. I discovered, whilst on my first maternity leave in 2006, that Tuesday mornings are the optimum time to shop. Shops are empty, there is no queuing and everything is fully stocked unlike a Saturday where you will find an abundance of size 6 and size 20 clothes  but not a lot in other sizes. It is the perfect time to shop. I arrived in Dundrum, bright-eyed and enthusiastic and positive.  The following happened and I left a sweaty, desolate, poorer mess.

I wanted to be this happy stock image shopping woman. It wasn't to be. Via

I wanted to be this happy stock image shopping woman. It wasn’t to be. 


I had to collect some things I had ordered online for the new child, I done that. Then I bought her some hats. Then I went to another shop and saw more baby hats so I bought more. Then I wandered around a bit more.  Then I bought some writing paper and envelopes. Then I spent 25 minutes debating with myself ( in my head, things aren’t that bad yet) did I need a gold jumper and was it a bit Joan Collins esque or actually lovely. It took a while to find something in all the shops that wasnt pastel coloured. Pastel is the A/W colour this year apparently………Pastel colours are no friend of mine though, are they the friend of anyone who is not their goal body weight? Anyway I decided that really I had nowhere to wear a gold jumper to so I put it back. I then realised two hours had passed and time was running out. Mild panic set in. I was meant to be buying myself nice things.

Ten minutes later found me still in  Tk Maxx looking at dog clothes. There is no size guide on the back of them so I was trying to hold them up and judge which would fit a labrador. I have never bought dog clothes or dressed a dog so its pretty hard to call. I then caught sight of myself in a mirror holding up a dog jacket. “Put it fucking down you silly bitch, the dog does not need clothes ,you need clothes, buy something” I had progressed to arguing with myself out loud at this point. I put the dog jacket down.

I went to leave, saw another baby hat, queued to pay for it, picked up some more stationary whilst in queue, left Tk Maxx. I had a pang of regret about leaving without the gold jumper. I had 30 minutes left. I went to Penneys. The pastel fairy had been before me and vomited pale pinks, blues and grays everywhere.

I bought a leopard print bra which wont fit me out of pure desperation.

Pastel Fairy who turned all the clothes into pale unflattering for chubby people colours via

Pastel Fairy who turned all the clothes into pale unflattering for chubby people colours

Nearly three hours in I now had bought writing paper, notebooks, 6 baby hats and a leopard print bra in the wrong size. I started to sweat. MAKE UP. I would buy make up, I needed make up.  The downside to the empty shop Tuesday morning shopping is the immaculate women who work at make up counters have very few customers and they were waiting, waiting to pounce. They terrify me. They are so perfect.They have perfect make up and perfect hair and perfect smiles and they make me buy things I don’t need  nor know how to use . I have a mild real fear of them and their perfect powers to make you spend. I spotted two of them approaching. ” No I don’t want to spend 8k just to avail of a free gift in a shiny make up bag ” I repeated in my head as they came near me. “NO THANKS I JUST NEED FOUNDATION ” I roared, as they closed in on me. My voice came out louder than anticipated in the quiet shop. It was because of the assertive pep talk I had been giving myself in my head. One perfect woman started her spiel. I grabbed the foundation smiled and walked away. It wasn’t the exact colour I wanted but I had frightened myself and no doubt the perfect women with my roaring and it was a panic buy.

Time up. I left. I had no new boots or no new jeans. I had stationary, loads and loads of fucking stationary. The writing paper ( two sets) is really lovely but I have nobody to write to and even if I did have to write to someone instead of emailing them, I never have stamps. I have an ill-fitting bra. I have new foundation in the wrong colour and my child has loads of hats. They are all a bit too big for her and wont fit her till next Summer probably at which time she will have no need for fabulous cosy winter hats unless her head goes through a remarkable growth spurt in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed.

The money is of course gone now. I had an opportunity to spend it and I took that opportunity and stamped on it. Stupid shopping. If anyone would like me to write to them, let me know, in the meantime, I will be making lists in my notebooks with my new pens whilst encouraging my child’s head to grow not wearing lovely new boots or a new coat or even a Joan Collins style gold jumper.

It could have been me via NearlyVintage/Tumblr

It could have been me
via NearlyVintage/Tumblr

About The Clothesline

30 +, Husband, three little girls, one little boy, one dog. Overdrawn, overtired, overemotional and overwhelmed most of the time.
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16 Responses to Shopping – From Enthusiasm to Desolatation In Under Three Hours.

  1. I find it impossible to buy myself clothes too! Definitely a mummy problem. I wonder is there some sort of help out there for us? I always end up buying more for the kids. 😉

  2. And you know when you have all four kids hanging out of you and no money and no time you’ll see endless boots and jeans that would be just gorgeous on you. It’s always the way!

  3. This is me. I keep going out to buy new tops for work. I come home with baby clothes. Or after getting stuck in a top in H&M… But at least you have lovely stationary!

  4. Maybe you could fashion yourself a nice pair of jeans out of stationery. At least, you could draw a picture of some nice jeans and boots.

    I lost it at “six baby hats”. You poor thing, you need to use one of their personal shoppers or something.

  5. BabySteps says:

    I have a €100 voucher for Dundrum! A very generous gift from my mother in law. I really need clothes, off-white three-quarter length linen trousers went out years ago, or so I am told. But I keep putting going to Dundrum off because I KNOW I will do the exact same thing! ! I feel your pain. Although if pastels are in maybe my trousers will come back in too.

  6. SusieChopstick says:

    I can’t shop for me. It’s too depressing. I’ve gone up 4 dress sizes since I met my long-suffering other half, mind you we have had 6 pregnancies in 7 years, so, my goal weight is always going to be a little far away till we have definitely finished with the whole family expansion deal.
    But YES… I buy kids’ clothes that they don’t need, rather than bring something that may or may not be frumpy into the dressing room only to catch a glimpse of myself at the most unflattering angle in the mirror and thing, why am I bothering, I’m much too big to look nice in anything that’s nice anyway. Then I end up buying a pack of baby vests, some socks and a pack of nail wraps. And some chocolate, of course, because I feel so good about myself now that I need a reward!!!

  7. office mum says:

    I think I love the gold jumper – you need to go back for it. And I am also terrified of the make-up ladies and feel they’re looking at my pityingly, thinking “well, I’ll sell it to her, but it’s not going to help…”

  8. Aedin says:

    I have always had the fear of those make up ladies.Every year my dad buys me a voucher for brown Thomas for Christmas and every January I nervously traipse in like an awkward teenager,shuffling around the store trying to pick out something I’d like before the inevitable chirpy “Can I help yooooooo?” freezes me in my tracks,and I know they ll have caught me,being somewhere I shouldn’t,desperately trying to do the maths in my head to see if the gift card will cover the cost of items so I won’t give away how poor and in grown up I really am.

  9. mkconlon says:

    And by the time the kids are tweens/teens you’ll have no money for stationary, never mind anything else! Fecking depressing…I have so much stationary/pens bought over the years lol

  10. Vanessa says:

    I think it’s a woman’s thing: they just LOVE stationery. My 1 2-year-old daughter thinks Eason is a sacred place, she has 2 drawers full if pens, notepads etc. and still wants to buy more every time we shop!

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