In the days when I was young, single and devoted to the girl I was going to love forever (or for nearly six weeks as it happened), I was persuaded to accompany her on a shopping trip to Southampton.
The object of the expedition was to buy that season’s must-have garment; a blouse I seem to remember. Or a cardigan, or maybe a skirt.
Any which way, to my delight she located the object of her desire in the very first department store we came to, there were racks of the things in fact, all looking to my eye exactly the same – except for a token few in altogether the wrong colour and which were there purely to be sneered at by all females in the know.
And there was a very presentable looking pub just a few doors up, I’d noticed.
Onwards and upwards?
It was not to be, of course. Having decided she had located the very thing she desired above all else in the world, my lady put it back on the rack and marched out of the store without a backward glance.
“But I thought you said it was just what you were looking for?”
A look of womanly scorn
I tried a safer tack. “That’s a nice looking pub …”
“We haven’t got time. We’re supposed to be shopping, remember?”
Repetition, hesitation of deviation
During the next interminable stretch of time we visited every clothes shop and department store within long trudging distance. I don’t know many of them exist these days, but then there were – I don’t exaggerate – dozens.
And all displaying the exact same garment as in the first store. Exact in colour, shape, material and price.
After which I was led, too weary to argue, back to that first – entered store, where my lady triumphantly purchased the very first garment she had selected.
“That’s a nice looking …” I said.
“We haven’t got time. We’ll miss the ferry.”
I’m sorry ladies. We blokes just don’t understand.