THE SHOPPING SPREE
Let’s face it there are sometimes days which ought not to exist. They should be excised from the calendar. Days when everything seems an unnessary chore.
From the moment of waking, whatever one sets out to do remains for one reason or another unaccomplished. Such days are usually accompanied by a headache of gargantuan proportions and a feeling of utter listlessness. They occur with a horrid regularity, about once a month. And they occur at times when one most has need of mental agility to face the current problems of work or everyday life.
I had such a day recently. But it turned out far better than I could have hoped. At least I had the sense to do something about it – I went on a shopping spree.
I threw on a blouse and skirt and a pair of old shoes and set off for town. I have found that looking around the shops often helps to lift the gloom. And on this occasion I was even better placed than usual to enjoy the experience, for I had just received a fairly substantial cheque for monies which had been owing to me for a long time, so I could happily contemplate spending some of it on whatever might catch my fancy.
I visited a number of clothes shops, not with anything specific in mind, but just looking and trying on what appealed to me. And eventually I saw it. It was a lovely dress, peacock blue with a pleated skirt, calf length and a V-neck. The colour seemed to shimmer and reveal hidden depths, like looking down into the clear waters of a tropical sea.
The price tag revealed a figure well out of the normal range. I tried it on in the cubicle and then came out into the shop to see myself reflected in more than one mirror. I twirled to watch the skirt float after me and posed like any young thing on the catwalk. It suited me perfectly.
The sales girl proffered a matching chiffon scarf which I knotted carelessly about my neck. That too was irresistible. Already the day which had begun so unpromisingly seemed rosier, not even the drizzle which was just beginning outside could dampen my upswing of mood. I tendered my card in payment and while waiting for the assistant to make out the receipt and lovingly fold my new dress into its plastic carrier bag, I began to comtemplate the sort of shoes which might go with the dress.
Needless to say in the next half hour I had acquired a new pair of shoes and a matching leather bag, Italian style, and my black mood had entirely evaporated. It is amazing what a new outfit can do for a girl, isn’t it?
It was now lunchtime and I returned to my favourite small cafe for a light lunch and a glass of wine. It is an establishment much patronised by women shoppers, indeed it has an almost exclusively feminine clientele. It was very full.
The proprietress, knowing me to be a regular, showed me to a small table at which one seat was already occupied by another customer surrounded by bags of shopping bearing the names and logos of some of the more expensive dress shops in town. She smiled and agreed to let me share her table, and soon we were talking like old friends. It is truly amazing how quickly women can make friends and chat away happily about their most intimate affairs.
I soon learnt about her family, her husband and two sons, now away at University. We compared notes about our shopping, part opening our bags to peek inside at each others treasures. Time passed too quickly and we parted with the promise to look out for each other again when in town.
As I left the cafe, the drizzle had ceased and the sun was coming out. My day was made.