Remember those heady days, when you had cash to burn, free time and more energy than Katie Hopkins on a racist, fat rant? Those glorious days when ‘stress’ could be alleviated by a quick trip to the shops, a glass of prosecco for lunch and a mani in the afternoon? When shopping bags were a Selfridges-shade of yellow rather than a Sainsbury’s-shade of orange? When carrying around bags and bags of shopping didn’t involve balancing a toddler who was chewing on your nose while juggling car keys, your phone, a dummy and a bag of Organic snacks? Those days were called: retail therapy. Those days, Small-Havers are gone.
The verb ‘to shop’ is now largely reserved for the kind of shopping that involves trolleys and self-checkouts rather than personal shoppers and designer deals. If you’re uber organised (I’m not) then you’ll plan your meals and do your shopping online every week leaving you with no waste and no new wrinkles from having to tackle the supermarket run each week. If, you’re not uber organised (like me) you’ll realise that there are certain inalienable truths about doing the supermarket with a Small.
- You will not complete your shopping unless you are armed with snacks. Lots of them.
- You will never have a pound coin to hand for a trolley.
- You will inadvertently shoplift on the odd occasion.
- Your Small will never nap while you shop.
I have abandoned three shopping trollies full of food because the Small was
a) sitting in such a massive shit I could see it coming out of the neck of her t-shirt. Front and back.
b) begun to loudly and repeatedly make a noise that sounded so much like ‘cunt cheese’ that my options were face an empty fridge or the social services and finally
c) got so mad about being in a shopping trolley that she started to hyperventilate.
So, if the shopping you have to do is stressful and requires a military-style plan of snacks, strategy and spare clothes then why on earth would we tackle any other kind of shopping in the hope of getting a little bit of ‘therapy’?
I recently tried to shop for myself with The Small and the only upside was that she made it almost impossible to spend any money at all. The downsides were numerous. I almost made her sick by throwing snacks at the problem, she managed to get sticky, Organix-flavoured fingers over three expensive items of clothing in Whistles and she had a tantrum of terrifying proportions when she managed to get the most expensive soft toy in The White Company into her vice-like grip. I genuinely thought I would have to break her fingers to wrestle it free.
In the end I left with a pair of jeans that don’t fit me because I couldn’t try them on that I’ll probably never take back, an over-priced t-shirt from Whistles with a stain on it that I felt I morally had to buy, a parking ticket and a headache.
She fell asleep as I drove out of the car park and I silently mourned the days when retail therapy didn’t actually drive me to therapy.
So in the (adapted) words of the great Don Maclean…’Bye bye retail therapy highs…’