Oh what a tangled web I weave…

So I was nosing about my local second-hand furniture shop just before. It’s full of brilliant Art Deco couches, walnut veneer sewing machine cabinets, old books and gigantic rugs. It’s open at really random times, so when I see their sign out I scurry forth into battle.

I found this terrific men’s red shirt for $5, and as I approached the counter, scooped up an ancient footstool covered in brocade. The gal behind the counter was one of those people who talk using that special breathing technique you use to play the didgeridoo, and thus never need to pause for breath. I’m pretty sure she was already speaking as I approached the counter.

She clutched the shirt and said “Oh lovely! That’s for your man, yeah? He’ll love that!”

Then gave me the footstool for free, all the while nattering about how many women come in and buy stuff for themselves, then get a shirt for their partner as a way to divert attention from the original purchase (in the time-honoured manner of couples everywhere – as if we haven’t moved on the from the concept of men ‘holding the purse strings’. Anyway).

“Er… indeed,” I replied. And let her witter on. Did I stop to correct her at any stage? No I did not. Before I knew it, she had built up a whole mythology about my foxy red shirt-wearing paramour, and how delighted he’d be with my gift, and how I’d just sneak the crusty old footstool round the back of the house without him noticing. And how thrilled he would be by my gesture, and not only thrilled but proud and possibly horny to boot.

She kept talking, I kept nodding. Like a complete idiot. Preferring to go with the flow rather than stick up my hand and bellow: “There is no foxy red shirt-wearing lad! I’m a spinster!! All my friends are married! I haven’t had a decent pash since 1843!!”


Now of course I’m worried that I’ll see her in the street while I’m wearing my new red shirt. And she’ll bowl up and say something like, “So he didn’t like the shirt, eh? Looks better on you anyway,” wink wink nudge nudge.

And I will be FORCED to continue my LIE. Good gad. Is it utterly sad to pretend that one has a hot, be-shirted dude waiting, and slavering, at home rather than blurt out the truth to a roomful of people who quite frankly couldn’t give a shit? Am I seriously as mental as I sound??

6 thoughts on “Oh what a tangled web I weave…

  1. the issue for me is this:i am quietly and innocently going about the world doing what it is i want to do. when i am in a shop, or at the hairdresser or a restaurant, or wherever else it may be that i am in a particular moment, i feel no need at all to confide details about myself to random strangers. just because they have been told to put patrons at ease, or feel like a chat, places no obligation on me to divulge information. i have not entered into any social contract. the only transaction is the “you give me goods and services, and i give you money” transaction. the most that any person can ask for is a BRIEF exchange of pleasentries. “nice day, innit?”further, i like silence. i believe it is grossly undervalued these days. if i were in your place boo, she would have got the cold dead stare which has silenced many, many before her.-mk

  2. i’m with mk above. if people choose to make unbidden, often unwelcome and generally always naive assumptions about people they deal with in a business transaction, they should be prepared to hear tumbleweed or lies.that said, when younger i once advised a shopkeeper that an item was ‘for my sister’ because i felt ashamed of its jauntiness/dagginess. i don’t have a sister. i was pre-empting any comments about it vis a vis me. perhaps that is a little on the mental side, but there is no mutual truth obligation in a shop transaction. they certainly don’t mind telling us we ‘look wonderful’ in things when we patently don’t!good to see your dry self back boo.

  3. But still, a shapely male body in a red shirt is a joy to contemplate, not Ronnie, though. And a red tank top would be better…Oh, I’m missing the whole point of the post?But I’d rather contemplate God’s glorious fashioning of the male bod.BBBJ understands.

  4. Yes Susannah – “I was pre-empting any comments about it vis a vis me” – I am also guilty of that one.Being old, I can claim ‘it is for my daughter so maybe I should check if she wants glittery purple frills before I commit’, when I want to wriggle out from under that Purchase-Now-You-Bitch pressure.

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