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??