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Monday, June 13, 2005

Do gentlemen no longer wear waistcoats?

As I have mentioned before, I don't "do" shopping. Nevertheless, there are times when I have to simply grin and bear it and make that trek into town. Grrr.

First stop was the library to pay off my £18 fine. I didn't have the money on me last time, so they kindly said I could pay it next time I came in, although for obvious reasons they weren't going to let me borrow any more books. The thing is - I could have gotten away with not paying. For reasons known only to themselves, in order to change one's registered address, they insist on seeing 2 bills with the new address. Since I do pretty much everything by direct debit or by online banking, I don't have a lot of bills floating around and frankly I couldn't be arsed to find one. So the address they have for me is a student house, 2 residences and 3 years out of date. Good luck tracking me down suckers... Sadly, I was born with what my Dad sarcastically calls "God's gift of a conscience" so I paid it in full yesterday.

The next stop was to try and find a nice smart waistcoat for the wedding I am attending in 2 weeks. Being a summer wedding, I think its nice to be able to ditch my jacket for when I hit the dance floor to strut my stuff. However, since I don't like white shirts (too many years of school uniform and working in a major highstreet department store have left a deep seated loathing of them), but will nevertheless be wearing one to the wedding, I need a waistcoat. I already have one, but it is looking a little tired these days and is a little, how shall I put this, circumferentially lacking. Lets face it boys, waistcoats can hide a multitude of sins if you buy them baggy enough.

Anyways, off I go. First stop NEXT, hopefully to offload the £35 of vouchers I have been sitting on for the last year - no waistcoats in stock, but "You could order one online, sir". Is he having a laugh? I couldn't tell you my shoe size, let alone what size waistcoat I need. And the point is that I want to offload these sodding NEXT vouchers.

So next it was M&S - nada. BHS (figured I might be able to spend my highstreet vouchers) - florally jobs suitable for the groom and best man, but not boozy best mates. River Island - nope. TopMan - nowt. Littlewoods (yeah yeah I know, but I was desperate by now) - what do you think? Selfridges - not a thing ("You could always travel to Manchester and try Harvey Nicks, sir - WTF? My suit only cost £100!). Finally Debenhams - 2 choices. One bright purple for £45 or black for £55. I am NOT wearing purple (for a start I'd have to buy a tie to go with it) and I am NOT paying £55 for something that only comes out the wardrobe every 2 years (and doesn't always fit, ahem).


I'll try Oxford street in London next week, when I visit some friends.

Related Rant.
Why are men's departments never on the ground floor? This isn't because I am lazy (although I am), but because of the way women shop. Slowly and in herds, like grazing wildebeast. Men, on the otherhand race into the store like it's supermarket sweep, and if you see 2 men together THEY ARE BOTH BUYING SOMETHING. I can guarantee that one hasn't simply dragged the other into town to follow and nod whilst the other makes his mind up. Surely it would make more sense to shove the women's departments out of the way, so that people could actually navigate the ground floor easily? And what is even more worrying - teenage girls shopping with their mums. Girls should only shop with their fathers until they turn 21. Thus they will learn etiquette and efficincy. By letting them go shopping with their mothers the bad habits are simply passed down the generation. When my Mum, Nana and sister last went shopping I had to give firstaid to my Dad, when his heart stopped through boredom.



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