It may be a negative repercussion of willingly buying into a commercial culture where fashions change so quickly that your purchase is out of date before you’ve even reached the till, or perhaps I just enjoy shopping an unhealthy amount, but this year I have been a victim of the almost indescribable feeling of pure ‘fed-up-ness’ when it comes to sale shopping. It has taken root in my system like a parasite, and is here to stay, for after having exerted all my energy and attention into endlessly trawling around multiple shops in numerous locations, all of which gave me that pathetic glimmer of hope that I clung onto like a tramp with a sandwich, I have still bought nothing.
January sales are, in general, terrible. A shop that prior to the pre-Christmas punch-up looked presentable and, I suppose, acceptably stylish, catering for normal and like-minded clientele, is transformed into what can essentially be described as a zoo at feeding time, except the inmates are clad head to toe in Topshop faux-fur as opposed to animals in their skins which are for once, thank goodness, on the backs of the beings they were intended for.
Clothes which I previously admired online, guiltily tried on, and finally scrimped on food to afford- who needs to eat, anyway?– are flung onto racks with a frankly quite offensive disregard for aesthetics, possessing not only the tell-tale rumples and shoe marks of the brief stint they spent on the dusty floor as fugitives from their hanger in the ‘£20 & Under’ section, which basically doesn’t count as sale in my book, but also sporting a label bearing a figure a third less than the price that in my desperation I may have forced my miserly student budget to stretch to, and, of course, if not that, then on the only acceptable item in the entire carnival of crap will be a tag resplendent with possibly the most irritating words in the entire English language, ‘Size Sixteen’.
That evil part of my psyche that screams, ‘It’s fine, you have an overdraft!!’ lures me over to the seductive tidiness of the new season collections. The collision of conflicting emotions is horrendous: worse than being at the limit of my £500 overdraft, worse than feeling like a pork pie after the inevitable Christmas binge, worse even than being single, is having to face the harsh reality that I simply cannot buy these clothes. No wonder this section is as peaceful as the Garden of Eden, no thanks to the recession.
With grumpy feet, blisters like a supremely smug marathon runner, and a grizzly, disagreeable attitude I take myself, empty handed of course- what a disgusting outcome of a shopping trip– back home to squeeze into something horrible from my 2010 trend wardrobe, to later drown my sorrows in true student fashion, because, of course, drinking is an excuse for celebration, and indeed, in this case, commiseration. It would appear I need some perspective.