I decided to buy myself a pair of shorts. Not short shorts, like the ones which show the edge of your knickers or half your bum, but short trousers. Though not the sort that chain fashion stores call ‘pedal pushers’. I can’t stand those. They look like they’ve shrunk in the wash, or that you’ve inherited them from a short cousin. I mean the ones which look like long trousers cut off at the knee, or just below the knee and you fold them up a bit so they don’t strangle your kneecaps when you sit down. Let’s call them middles rather.
So one sunny, nearly Spring day in March I went shopping for a pair of middles. I already had several pairs of middles, but unfortunately I think they recently all shrunk in the wash (oddly enough, only around the waist), leaving me with just two wearable pairs, a beige pair and an aquamarine pair. Both very nice (I think) but when I wear the aquamarine pair I feel obliged to apply some rather stunning matching nail polish. “That’s nice,” you may say. And indeed it is, but rather distinctive, so I have to wear other clothes in aquamarine for the following few days until I can get around to changing my nail polish colour. And I don’t have that many other clothes in aquamarine.
So commenced the search for an additional pair of middles in a different colour. I thought a nice bright blue or even lilac, as I have lots of tops and things – and nail polish – in those colours.
Off I trotted into town to invade the clothing stores. A stroll around the ladies’ section of the first store revealed a couple of racks of middles.
What is it about clothes stores these days that makes them think ladies have the arms of an orang utan? They place rails so high that in order to reach whatever’s hanging from them, you need a stepladder or a spring board, neither of which are readily available.
By relieving a more convenient coat-hanger of its garment I managed to jab at the higher rail, bringing almost its entire stock tumbling onto my head. The only pair of blue middles left on the rail looked like they would be better placed in the camping section of the nearby Great Outdoors store. Draping the surplus stock across a convenient shelf of t-shirts, I took a pair of the middles which were in my size, as well as the next size up to be on the safe side, and made my way to the fitting rooms.
I examined the first pair of middles. They were minute. I must have inadvertently picked up the wrong ones so moved onto the second pair. Clearly the wrong label-size had been sewn into these. No way could they have been a size 16, they were at least 4 inches too small for my waist. I collected all my bits and pieces and went back to the pile of middles still sitting on top of the t-shirts. I concluded the store had a problem with their supplier, because all the size 16s I looked at appeared to be similarly undersized. The only alternative was the Bell Tent pair of middles stubbornly hanging on the high rail, bearing a long strip of sticky tape with SIZE 20 emblazened all the way down the front of the left leg.
I decided I really didn’t care for that shade of blue anyway, so left the shop empty handed.
Alas, several stores later I was still empty handed. The only thing I acquired during my shopping trip, was the realisation that I seriously needed to go on a diet!