2. The treacherous world of back to school shopping
The majority of my day today has been consumed by the torture that is back to school shopping. I have the further misfortune of attending a school where uniform is mandatory, which is the norm in most british schools, which makes back to school shopping even worse than it already is. In the tiny town where I live we only have one shop that supplies every single school with the uniform its' students require. This means that around this time every year there is a line out the door and into the street of impatient and unnecessarily pushy mothers, little brothers and sisters which are an assortment of screaming babies and toddlers and finally the people who are getting uniform bought for them, recognisable by the silent tears streaming down their faces and the sullen pain and terror in their eyes.
So once you have gotten past the line and finally get to the front, you are confronted by an exhausted sales assistant who is on the verge of throwing themselves off a bridge and they ask, "So what can I get for you?" And you are plunged into turmoil. Suddenly you cannot remember what you came to get, what you have at home, what you have purchased already, what school you go to, what your name is. You can see the disappointment in their eyes as you stall. Trying to dredge up even the tiniest piece of information from your addled brain. Finally you catch sight of something on display that looks vaguely familiar and your point at it in ecstasy, "Yes! Yes!" You shout in exuberance, relieved that you managed to pass yourself off as a functioning human being even if just momentarily. That is until they ask for your size and the world once again crumbles around you.
Luckily I had my mother who came to my rescue and prevented this from happening this time, but she couldn't save me from all the perils of the shop. Another thing I hate is the trying on phase of the shopping, I always feel particularly self conscious and vulnerable when I have to take my clothes in vaguely public place (like a changing room) so my strategy is to make a rough estimate with the article of clothing by holding it up to my body, waiting long enough so it won't seem as though I had just performed a suspiciously quick super change and exiting the cubicle as though nothing is different. No one suspects a thing.
This plan works fine until you get home and realise the clothing doesn't fit you in the slightest and you have to make excuses for the rest of the school year for your pe top that reaches down to your ankles and skirt that only just covers the tops of your thighs.
And that pretty much summarises every single back to school shopping trip I have ever had in my life.