10 tips to get any woman through a shopping trip:
1) Start with coffee. Find the nearest coffee shop, order a large drink and sit down to prepare yourself for the general hell and mayhem that awaits you. This is a good time to write a list of what you want…more on that later.
2) Wear comfortable shoes. I am always amused and amazed when I go shopping in Liverpool because most of the girls are wearing killer heels as they slog around the shops. How do they do it??? Well, take another look at them come 5pm. They can’t walk. They’re in so much pain you can actually hear them breathing the words “bastard, bloody, fuckety heels” with each tentative step they take.
3) Take shopping bags with you. You know the ones – long handles, black cloth things – the type that, critically, can go over your shoulder. You will be grateful for these for any number of reasons:
- If it is pouring down, your paper Primark bag WILL disintegrate. Even more so if you accidentally put it on the floor at the bus stop. As soon as you pick that bag up, your brand new £2.50 pair of jeans will fall through the bottom…..
- Heavy plastic carrier bags are instruments of torture on your fingers and nobody looks attractive with huge red weals on their digits.
- Every shop these days gives you the smallest bag possible, so you end up with 7 or 8 mini bags that keep banging off the side of your leg. Even worse when there is something pointy in them! Just pile all your little bags into the one cloth shopping bag and Bob’s Your Uncle!
- The obvious one, but the most important. It is better for the environment and your children will be able to live to a ripe old age without being incinerated by a solar flare or drowned by a melting icecap.
4) Write a list. Because there is nothing worse than just wondering around aimlessly, wondering why on earth you left your cosy house in the first place, only to return to said cosy house and realise you haven’t bought the one thing you went out for.
5) Take a good handbag. By this I mean one that you can access easily with one hand and one that is not so huge that you constantly lose your purse in the bottom.
6) Pay attention to the signs that tell you where the queue should start. Don’t, whatever you do, stand at the wrong end as this WILL result in old ladies tutting at you and shop assistants rolling their eyes dramatically before telling you off like a 3 year old child.
7) If you are using public transport, remember where you have put your bus/train ticket. Do not do what I do and think you’ve lost it, thus dropping all of your shopping in the middle of a busy train station screaming like a crazy person, “OH SHIT!!! I KNOW I PUT IT SOMEWHERE SAFE!!!” Actually, if you are not using public transport, the same principle applies to remembering where you parked your car…..
8) Don’t be tempted by the cheap tat that shops put next to the tills. It is 50p and displayed prominently for a reason: it is rubbish that nobody else wants and the shop hasn’t managed to sell for YEARS! They want it out of their stock room NOW.
9) Smile and say hello to the shop assistants. It doesn’t cost anything and it makes both you and them feel a bit better. Don’t just stand there like a zombie waiting for them to say “Put your card in the machine and enter your PIN”. On the other hand, if they are busy chatting to the shop assistant next to them about what they are going to wear that night, just keep counting to ten until the whole awful experience is over and you can get out of the shop and rant about them on Facebook.
10) Finish with coffee. Because you’ll need it.