Thursday, 22 July 2010

"Driving Miss the Mall"

I am so shallow.  

Here I am in paradise, with the most beautiful scenery you can imagine, and a million and one outdoor pursuits.  But when my English girlfriend mentioned the other day that she and her husband and little girl were planning a shopping trip to a mall down south, I started mentally hyperventilating.

A mall!  Shopping!  Places that take credit cards and sell proper clothes!

Bring.  It.  On.

And when she mentioned that rumour had it that there was a Topshop AND a Marks & Spencers – well, nothing short of death was going to keep me from securing a place in that jeep.

Can you tell I’ve been fashion deprived for many months?  As for M&S, I was prematurely salivating over the Percy Pigs and Chocolate Jaffa Cakes I was going to buy, until I found out that it was sans food court.  Oh well.  (Afraid I have to give M&S a big miss on the fashion stakes…a bit too ‘office-blockish’ for me – though they are the undisputed Knicker Kings of the high street)

One could see that the husband was visibly disgusted with the level of glee on display, and as I roared off in my friends jeep, I could see him shaking his head in puzzlement, wondering how on earth he managed to hook up with a chick who would choose to go to a mall of all places, in a tropical paradise.   I know he wonders why I can’t muster up as much enthusiasm for cycling.

Three reasons: 

1.  cycling shorts (vile, vile and vile)

2.  crotch debilitating bike seats (no one has a bum that small - not even Kate Moss)

3.  hills (nuff said)

But I digress.  Once inside the mall, with a quick double scoop of mint choc chip and cookies ‘n cream ice-cream for fortification (hey, a gal needs energy for a proper mall blitz) my friend and I took off like racehorses – armed only with credit cards and huge grins - oh, and there was of course the small matter of her little three year old girl.

As it turns out the little girl came in handy.  At one point she pointed out the ridiculousness of a top I was contemplating, saying “I don’t think you should buy that – it hangs funny.”  And you know what?  She was right!

Having left around midday, you could tell the husband was none too impressed when he rang around 6:30pm, catching me half naked in a La Senza fitting room.  He wanted to know what he should do for the monsters dinner.

“Umm...just feed them?” I said, ringing off abruptly as I had far more pressing things on my mind – like trying to wrestle myself out of a too tiny pair of bikini bottoms.

Several purchases later (hey – it was all on sale!  Okay, well mostly…) we all returned to the car, tired out in the most delicious way that only several carrier bags can attest to.

Driving home I marvelled at how my friends' husband not only didn’t mind the five hours spent at the mall – but actually seemed to enjoy himself.  I was green with envy.

The husband hates malls.  He hates shopping.  He hates ME when I go shopping.  We can never go out shopping together.  Every time I foolishly bully him into it, we end up in huge rows forcing me to try and sneak off on my own so that I don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of a pissy man snarling “Hurry up let’s go!” outside the changing room.

No wonder that in recent years I’ve turned to online shopping as a more practical way to indulge.  You still get the high but you use the money you save on ‘Relate’ for even more pairs of skinny jeans you don’t need.

At any rate, what did my sojourn to the Bali Mall teach me?

Well, mostly it confirmed that although I can totally ‘do’ island life…living simply in the same clothes for days on end, grow nasty accidental dreads and play at being Robinson Crusoe...

The simple fact of the matter is that you can take the girl out of the mall…but you simply can’t take the mall out of the girl.

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