Following on rather neatly from my previous post…
“Man, she had an arse that would stop traffic”. You know sometimes you hear people say stuff like that? Boys, mainly. Sometimes boys say stuff like that. I hear them quite often. Sometimes I overhear stories about arses stopping traffic. Sometimes they even stop shows. You know, those especially spectacular show stopping arses… Mine? My arse – my arse sets off alarm bells.
Not annoying metaphorical, ‘You should probably cut down on the Polish jaffa cakes, love’ alarm bells. Everyone’s does that now and again. Actual ones. Mine sets off actual alarm bells.
I took myself to town for a wander round the shops. I needed to recover from the previous day’s photoshoot and I suppose I felt I deserved a little prize for publishing pictures of my lumps and bumps all over the internet. Having spent more than twenty years doing my best to conceal them, I thought the least I deserved for my bravery was a little congratulatory pair of silver ankle boots.
Still giddy from the purchase of the silver ankle boots, I jogged (literally jogged) to Urban Outfitters with hope in my heart that the House of Holland outfit I’d been eyeing up in the sale hadn’t been snaffled yet. The pickings were slim, but a few pieces remained – and some in my size! With crossed fingers, I made my way to the changing room. ‘Fit me, fit me, fit me, fit me…’ I chanted in time with my stomps.
“I’d like to try 4 things please”, I said to the fitting room attendant. I always try to be nice to the fitting room person. I used to be a fitting room person. When you spend your days cleaning up human shite (yep), disposing of used tampons (no word of a lie) and sucking up body oose with your dustbuster – all with the smell of other people’s feet/armpits/unkempt front bottoms stuck in your nose, it’s those little niceties that make life bearable. It’s nice when people say hello. It’s nice when people say hello before they roll off their stinky pop-socks and leave them curled up behind the curtain for you to find later. It’s nice when people say hello before they shit on the floor. Anyway, the girl there handed me a laminated number 4 and looked at me funny.
I sloped off into my tiny cubicle. The four items I chose to try on were: A pair of HOH pink + red houndstooth wool trousers (size 12), an orange dress by Sessun (L), a cream bra thing (L) and a bright pink bra thing (L).
I tried the dress first. It didn’t fit. I almost managed to convince myself it did but then remembered my new year promise. Next I prepared to try the cream bra thing. I could tell just by looking it didn’t fit. The pink bra thing didn’t fit either. I really, really had a good feeling about the House of Holland trousers. I was excited to slip them on, convinced this would be the beginning of a beautiful fashion friendship. I slipped one foot in… Then the other… I slid them up my legs. I wiggled around a bit. I did a mini leap in the air to budge my bum in. It didn’t quite do the job so I jumped again.
Eeeeeee-aw, eeeeee-aw, eeeeeee-aw! Eeeeeeee-aw, eeeeeee-aw, eeeeeeeeaw! ‘What is that noise? Is that me? Have the fashion police come to take me away? They’ve got secret cameras here now, is that it? Nip the fashion problems in the bud before they hit the pavement? Has Garry installed some kind of anti-shopping spyware on my iPhone? Can he see me? Can people see me right now?’, I thought super-fast in just a couple of seconds. I tried to track the source of the horrible noise down by physically moving my head around in the cubicle.
My arse. It was coming from my arse.
Worried I had ruptured one of those ink-filled security tags with my leaping, I shuffled out of the trousers as quickly as I could. ‘I can’t believe this. I’m going to get arrested. I’m going to get fucking arrested for trying to steal fancy trousers that DON’T EVEN FIT… Are my pants purple?’, I muttered under my breath as I hauled my own clothes back on in a hurry.
There it was. Right on the back seam – a little black box with a red flashing light – making a dreadful racket.
As the ‘eeeeee-aw’ noise continued, garment by stupid tiny garment, I put all the clothes I tried back on their hangers. I made sure they were facing the right way, I buttoned, zipped and poppered everything that needed buttoning, zipping and poppering and I made sure everything looked respectable. It’s nice to be thoughtful to the fitting room person. Remember. Poop etc.. And besides, what kind of shoplifter would ignore the security alarm in order to rehang all the clothes they were caught trying to steal? I was trying to position myself as a thoughtful, 100% non-thief.
Just as I was fixing up the pink bra thing, there was a knock on the cubicle door. The person did not wait to be invited in. The door opened. ‘You have set off the security alarm. Could you come with me please?’ said the girl. The same girl I was nice to on my way in.
“Um. Yes. Yes I did set off the alarm. I’m so sorry about that. Actually, it wasn’t so much me that set it off, as my fat arse. In fact, that’s not strictly true either. I’m kind of sick of referring to my ‘fat arse’. It’s not that fat. It’s fairly large, but it’s not humongous. And when appreciated in proportion to the rest of me, it looks alright, really. So, actually, the stupid tiny trousers set the alarm off. I tried to get in them. Then the beeping started. I’m sorry. I should have known better.”
I hand her the noisy trousers. They don’t look as beautiful now.
“Could you make this stop please? I shan’t be buying them. And I shan’t be buying these things either. Thanks anyway.”
Before she had the chance to call a guard or the police or dogs, I stepped out of the fitting area, head held high. I cross the shop floor taking big wide steps, not looking back. Confident as you like. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am not a thief. Then, when I got to the top of the staircase, I legged it.