The sales have been on for weeks now. So I convinced myself that, for once, it would be all right to buy something, that I wouldn’t be making too much of a mistake because the clothes must have been heavily discounted before they’d had a proper chance to sell.
Normally, sale shopping is fraught with danger when buying anything other than bog standard merchandise like jeans, a black jumper or boots.
When there are lots of one type of shirt, say, in all sizes, that rail’s basically saying that no-one, not one other person, chose this item of clothing.
Deep down inside, you should really think about that and wonder to yourself if it was because the item was overpriced, or because it was really too shocking to be worn.
I was faced with this dilemma when I came upon colourful dresses that had been reduced not once, not twice, but three times. A whole stack of them. A rail bulging with them.
I just knew it was a bad idea and walked away.
But I was drawn back again and again and finally I gave in and bought one, even though the fact that the dress was available in my size, and every other size, should have told me something.
It took me ages to get up the courage to wear it and even then it was only on the day that I was leaving work.
‘Are you actually going to wear that?’ my youngest daughter asked.
Meanwhile my son turned pale under his tan before realising with relief that it’s the summer holidays and none of his friends were likely to see me as long as he could get me out of the door quickly.
On the way to my car, a woman stopped me in the street and said ‘nice frock’. Hmm. That’s damning. Strangers don’t normally make such remarks.
It was like running with the bulls when I finally made it into the office and walked the corridors and past desks, braced for harsh words – ‘are you going to a carnival?’ and ‘I need sun glasses’ from men and ‘I could never wear that, but it looks good on you’ and ‘you look like a parrot – a nice tropical one’ from women.
Somehow I made it through the day, but my face flushed the same shade of red as those 70 per cent off sale tags.