Many things have changed as I have gotten closer to the grand old age of 30 – the speed of my metabolism, my ability to hold my drink, and apparently, my shopping habits.
Of course, what one needs to shop for as you get older changes, those sherbert straws from the newsagent’s across the road from the local playground that at least convince your peers to pretend to be friends with you start becoming less important as you move from primary school than say, Bold 2 in 1 tablets when you become a smelly university student.
However, what you want to shop for – wow, that does start to raise some red flags that you are fast abandoning your youth. For me the biggest red flag was tea towels (not red tea towels, mind, I’d quite like ones in grey and dusty pinks to go with the rose gold theme of my flat). About five years ago, a former housemate requested tea towels for her Christmas present. How I scoffed and laughed. I’m so sorry, Rachel, forgive me. I bloody love homeware shopping now; tea towels, lamps, desks, book ends, furniture, carpets… the whole shebang.
Whereas once furniture shops held no allure and I was more concerned about getting something cheap that wasn’t hideous, now I’m obsessed and willing to spend serious money on getting the nicest things, regardless of value for money. I don’t want to confess how long I spent agonising over picking the the right desk for my new flat – did I want a ladder style desk with which to save space and also display art on, or did I want a nice big Scandi-style desk, but I don’t want boring Scandi neutral colours, I want colourful drawers… I have in fact broken up the writing of this blog post by googling bedside lamps.
Which is another subject I owe an apology to Rachel on. I am no longer a lighting philistine, perfectly happy with whatever wattage beamed at me in rented apartments. I am now deeply appreciative of having softer lighting in the form of lamps and candles.
This doesn’t mean I haven’t abandoned my love of shopping for clothes, but the clothes I buy and from which shops has changed. I hesitate over body con outfits, short skirts and certain types of patterns and styles (anything with too many rips in for example) in case they look ‘too young’. I am also more of a snob about fabric, but that is down to experience – we’ve all spent those years fretting about whether we have under-arm sweat stains, or feeling very uncomfortable in certain fabrics, and we’ve all had those items that involve such meticulous ironing to look halfway decent you just abandon them to the back of your wardrobe. I’m just too old and busy for that shit now. (And not busy in a self-important way – busy in a, I’d rather have extra time asleep than worrying about my wardrobe.)
Again like nice furniture and furnishings, nicer clothes cost money, which leads me to my final confession. I feel no shame spending money that I have worked hard to earn on nice things. In fact, I revel in it. I’m proud that my media and communication skills mean I can fund my own shopping habit.
In a culture that encourages all women to look starry eyed at the shopping montage scene in ‘Pretty Woman’ with Roy Orbison’s dulcet tones crooning in the background (and don’t get me wrong, I do love that movie), it fills me with rebellious pleasure that the shopping bag detritus in my life, is pretty much funded by me (special dispensation for occasional parental gifts allowed, right?) and not the credit cards of a man. Owning nice things that I’ve paid for, is in some ways an armour against a world that loves to judge and do women down.
Now enough confessing, I have some tea towels to source…