Saturday, 12 January 2008

Incomprehension part II: Shopping

The energy and devotion which some people reserve for shopping leaves me immeasurably baffled. I am notoriously bad at shopping - most trips to the shops which are for purposes other than buying food leave me concluding that I don't need whichever article I thought I needed badly enough to wander round numerous shops until I find one which fits my body and budget, and for which I would gladly stand in a queue in an over-heated, stuffy and uncomfortably-lit shop for sufficient time to conclude the purchase successfully. My tolerance of such activities is atrociously low, unless I'm helping someone else to shop, in which case I will happily pull things off rails, march them into changing rooms and offer my opinion of colour, fit and comeliness, and continue this process for several hours without showing signs of fatigue.

So I am left rather befuddled that my latest shopping trip has gone so well - I have new trainers. And I had a very, very exciting time doing the shopping for them, which involved rolling up my jeans, exposing my ankles, and running on a treadmill whilst having the backs of my ankles filmed for analysis and afterwards engaging in detailed discussion of my feet, ankles and knees, and trying another pair of shoes until I found the right one. At some point in this process I managed to ingratiate myself with the customer service agent sufficiently to be offered (having visibly flinched at the price) a 10% discount because she liked me because I "picked up on things and didn't give me a hard time for having waited so long to be served". That was very kind of her, but it still left me slightly pining for feet which stopped growing at a slightly cheaper size and shape...

Nevertheless, after all that effort to find decent shoes, I am happy. Ecstatic, in fact. They fit really well. And I look great in them, in the sense that my ankles and feet do all the right things at all the right times, which is important because I weigh a ton (well, twelve stone something) and I'm supposedly running a half marathon in a couple of months. In a ball dress. (Note to self - next time wait to be under the influence of alcohol before agreeing to do such things...). Now that I have my ruby slippers, I have very few excuses to not attend the ball.



The ruby slippers

Well, I must be off - hours of sweaty fun with my shiny new toys await...

11 comments:

Casdok said...

And go faster stripes too!!

But Why? said...

But of course. I don't think it's possible to buy trainers without go faster stripes on them these days (and a couple of hundred other things designed to part us from our cash!) I must say, I am rather glad I have some pictures of them looking shiny, as a couple of runs later and following attendance at Muddy Puddle 101, they no longer look as pristine and sparkly - such hardships!

trousers said...

How odd, in a vaguely coincidental way (with the emphasis on vague, if that's not a contradiction in terms), I was in a shop today discussing running shoes with one of the assistants who was telling me about the test on the treadmill.

Ended up being a really long conversation (relative to the situation) with me going on about shinsplints and so on. Who knows, I may take up running again before I'm 40 (!).

There was also talk of a half-marathon sometime later in the year.

I can appreciate the sense of satisfaction you feel following such a purchase, and I'm looking forward to finding out how you get on in the half-marathon when it happens :)

Wayfarer Scientista said...

yay for well fitting trainers! I did that whole treadmill thing once too despite the fact that I am ALWAYS loathe for shopping and I have never regretted it. But running in a shiny dress?

But Why? said...

Trousers,
How odd - there I was hoping to have hung up my running shoes by the time I reach 40 (seeing as I'm built more like a rower than a long distance runner) and moved onto something a bit kinder to my ageing joints - some mix of swimming, cycling and rowing, perhaps with a bit of yoga slipped in there occasionally. The thing is, though, I enjoy running. It does feel good...

Wayfarer,
I agree with those sentiments - gone are the days when anything other than the fit and suitability of trainers figure on my evaluation criteria.

I am actually a little concerned about the concept of running in a dress. I'm thinking it will have to be a short dress, as I don't want my legs to get caught up in long, flowing fabric, and I think it'll have to be something without any side zips (risk of chafing too high). What are my chances of finding a dress like that made from a wicking and thermal fabric?

And, of course, it's all very well running in a dress on the day (when there will no doubt be rhinos, clowns and a variety of vegetables running the course), but I suspect running in a dress is something that needs to be practiced, and I might look a little odd pounding the Thames path in a ball dress.

Thinks: Did I really agree to all this whilst sober?

KindaBlue said...

There's no mystery, and no need for incomprehension. You are simply one of those rare breed known as Discerning Customers. You rise above mere consumerism by applying logic and thought to your shopping expeditions. Compared with others who simply shop on the basis of price and looks, you will actually spend far less on trainers in the long run because you have bought quality merchandise for a good reason.

All of this level-headed sense therefore leaves plenty of frivolity for things like... um... running half marathons in ball gowns!

But Why? said...

Kindablue,
I would love to believe that. You are most kind. However, it concerns me that I discover that the best product for me also miraculously happens to be the priciest just a tad too frequently for me to believe that the customer service agents have no influence on my decisions.

There's always room for frivolity - plently time to be free from frivolity following death. And more to the point, there's no way I'm going to put in all this training to be serious and earnest for a couple of hours instead of having fun in a ballgown and trainers.

There. That's all perfectly self-consistent, and adds weight to your belief that I apply thought and logic to all these decisions doesn't it...?

DJ Kirkby said...

I think those shoes should probably be made of gold ot reflect their price but then they'd be too heavy to run in... a ball gown eh? Hahahahahaaaaaaaaaa!

But Why? said...

DJ,
Funnily enough, I saw in one of The Sunday Times' random magazine sections a pair of gold trainers - £2000!!!

Funnily enough, I wouldn't be seen dead in them...

Pixie said...

what very sparkly trainors, you can go to the ball in them, or at least the half marathon.
It doesn't surprise me at all that you enjoyed such a shoping experience,it's so you to be able to do all ths science stuff. I never get that in Harvey Nicks!!!
pxx

But Why? said...

Pixie,
Well, they were sparkly, but since being introduced to mud and grit, they're not quite as shiny and spangly. But I shall wear them to the ball, no matter what muck they have acquired. Now I just have to find a dress I can run in....