The thing is, in the end, sometimes you just want something. It’s beyond reason, you don’t really need it – why can’t we all just be happy wearing the same rayon dress day after day like they did in the war? But you want it. You just really, really want it.
I suffer quite badly from this when it comes to clothes (and shoes and bags and hats). And jewellery, and scarves…
I get that feeling that I must have something. That if I have it, it will
complete me in a way that nothing else can – not a nice long walk, or a bar of chocolate, or meditating for half an hour.
It often happens to me when I am shopping for something online. OK, not really shopping: ‘messing about’ is a more accurate term. Just poking around, having a wander.
It used to be called window shopping when we went to actual shops rather than sitting at home hitting the magic ‘buy’ button and waiting by the front door with our tongues hanging out until whatever
it was we ordered arrives.
When I went shopping in actual shops before the internet was invented, this thing happened, too.
I would see it – the thing, the object of my desire, the focus of my passion – sitting or hanging there and I could actually feel my pupils dilate. My nostrils flared involuntarily like a vampire or a hungry shark smelling blood.
Often, I don’t even know that I want something before I see it. Often it will take me by surprise.
“Oh! There you are, it’s... you,” I will say to a perfect pair of chunky ankle boots or the fedora I had never even considered until now, or a pair of gold hoop earrings of precisely the right size and practicality to add a chic little touch to anything I’m wearing.
There is almost always a touch of recognition, as if it was a thing I had misplaced and found again. Or like finding a five-pound note in a neglected pocket.
Editor: Sophie Hines