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22 January 2013

Shopping at USC

“Mum those shoes are on sale, let’s have a look” My daughter Ashley, dragged me into USC shop on Buchanan street Glasgow.  Ashley is 26 and is still excited at high top trainers…could be worse, she could be taking bath salts, running naked and attacking rough sleepers with a toffee hammer. 

Am not a big shopper, to be honest USC confused me, it was just heaps of clothes on racks so tightly packed I felt like I was screaming through a bad denim jumble sale nightmare. Then the music blared and I felt like I was lost in a bright unfriendly disco.

 I even saw jeans that were destined to fit a man with bow legs as if he just leapt off a horse and of course my non fashion brain made me giggle at them.  ‘Who would buy them’ I shouted over the music just as a young man bought them and glared at me.

Ashley went to the sports shoe bit, tried on a few trainers and liked the Adidas high tops, she handed me the one she tried and I went off to find out how to get the other shoe.  I did not know how to pay for stuff in USC; I have never been to university or took the class that shows how to do that.

There are no signs, but why would there be…it’s like a really hip party and am the old woman who comes in and asks them if they have any Donny Osmond on their big music player.

I spotted an achingly hip bored guy with lovely sideways combed and gelled hair in bow legged jeans (that looked lovely on) and he made brief enough eye contact to assure me he was staff. I held out the shoe, went onto explain “my daughter likes these can we try the other one…..”  He looked through me like I was already dead to him.  I was going to say I had heard Nirvana but I don’t think he was alive when they were alive and I had no other musical reference point to bring up, he grabbed the shoe and turned on his heel.

He was off…not a word of explanation about anything, just up the escalator leaving me stranded near a couple of young French guys who liked the looked of the bandy legged jeans. The staff guy (let me call him Todd, he looks like a Todd who is into skateboarding and ironic ukulele parties) anyway Todd is now off with the shoe- upstairs as if he is in search  of a one legged Cinderella who was into sportswear,  she was hiding upstairs, she was making Todd work for her affections.

“Shall I wait here? Are you coming back down? Where do I go?” were many of the questions I whispered as Todd vanished.

I wandered about the store wondering how to approach the fact I gave a man a shoe and he vanished without trace. Was I a hex?

Ashley turned up “mum, where are the shoes?” I replied “A teenager in skinny jeans took it and ran up stairs” we eventually realised that the best way to find out what happened to Todd and my shoe was to head to the counter…then I spotted Todd amongst the sweaters….that dirty bastard was seeing someone else…he was showing a Taylor Swift look-alike a burgundy hoodie, he was fingering the fabric…I never got one word from him. He was chatting and smiling. I got none of that. 

I headed down to the till, where a young angry/sad/unsure woman in a trendy top took ages to serve a man then eventually had to look at me. Her eyes were annoyed. “What?” she asked me. I wanted to tell her a story about the time I got a gynaecological smear and the doctor told me ‘You have a surprisingly tight vagina for a woman who had a child’ but I don’t think that was what she was asking.

“Erm…I think we bought a shoe and we wanted the other one to try on” I was trying to say but she butted in “describe them” (as if I was lying and just wanted a chat with her happy face).

My daughter described high tops, Adidas logo, colour and size. The young woman must have had some exhaustive wasting illness as she sighed loudly and picked up the box and dropped it on the counter.

The whole experience in USC was weird, it wasn’t like shopping, it was like a small but brief sexual affair that went wrong and ended in a rash with vows never to return or speak of it ever again…except for on here. Thanks USC for teaching me all about your trendy shop.

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