Some phobias are normal like spiders, snakes or being forced to kiss your aunty who has a big fat moustache, others? Not so much. As a woman who has a long standing fear of plastic carrier bags blowing round in the street and who can’t watch *that* scene in American Beauty without hiding behind a pillow squealing, I’ve always known that I’m a bit left of normal when it comes to phobic behaviour but my new one probably tops the lot.
I’m scared of normal shops. Shops where one can buy clothes that don’t also double as Billy Smart’s circus big tops or windbreakers for the whole of the beach. Shops where hangers aren’t groaning under the weight of the fabric necessary to make said clothes. Places where they don’t have to have double wide aisles and clients who need those truck reversing noises for when they’re backing up.
My body has shrunk to a size where I can go and shop in a variety of places now but some of the fashiony shops are still out of bounds however being 28 and having a body like Morph when he’s been left in the sun for too long means I’m not all that bothered about . What bothers me is the feeling that whenever I venture into a ‘normal’ shop all the people will be inwardly laughing at me for thinking that anything available there will fit me.
I’ve shopped in normal size shops of course because even at my biggest I still had a love of handbags and accessories which couldn’t be quenched easily. It would take me a while to psyche myself up but eventually I’d swoop in, grab what I needed and head for the tills. I think it shows how low my self esteem was that I would always ask the cashier if I could have a gift receipt by way of an explanation and apology for my being in their store. My rationale was that by pretending I was only in there to buy a gift for one of my fabulously skinny and wonderful friends they’d let me get away with it and security wouldn’t be called to escort my big fatty fat arse out of the shop.
I’m still the same now which is why I’m such an avid internet and supermarket clothes shopper – you tend not to get screwy looks (real or imagined) schlepping round George at Asda or mouse clicking your basket full online. How does one conquer the fear of entering the shops and buying something for themselves? There is a world of clothes out there that will fit me now and I’m too chicken shit to get out there and get buying – my bank manager must love me!