I was in a shop the other day, buying a pair of knickers...
Normally I might not need to tell you what I was purchasing, but, bear with me, because there is a connection.
I was in a shop the other day, buying a pair of knickers. It was while my sister was with me, and my husband was away, and I was having a girly time. I did not expect to vent, and I don’t think anyone else expected me to either.
The young woman behind the counter, who wasn’t much more than half my age, was a chatty little thing and quite the saleswoman, which is fine; I wasn’t going to buy anything I didn’t want, but I certainly didn’t mind engaging with her.
It was all going well, and she was getting towards the end of ringing up and packing my knickers when she said, “Do you read?”
I was somewhat stopped in my tracks. I felt my face freeze a little. I knew where this was going.
My sister looked at me, and she looked at the slip of a thing behind the counter, and she said, “You have no idea.” She’s a good woman, my sister, and she was clearly trying to nip the thing that was obviously about to happen soundly in the bud.
It is bad enough being confronted by an entire shelving unit full of paperbacks of this desperate trilogy, complete with its rather banal and terribly uninspired covers, in my local Waterstones, it’s quite another to be confronted with it in the lingerie section of the department store.
So, I’m slightly ashamed to say that I vented.
I am, thankfully, the sort of woman who does not shout or swear in public, and I would never be truly terrifying to a perfectly sweet young woman of my very vaguest acquaintance, but I will admit that I made my feelings on the subject of these odious books quite well known to the shop assistant and the two or three other people in the shop that could hear what I had to say on the matter.
I might have suggested that the lovely young woman go away and read “Wuthering Heights” or “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” or something else with a little more literary merit and genuine romance than bloody 50 Shades of Sodding Grey, but I can’t be sure, and besides, I bet she won’t heed my advice.