Tag Archives: shopping

Teenagers. ‘Nuff Said.

manhatttanThe Teenager is off to New York in 9 days for a school trip, so he needs warm clothes.

Sounds easy, but this is the same Teenager who refuses to wear jumpers (too naff), hats (yeah, right) or gloves (I’m not, like, a kid).

So our weekend shopping trip to town was meticulously planned and of course fell spectacularly apart.

‘It’s cold in New York, you need warm clothes.’

‘Is it colder than Glasgow?’


‘S’ok. T-shirts will be fine.’

‘Get dressed, we’re leaving in five minutes.’

Thump, thump, strop around upstairs, sound of clothes being flung around the room.

‘Right, I’m, like, ready.’

I look round. ‘Get back upstairs this instant and take those shorts off. It’s minus 2 outside.’

Grunts, strops, thumping back upstairs. Comes slouching back down in trousers (and a t-shirt) and magnanimously agrees to get in the car.

Town. Seventy shops later, my nerves are frayed and I’m on the verge of yelling in public. Shop seventy-one and I yelled. ‘There’s nothing wrong with the zip. The only thing that’s wrong is that you’re stropping and trying to do it up with one hand.’ A small crowd gathered, pretending to look at the Bermuda shorts nearby, earwigging.

‘Ok. Okkkkaaaaaay, I’ll take it.’

So we got the jacket. Eventually. Only two jumpers to go. Hours later, I took them up to the desk, where a chirpy young man bagged them up.

‘And how are you enjoying this lovely day, madam?’

‘Oh, wonderful, thank you. I adore shopping with my sullen, sulky son. In fact, I wish I did it more often.’

He looked scared and glanced surreptitiously under the counter where there was no doubt a panic button.

On the way back to the car, I had to stop to get some stuff in for dinner and made the mistake of asking The Teenager what he fancied.



‘Small one?’


Fine. I’m going to wait in the car. Keys?’

I waved him off and took  my time schlepping around the Tesco Metro, admiring the plastic tubs of ready-peeled kiwi fruit and chopped coconut. My phone went.

‘Can’t open the boot.’

‘Just press the button on the key fob.’

‘Can’t. It’s disappeared.’

‘What, the car or the key?’

‘The button to open the boot.’

I ended the call.

He’s having salmon for dinner. With broccoli.

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Take An Old Bag Shopping…

shopping bagI do, honestly.

In Wales, you’re charged 5p for a flimsy slice of super-thin polythene (could be white or red/blue stripes), guaranteed to spill your groceries/loo-roll/hi-juice  or worse onto any pavement right outside the supermarket.

And not in a good rom-com kinda way, avocados and mangoes (of course) rolling artfully towards a hunky-chunky-monkey of a man, just ready to pick up your tumbling food and a lot more besides. Whay hey.

So I am a bag lady. ‘Wanna bag?’ is met with a smug , ‘Tch, brought my own, fumble, fumble, dontcha know.’ Carefully selected from the Orla Kiely range at Tesco and independent book-stalls in New York. Natch.

Anyway, I am armed and prepared for Serious Supermarket Shopping to subsidise my meagre Ocado order. I can’t resist a sneeky peek at the sensational offers I’m missing out on

Sad salads, miserable mince, tacky tacos and cheap cereals. Two for one on coffee. Buy one get one free on curry sauce. Eww. Snagging the last of the asparagus bundles, I head to the check-out.

And here is where the fun starts. My hands refuse to play ball. The check-out-meister whizzes through my shopping with obscene speed. Everything is flying everywhere. ‘Having a nice weekend?’ he asks, smirking, flinging my solitary can of beans westward, way beyond my reach.

I have long given up asking The Teenager to accompany me. Apparently he would rather wear a skirt to school than walk next to me, trolley trundling behind. When the price is barked at me, I take a step back, fumble with cash/card and finish packing. Picking up my cucumber from the floor as gracefully as I can.

This is why I shop on the internet. I have a succession of lovely men knocking my door, holding out parcels. Heaven. All I have to do is laugh off the jokes that my name is spookily similar to an American singer/actress. Never heard that one before, lol. Lol.

On a happier note, I have just cooked a rather marvelous chicken meal for Sunday dinner. The Teenager responded by telling me he would prefer to starve. A likely story. Apparently he would rather have a pie. Which we have had forever until he asked for a cooked chicken Sunday dinner.

It’s me. Isn’t it?

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Christmas CtI am one present away from completing my Christmas shopping.

Before you start pelting me with mince pies (or Terry’s Chocolate Oranges – yes please), I can explain, honestly.

Organising Christmas for the last couple of years has been a bit of a nightmare, so this year I was determined to be calm, cool and collected.

I drew up lists, scoured the internet then decided it’d be far easier just to give everyone a onesie. Present list – big tick. The Teenager could have a Superman one, The Boss could have a Homer Simpson one and I’m guessing they make them for cats now too.

After running the idea past The Teenager (who looked at me in horror, told me he wouldn’t be seen dead in an oversized babygro and turned his music up even louder) it was back to the drawing board.

So now I have a whole stack of carefully-chosen presents, reams of wrapping paper, ribbon and gift tags. All waiting for that advert-inspired magical evening where I will settle myself down with a glass of mulled wine, Christmas carols playing in the soft-focus background and fight with the sticky tape and try to catch the cat when she runs off with the ribbon.

The internet has been a blessing, although I’m not sure my postman sees it that way, as he struggles up the path day after day. I’ve ordered everything from it – right down to a reel of invisible thread to hang my home-made stars with. Yup, getting the shopping out the way has given me time to pick up my glue gun. I’m going to get crafty this year. My Christmas wreath was a bit of a disaster (Pinterest made it look so easy, bah), but you can’t go wrong with stars. Can you?

So this year I won’t be barging my way through crowds. I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I’d slip unnoticed to the ground, trampled by hordes of eager shoppers poking each other in the eye with jumbo rolls of wrapping paper.

For people with MS, Christmas is a society-endorsed period of doing what I am an expert at – dozing off on the sofa in front of rubbish telly – and I intend to make the most of it.

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Shops ‘n’ Strops

meanwhile in HollisterEarlier this week, I spent a frustrating couple of hours in the men’s changing room at Hollister.

There were fumbles, anguished cries and yelling. Yup, I was clothes shopping with The Teenager.

I had laid careful plans and bundled him into the car straight from school, turned on the central locking and hightailed it to town before he could escape.

He’s at that fussy stage (when isn’t he?) – his clothes have to fit just so, the colour has to be just right. Although how he could see anything in Hollister is beyond me. Maybe it’s my age, but it’s pretty darned gloomy in there. And there’s far too many über-handsome staff with chiseled jaws and their underwear on show. Tsk. After rummaging round in the dark and messing up all the lovely neat displays, The Teenager pulled out a couple of shirts to try on.

An hour later (and after profuse apologies to Mr Handsome for all the noise), he emerged from his cubicle and posed before the mirror, turning this way and that, arms flapping.

‘Oh, it’s a lovely colour! Suits your eyes. Let’s buy it.’ (looks at watch)

‘Nah, it’s, like, dunno.’

‘What about the other one? Or that one? Or the one you flung across the room?’

‘S’not dench, innit?’ (Dench? Huh?)

We left empty-handed and repeated the same scenario in the next store. And the next. Normally on trips like this, we have a little family tradition of rounding off the whole drama by taking it in turns to choose a restaurant for dinner. It was my turn. More eye-rolling and dramatic sighs when I told him I wanted to try a nice, eclectic place he hadn’t been to before.

‘Wanna go to Nando’s. Wanna go to Nando’s. Wanna go…..’

‘Oi, it’s my choice. You’ll like it. ‘

‘My friend said it was a girly place. Wanna go to…’

‘How can a restaurant be girly? It’s dench!’

‘Mum, that’s just tragic. Please don’t.’

We sat ourselves down in my choice of place, The Teenager grudgingly admitting it wasn’t that bad and he admired his new rugby socks (our only purchase), before tweeting his friends a picture of them. Then he facebooked a picture of his burger.

We had a lovely meal. Me, The Teenager and his phone. Dench…

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Basket Case

never take a teenager shoppingI’m not a fan of supermarket shopping and I should have been suspicious when The Teenager jumped at the chance to accompany me the other day.

I haven’t given up online shopping, but my mum mentioned she had seen some artificial grass in a supermarket nearby and it was selling out fast.

It was one of those cut-price supermarkets – no frills, no helpful staff, prison-style strip lighting and pushy customers shoving their trolleys into any legs that had the audacity to get in their way of grabbing the last bottle of Lambrusco or tin of discounted baked beans.

‘Muuuuuuuuuuuuum, can I have a bag of donuts?’


‘Two donuts?’


One?’ (sad face)

‘Just let me find the blinking grass and we’re out of here. What? Oh, alright then. ONE.’

I found the grass and tried to juggle four rolls of the stuff in my arms when The Teenager came back with a basket, one donut lying forlornly in the middle.

‘Why do you need a basket for your donut?’

‘Er. Um. Pepsi’s cheap, only 25 pence a can and I never have pop and everyone else in school has pop in the house and it’s not fair that everyone else in school gets to have pop and I don’t and I really think it’s so cheap that it would be really nice if for once I could have some pop in the house so I’m just like all my friends and won’t feel so different from everyone else. See?’

‘Oh really?’

‘Yeah. Pleeeeeeaaaaaassssssse? Just say ‘stop’ at the number of cans I can have? Tennineeightsevensixfivefourthree…’

‘THREE. You can have three. One a day for the next three days as a treat. Then it’s checkout.’

We queue up, offload the grass, Pepsi and solitary donut.



‘You don’t even know what I was going to say.’

‘Yes. I. Do.’

‘Awwwwww. Can I just get one tiny packet of chewing gum? Everyone else in school gets to have chewing gum and….’

‘STOP. Don’t go any further. I know exactly what you’re going to say. I’m your mum. I’m a mind-reader.’


‘Right, put the donut and the Pepsi back then.’

And so on and so on. And that is yet another good reason for never, ever going supermarket shopping…

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