Saturday, 4 January 2014

The tussle for the tank top and success of socks

Sales time. Got to get out there and buy some new clothes at least. Particularly as so many of my pullovers are falling apart.

I favour the type we call tank tops. You know, the sleeveless kind. I like them because they keep your trunk warm but leave your arms free. They naturally attract a lot of comments of the ‘do sit down, grandpa’ or ‘where are your slippers?’

Keeps you warm but leaves your arms free.
What's not to like?
When I first started wearing this kind of clothing, about thirty years ago, such remarks just seemed laughable so I ignored them. Now that I actually am a grandfather, comments suggesting that I might be one seems no more than a statement of the self evident, so I still ignore them. 

Anyway, I get the message. They’re not terribly fashionable. But fashion’s just what everybody else wears, isn’t it, so why should that bother me?

As it happens, I don’t like just any old tank top. I’m never very keen on having wool too close to the skin. So I really like the Marks and Spencer pullovers which are cotton rich.

By the way, they call tank tops ‘slipovers’, which sounds like something unpleasant that might happen on an icy pavement, but I suppose is designed to avoid association with the granddad image.

I love the term ‘cotton rich’. It feels like a description of the Southern United States before the Civil War, doesn’t it? Cotton rich, cash poor and not strong on human rights. 

Come to think of it, the Civil War may not have changed things that much.

So I go to Marks for my pullovers. Though in fact I don’t physically go there, at least not initially. I go on-line and see what remarkable offers they have. I did that ten days ago and ordered three tank tops in different colours. I actually went there today, to collect them.

While I was there, I thought, what about some ordinary pullovers? The ones with sleeves? I mean, when it gets really cold, sleeves are probably useful.

There was a colour that particularly caught my fancy, a kind of rich burgundy. Go for it, I thought. And then I saw that it was available as a ‘slipover’ too. Too good an opportunity. I headed for the rack. But just before I got there, some character nicked – yes, I see it as simple theft – the last remaining medium. The remaining ones were all too big.

It was horribly exasperating, but what made it worse is the guy who had the medium kept wandering around the area where I was standing. Whenever he got close, he would hold it up as though to examine it again critically. Each time he made me think he was about to put it back on the rack; each time he walked away again with the pullover on his arm and a smile of self-satisfaction on his lips.

Flouting, I call it. With a bit of gloating thrown in for good measure.

But I rose above all that. I just bought the version with sleeves. Who cares if my arms are less free? I like the colour anyway.

And then I got home and took a look at the three slipovers I’d ordered on-line. A pleasant blue. A refreshing green. And - a striking burgundy. I’d already got one. The guy who nicked the last one in the shop had done me a favour. Otherwise I’d have ended up with two of the same.

There it is. In the middle. The red one. 
It's burgundy, really. You just can't tell from the photo
You can imagine I’d love to track down the flouter from the shop. I can’t but it doesn’t matter. Mentally I’m gloating just as much as he did. And that’s satisfaction enough.

Come to think of it, he was quite big. Who knows. The pullover he took might not even fit him. 

One can but hope.

Postscript. On top of what I like to think of as the triumph of the tank tops, I’m delighted to have scored a notable sockcess. My wife has finished making me my own winter socks, as already supplied to the rest of the family (I resisted because of my aversion to wool, but these ones are irresistible).

Hand-knitted socks
Now I'm set up for 2014


Qi said...

I really like this description: "a smile of self-satisfaction on his lips". I can imagine this smile with your words!
You are really a good story-teller!

David Beeson said...

Thanks Qi, that's very kind