1. Wow, so window display, many colours.
2. Wait, isn’t this the place with the ads that look like porn?
3. Will these clothes make me look like porn?
4. Do I want to look like porn?
5. And why do only the women look like porn?
6. Whatevs, might as well pop in and check out the sale rack.
7. That shop assistant is intimidatingly beautiful.
8. She looks like she’s about to tell me that they don’t stock peasant smocks and I should leave before they release the hounds.
9. Her cheekbones don’t think I belong here.
10. Her cheekbones want me gone.
11. Everything here makes me feel poor and clownish.
12. Okay, I have to stay for long enough that cheekbones-girl doesn’t get to think she’s scared me off.
13. I’m not giving her the satisfaction.
14. Let’s start with the sale rack.
15. She’s definitely noticed that I’m starting with the sale rack.
16. But if you don’t want people to start with the sale rack, don’t charge the equivalent of a downpayment on a mortgage for an aubergine-coloured tube bra.
17. Ooh, magenta velvet miniskirt, 50% off!
18. Possibly because it’s a magenta velvet miniskirt.
19. But how many magenta velvet miniskirts do I have in my wardrobe?
20. Oh yeah, that’s right: zero. Sounds like a lacuna to me.
21. Can’t hurt to try it on.
22. Even if the only one left is a size too big.
25. There’s no way this skirt would look good on me.
26. Or with anything I own.
27. This skirt doesn’t even look good with itself.
28. As in, this skirt would never look good in any context ever.
29. Even when you consider this skirt in isolation of who’s wearing it, how they’re wearing it, where they’re wearing it, sociopolitical context, and/or current room temperature, it remains an exceptionally ugly skirt.
30. Put it down.
31. It’ll still be there if I change my mind later.
32. Because it’s the worst skirt of all time and no-one wants to be associated with such a thing.
33. Those smiley “90%” signs are the absolute creepiest.
34. Though these python print pencil pants are in strong contention for the title.
35. Peter Piper picked a peck of python print pencil pants.
36. A peck of python print pencil pants did Peter Piper pick.
37. There’s a reason this stuff is on sale.
38. Multifarious reasons.
39. Reasons as numerous as they are abundantly clear.
40. Which would explain why I’m going through each item very carefully and considering it for way longer than is reasonable.
41. I wonder what kind of person buys and wears a gold shiny thong.
42. NO, BRAIN, I DIDN’T WANT YOU TO START ANSWERING THAT.
43. So much polyester.
44. If someone even lit a match in the vicinity of this shop, it would all explode.
45. Which mightn’t be such a bad thing.
46. Okay, we’ve established that the sale section is an ungiving morass and a bad life decision waiting to happen.
47. Might as well have a look around at the not-on-sale stuff.
48. These sweatshirts aren’t too bad, to be fair.
49. The colours are understated compared to their cut-price brethren.
50. Ooh, and if you buy two, the third is half-price!
51. Are there three of these I want?
52. Is there even one of these I want?
53. Hang on, what’s this colour – red? Burgundy?
54. I’ll check the label.
55. Oh, ‘truffle’.
56. And it apparently wasn’t made in a sweatshop.
57. Which acts as a friendly reminder that when brands don’t say they don’t use sweatshops, you can probably just go ahead and assume that they do.
58. Ugh, capitalism is the worst.
59. As opposed to this truffle sweatshirt, which is pretty great.
60. But it doesn’t make sense to buy it on its own, because what if I come back later and want to buy two sweatshirts?
61. And then even though I’ll have bought a total of three, I won’t get the discount.
62. Because I’ll have divided my purchases into two different transactions.
63. So I need to bite the bullet and pick two more sweatshirts right now.
64. Red and brown are too similar to truffle, so they’re out.
65. Heather grey. That’s nice and neutral.
66. Aaaaand let’s go with “zebra”. Spice things up.
67. I am about to spend £100 on three sweatshirts I don’t particularly want or need.
68. I’m doing this just in case I do want or need further sweatshirts at a later point in my life in a way that doesn’t dovetail perfectly with American Apparel’s discount structure.
70. Okay, no, I have to at least try them on.
71. I might as well try on something else, too. While I’m there.
72. Fuck it, let’s go with these nylon disco shorts.
73. In silver.
74. No queue for the changing rooms!
75. I am free as a bird, going where the wind takes me.
76. And I can’t get into these disco shorts.
77. Ugh, front zip, you had one job.
78. Breathe in.
79. And hold it in. Forever.
80. There we go.
81. Dare I look in the mirror?
82. Ew. The human body was not meant to be contorted so.
83. I didn’t realise it was, like, anatomically possibly to have fat rolls there.
84. Or there.
85. The disco shorts have not been a success.
86. And now they won’t come off.
87. If I need to call for Cheekbones Girl to come in and cut me out of these, I will legally change my name and move country.
88. No, it’s fine, it’s cool, they’re coming off.
89. Lesson: it is unwise to opt for XXS in American Apparel if you are anything other than extra, extra small.
90. The sweaters will be more forgiving.
91. They’re so nice!
92. But I can’t shake the feeling that ultimately, they’re just sweatshirts.
93. And I’ve persuaded myself that they’re the nicest sweatshirts ever so I won’t feel guilty about splurging on them.
94. When really, I only like the truffle one all that much.
95. But that one feels too expensive to buy on its own, so I want to buy all three to save £20.
96. Even though I’d end up spending a lot more money than the truffle one would have cost on its own.
97. I cannot afford this.
98. And even if I could, £40 is a stupid amount of money to pay for a sweatshirt.
99. I could buy a Ryanair flight to another corner of Europe for that much.
100. I’ll put them back and forget about them.
101. Mourn discreetly.
102. And move. The fuck. On.
103. Where’s that magenta velvet miniskirt on the sale rack?
104. Fuck, someone took it.
105. I hate you, whoever you are.