You should know me by now! I’m a fascinated observer of the female human mamal, anything wrong in that?
So with this week’s blog topic in mind, daily posts themed around women’s lingerie, I’m going to raise the tone of this ‘blog’ and write a post about yes women’s underwear, a tale prompted by mistakenly finding myself on ‘Marks and Spencer’s’ floor devoted to women’s undergarments…….. if you’ve never heard of M&S all you need to understand is 70% of women buy their underwear here, with Oxford’s Branch having half a floor devoted solely to this most Holy of intimate garment, seriously a cavernous expanse of delicate lingerie hanging in aisles interspersed by the occasional size 8 mannequin, dolled up in err……….. well use your imagination please!
Whatever the age M&S is Britain’s go to knicker store.
And yes that is ‘Camilla Windsor’ being shown around M&S’s lingerie department!
When one descends the escalator within Oxford’s Debenhams department store, from top floor down to level number three, a traveller aboard this slow travelling walkway will invariably pass by ladies with a thoughtful expression etched across their brow and holding up some delicate garment of lingerie to the light. She’s of course deeply concentrated wondering whether this bra or pair knickers will look good on her figure, does she like the colour and of course most importantly of all whether purchasing is worth the asking price? Perhaps contemplating trying it on before going home and buying it a third off from Amazon?
Yes? No? Please don’t answer………… and do people do this? I mean use a store only to test goods out? I hope not, I’m now very conscious of trying to buy what I need on the High Street or Mall, because disappearing Town centres are often the heart of a community and they do provide jobs.
As an aside, Jeff Bezos Amazon has a one trillion dollar turnover, to me that stinks of a great many City centre shops having to close and many many thousand of workers having lost their jobs, PLUS he pays very little tax instead funnelling British online purchases through offices in Luxembourg…………. frigging hell man, at least pay the taxes you owe!!
Where was I before sidestepping into an angry rant, oh yes women purchasing their underwear! Actually if I wasn’t a skilled engineer I’d like to work in a lingerie department just to stand and watch these err sexy goings on, in fact I’d work for free!! Just imagine handling these pretty pieces of cloth ALL day long, mind you I’d stop at any ideas of helping out in the bra fitting rooms, sorry but that’s just plain creepy!
Jeez my train of consciousness even takes me back sometimes!
Where was I? Riding escalators observing women buy their underwear, and no I don’t return straight up to the top floor so as I can watch these ladies on the return journey down again, jeeze that would be just plain creepy (again) hmm would be fun though, even pressing that emergency red button that stops accidents from happening, err hasn’t 😀 ever crossed my mind!
However walking through Marks and Spencer’s first floor lingerie department in Oxford UK, is a WHOLE lot more emotionally nerve-racking, truly, at this point you may be perhaps thinking ‘A. Shepherdson pray why are you looking at women’s underwear?’ No NO I don’t wear lingerie, no if you need to return an item purchased, in order to reach ‘Returns Exchanges and Refunds’ situated at the rear of Floor 1, you have to walk through yes this gigantic expanse full of women’s underwear, rows and rows of it! Slightly disconcerting actually brushing past lacy pink twinsets, a sight captured by the corner of my eye because I’m not looking.
M&S’s underwear department used to be on the ground floor, to be more exact in front of the entrance to the food hall, then one time I had to take an unwanted item back, made for Returns on first floor, and there facing me is a retail cathedral space dedicated to just lingerie, I actually froze my feet unable to walk! They’d gone and redesigned the interior of the shop hadn’t they! In a state of near panic I walked up to a young lady dressed in black with her back to me, reaching to hang up a garment or take it down and asked her,
“Excuse me Miss, can you tell me where the Return’s counter is?”
This brunette young woman turned around, as startled as I was and no older than sixteen, well I ask you how was I to know this tall girl was a mere teenager? Jeez we all make honest mistakes, well her cheeks blushed and she nervously answered,
“Sorry I don’t work here”, and then her eyes quickly darted sideways to look at someone now standing beside me, I also turned to this person now stalking its prey, ME a single guy speaking with her daughter, and who did I see? Yes a middle aged woman and by the look of her quite obviously the young girl’s mother, well you can tell can’t you! The mother slightly taken aback then burst out laughing before saying,
“She doesn’t work for Marks and Spencer’s” and btw now smiling,
So I quickly replied “Oh no! Sorry I mistook her for a salesperson?” The mother laughed again saying “no worries” and I quickly turned and made for an exit, talk about embarrassing! Anyways I returned to the Store hours later, asked an actual member of staff this time for directions, and yes they’d moved Returns to way behind those racks of hanging underwear.
Yes a misunderstanding all around, omg I’m closer to the end than the beginning, my heart cannot take mild shocks like it use to!
Hmm amuses me still how nervous I get walking through a ladies underwear department, do all men feel this way? I guess subconsciously I’ll think back to the women I’ve undressed or watched undress, and yes like I said earlier while in Debenhams, I am amused watching women perusing selecting touching and holding towards bright fluorescent lights their soon to be purchased delicates!
Anyways not to worry they both had a laugh at my expense, the mother seemed to think the mistaken identity absolutely hilarious? And I can imagine the daughter saying later “Do I look like I’m dressed as a shop worker for heaven’s sake?” But jeez you do have to be careful asking customers questions inside underwear departments, don’t you? Or are we men becoming slightly paranoid #MeToo fallout and all.
(I’ve thought about this seemingly inconsequential tale many times, a completely absurd scenario but what always confuses me is why this mother burst out into uncontrollable laughter? Perhaps I looked more startled than I ever assumed, or is the reason little more complicated than a ‘mummy bear looking out for her offspring bear cub? Funny old day.)
©A. Shepherdson 2019 (with Googled photographs not my own)