I hate shopping. Really; you have no idea. The only time I really enjoy shopping is (a) if I have an unlimited budget (it’s never happened) or (b) if I’m helping a beautiful woman choose a beautiful dress, and they’re trying lots of adventurous items on and need my view on them (“you don’t think this is too slutty?” “no, never fear”, say I).

The rest of the time, it’s dull, frustrating, crowded and tiring.

That said, the last two weekends I’ve needed to go and buy clothes. Once for a black tie dinner that I’m going to on Monday (my agency has been nominated as “best consultancy”), the other just because I needed to broaden my work wardrobe (which has consisted entirely of variations on about 4 differents trousers and jackets and a number of shirts).

And I’ve got to say, much as our piggish gender mocks the fairer sex for their love of the field sport of shopping, its much more pleasant going with a lady than without. Buying the DJ (tuxedo for you transatlantics out there) by myself was difficult: the shop (Moss Bros) had disappointingly few mirrors, so while I had the impression that the costume fit me, every time I wandered out of the changing room to examine myself in their sparse collection of mirrors (in a manner of speaking), I grew increasingly paranoid that someone would run in and nab the tatty pair of trousers I’d been wearing along with my wallet and mobile phone.

Yesterday, the lovely Maya (my effervescent and wonderful mother), who’s visiting with my gregarious and eminently bearded father, insisted on accompanying me on a short escapade which was infinitely more efficient, enjoyable and successful than my previous excursion.

Some might mock a grown man for shopping with his mother; I, for one, recommend it. Mum’s presence provided an arbiter of taste, a holder of mobile phones, a foil for my frustration, and a broad and proud grin every time I found something that suited me. Also (and I’m not rationalising here, I’d shop with Mum anyway) given that I see her for about 3 weeks a year, I like to spend as much time as possible with her (well, with both my folks).

The whole thing reminds me of an entertaining amateur poet I heard at tha ABCTales event that my brother performed at: Eddie Gibbons performed a piece called “Shopping Forecast”, which I recommend anyone reading if they can only find it on the interweb (I can’t).