No, this isn’t one of those pieces bemoaning the influence of the Internet on the retail industry or indeed a gloom laden piece at all.
I’ve written here on the subject of some of the consequences of aging, of reaching certain milestones, some of which appear to be more millstones weighing me down.
But in one respect, advancing years has led me to conclude one thing, one delightful thing.
I no longer need to shop
Yes that’s a crap generalisation. I still need food and a surfeit of toilet rolls but I am now at a point in life where I have coats for every occasion, more Christmas lights than Lapland, ties for every conceivable social event from glorious births to sombre funerals. I can sit on a selection of furniture that caters for the fluctuating state of my posterior. I have adapters that let me charge anything across a range of time zones, cultures and languages. I can punch holes, stick labels, clip papers and, thanks to my father’s obsession with envelopes send letters through to the next millennia.
I am able, in short, to allow myself to wear out alongside the fripperies and paraphernalia of modern life without ever having to form the word ‘IKEA ‘ again.
And that thought is glorious. My underwear collection will see me through to 2045 with judicious management and a small adjustment to my stride pattern. The shirts I bought for work will serve me as both torso covers, lawn mower cleaners and white flags in the event of invasion.
I will buy stuff. Books are a given even though, whisper it gently dear reader, I have more than enough reading material on the shelves around my house to give our local library a run for its money.
But no longer will I have to face the condescension of the assistant in the gentleman’s outfitters who, with one subtly raised eyebrow, can contradict my insistence that my waist measurement has remained unchanged since stay-press was the new black. No more will DIY sales people easily contrabefuddlicate me over the best reverse-warbling drognifaggot that I need to unblock the dog – I have every unblocking implement known to science tucked away in my garage.
I have moaned at my children and their obsession with accumulating stuff but that is only because, glory be, I need to no more! The half tins of paint I have left over from my many experiments in decorating can re-coat every conceivable dwelling I might occupy before I join those bemoaning St Peter’s reluctance to countenance even Barley White.
Every cut, nick, bruise, abrasion and suppurating orifice can be blocked, stopped, sopped and sutured courtesy of my many years as a trainee hypochondriac. I can dull pain, lift spirits and both open and close bowels at will with my pill collection.
And never again will I have to bend my knee to a variety of shamen and con artists who wish to add to my enormous collection of gubbins and guff – every drawer contains enough for every task which is normally the preserve of the Boy Scouts multi-tooled pen knife. In short, I am replete.