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I am a reformed shopper. Years ago, you could not keep me from a shopping centre, as I fingered all the fabrics and tried on all the shoes. I could spend a whole day shopping with a girlfriend, stopping for lunch, before hitting up the next set of shops.

These days, that is like a little bit of hell for me. I will go when absolutely necessary. Like it was this week.

Having teenagers, well you know that they are expensive because they never seemingly stop growing and eating. Mine tend to go through growths spurts quite a lot. Typically, what happens is that they really nugget up for a while. Like chipmunks storing walnuts in their cheeks. And just when I think that we should lay off the carbs for a bit, they shoot up and slim down.

And then we wait for six months again, and watch the cycle repeat itself.

Now the problem with this is that almost overnight, one would grow out of one’s clothes. This week it happened to Jack. He went to the Easter Show with mates after dance practice. I had to take him a change of clothes. He put his shorts on that I swear I bought last week, and they were like bike shorts on him and he was struggling to breathe.

I looked at him and wondered where my little boy had gone.

Little boy is now a man. Kids clothes do not fit him anymore. I need never darken the doorstep of a Cotton On Kids store ever again.

So, despite not really feeling like it, this week I took him clothes shopping.

“Why don’t you do it all online?” I hear you cry.

Truthfully, it was because I had no bloody idea what size he was and my last few attempts of shopping online for his were a disaster. In my head, he is still a size 14. In reality he is not. I had to take him shopping.

IN THE MENSWEAR DEPARTMENT.

We went firstly to K-Mart which had a particularly hideous selection on offer. And then I remembered David Jones was nearby and I recalled seeing a sale ad somewhere. Now, David Jones and I have had a difficult past. This stems from an incident from 2011 which you can read about here.

That was just one example of many I could tell you about. Wandering the store, trying to find someone to help you, well it just all got too much for me. But things seemed to have changed.

I walked into the menswear section with Jack and his friend Lucy and was immediately asked whether I required any assistance. I stood there, thinking “What in the fresh hell is this?” I wasn’t sure how to respond. After we stood around for a bit, I told this lovely young lady that I required some guidance in the way of a reasonably priced, yet decent quality men’s clothing for a very fussy teenager who was all about “aesthetics.”

If you have a teenager you will by now no doubt that AESTHETIC is the new word for cool although the Oxford Dictionary says it is concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

Anyway, this young lady totally got words like VIBING and AESTHETIC and directed us to a label called The Academy Brand.

Jack rejoiced at the selection while I rejoiced at the big sign that said 30% off. But it got even better! WE GOT MOTHERFUCKING AWESOME CUSTOMER SERVICE! Sales lady/girl knew everything about the range, was able to tell us about this Australian Company, offered style suggestions and options and then, when we were finished, took us over to the sales counter where there was not only someone standing to attention ready to greet us and let us exchange money for goods, but was also a very pleasant man.

And then, when that had all finished, we were waved off by them both like already dearly missed relatives. I almost felt like I should have hugged them. And just to make sure the cake was well and truly iced, as we left the store, we were again farewelled and thanked by a dapper dressed gentleman who wished us a good day.

We celebrated in the traditional fashion by eating a Zinger Burger.

David Jones, you have changed.

When was the last time you experienced some good old fashioned service?

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