Today, very hungover with no dark sunglasses to conceal my dark circles because I have broken yet another pair of cheapie shades, I went for breakfast with my ladeez… at midday. Somewhere in the hangover haze, we decided to go shopping (because I have a very important GROWN UP thing on next week and need some grown up attire to wear)… and for some reason, we decided to go to Westfield Bondi Junction (no… I was not swayed by my fashion horror-scope discussed below, though Oroton did have some luxe leather looks…).
It was so hideous. Love my friends as I do, I actually dislike shopping with others. It’s a self preservation thing. I don’t really like shopping at all most of the time. The whole process seems like self torture.
Shopping centres are full of mockery… shoes that don’t fit my wide feet, clothes that don’t fit my wide frame, handbags that don’t fit my modest budget. Everywhere I turn, some inanimate object is jeering me for not being more successful, more genetically fortunate and more capable at starving myself.
This dilemma is only exascerbated in the glitzy eastern suburbs, where tanned hotties strut around draped in the trappings of their own privilege, often with an attractive henpecked manbag in tow to carry new purchases… we even saw Megan Gale looking at some $70 hair clip at Mimco that looked the same as something you could pick up at the $2 shop. Jealous much?
Everything was so expensive and alienating. My self esteem was kicked around so much that I felt like an awkward high schooler again. It was almost enough to turn me emo… bring on the My Chemical Romance and piercings.
So, like the tormented high schooler I had hoped I had moved beyond, myself and my ladeez turned to an old friend… being bitches to validate ourselves.
We decided to play a little game. This season, dresses that are so short that I would rightly consider them to be a shirt seem to be in fashion. As do all things flimsy and floaty and pretty much see through. So sitting on a bench outside Westfield, opposite an ‘Irish Grocer and Tobacconist’ shop that sold nothing Irish, we invented a little game called ‘Punch Ninny’.
It works the same as Punch Buggy, except that instead of declaring when you see a V-Dub, we would declare when we saw a ‘V’ (for which the word ninny is a crass euphamism used amongst my group of friends).
So every time a girl’s sheer or short choice of clothing made put her lady parts on public display, we would wisper ‘ninny’ under our breaths and dissolve into cackles.
So grown up. But the only way to survive such a traumatic and soul destroying exercise as braving the Junction.
Sitting there on the bench, haphazardly plonked in the middle of the Junction’s Manhattan-esque glossy streetscape, the four of us caught sight of ourselves reflected in the window of the non-Irish Irish Grocer.
“We’re like the dodgy inner west version of Sex in the City,” one of my friends remarked.
And it was very true (as long as we are talking about one of the episodes where most of them are single). Some of us hungover, others smoking, dressed in indie chic clothing ransacked from op shops, we would have looked normal on the streets of Newtown or Glebe… but at the Junction, it felt like all we needed to do was stick a hat or used coffee cup out in front of us and people would start tossing us spare change while avoiding eye contact.
Luckily, someone with a visable ninny strutted past, breaking my train of self destructive thought and sending is cackling like the crazy old hobo ladies we were slowly starting to resemble.
So instead of exiting the glass and steel Westfield monolith a broke women (which is what the whole thing is designed for, isn’t it?), I just left broken. No impulse purchase could restore the sense of self worth Westfield had stripped from me. But our little game meant I didn’t leave broken and blubbering.