Saturday, 22 November 2008

Growing Old

It's funny the things you do when you get older. For example this summer I bought some art. Now I'm not an "art" person, I don't go to art galleries, or museums. I've never read a book on art and if an art show come on TV I'll see if Mythbusters is on the other side. However there was an open-air art festival in the gardens where I live so, while on a Summer's walk down to the beach, I thought it would be rude not to at least swing by. There was lots of your usual stuff, the kind of amateur art I'd have expected to see, however there was someone doing portrait art who had such a unique, edgy style. He had a series of pictures and one really caught my eye. I went back the next day and it was still drawing me in so I decided to buy it.

My latest symptom of growing old is that I thought to myself "I could do with having a nice pen." Where this thought came from I just don't know. It seems that having "nice" things becomes more attractive to you the older you get. So I googled some nice pens and found the one I wanted and I knew of a shop in town that sold them, so I decided to stop by as I did other errands around town. I found the place that sells them and they were pretty much a top-end fancy-things place. They sold Rolex watches, Gucci watches and stuff like that. That was great but here's my problem…the way I look and dress I'd get thrown out of a homeless shelter, let alone a place where you can spend £500 on a set of cufflinks. Nonetheless I entered the dragon's den.

It was a fairly small shop and there were three desks dotted around that had well suited salespeople talking to well-heeled clients. It seems in a shop like this you don't pick what you want from the shelf and take it to the till…you need "consultation". I located the pen bit of the store but the woman was busy with some guy. Three watches lay on the leather-topped table as she talked to him about his work. Why this was necessary to buy a watch I don't really know. I guess it is their job to give their clients the whole personal shopping experience. Maybe he thought he was impressing the sales girl with his job, and his expensive taste in watches. Maybe he was hoping she would think he can take her away from all this and treat her like the princess she thinks she deserves to be. Take her away from the dreary, stuffy job…and, "that man". I skulked in the background but it wasn't a very welcoming place, the atmosphere wasn't one you wanted to drink in, and as no-one was free to "help" me I left and stood outside. I watched through the window for a while but the man didn't budge from his watch-buying. I guess buying a watch is a really big deal for some people. In the end I just bought a Biro.

Maybe nice pens just aren't for people like me? Maybe that's why fat businessmen with ugly wives have nice pens. I guess if you want a status symbol you have to start from the bottom and work your way up…a nice haircut, some expensive fragrance, an Armani suit…and maybe then I could walk into a nice shop and someone will want to help me. Even though you have the money to spend, people only want to take money from people who are playing the game.

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