The comment about the shoes did it. I will admit that I don’t actually remember buying them, which would indicate that I had come home late of an evening with a modicum of sherry aboard, flipped open my laptop and started perusing websites that sell shoes.
I’m not sure why the merry me is so attracted to shoe buying late at night. It has not always been thus. A decade or so ago my tipsy downfall was the TV shopping channel QVC. Does anyone still watch that? It was triumph of presentation.
Some young aspiring actor with four years of drama training behind them would spend for about 30 solid minutes extolling the virtues of a single bottle of organic toilet bowl cleaner with increasing levels of desperate detail, such as the range of colours the bottle came in, the easy-twist opening, and the splash-free pouring lip. Late one night I was bewitched by two perma-tanned, grinning glamour goddesses with unfeasibly white teeth who convinced me that I could not live without a Five Piece Ultra Glow Sunshimmer Set with Matching Blusher Brushes. All this bounty was available, but only for that one night, in a NuLeather Carry Pouch, which was suitable for vegetarians because it wasn’t real leather.
Who could resist? Well, my drunk self couldn’t, that’s for sure, despite the fact I was slightly baffled by the vegetarian-based unique selling point there. When exactly would veggies find themselves forced to eat their matching NuLeather pouch – perhaps when caught in a snowdrift, or trapped on a desert island?
Anyway, I tumbled from the couch and emptied my bag onto the floor to find my purse, and that’s where QVC’s retail downfall came because Chardonnay affects my eyesight. I did manage to call the number on the screen, but when I spoke to a human, I couldn’t read the number on the card, and I eventually gave up to the sound of hooting laughter down the line from a call centre in Kent.
The internet has no problem with drunk shopping because the worldwide web already knows your details. Hence the sudden arrival of a pair of shoes from China, with accompanying snippy comment from the Yorkshire husband who pointed out I already had a pair of shoes.
The name Imelda Marcos was mentioned. That did it. Yes, I pointed out acidly, I had recklessly bought another pair of shoes. I’m not pointlessly collecting shoes. You can wear shoes. What you can’t use or wear is my husband’s hoard, and I mean horde, of paper.
Not a scrap of paper comes into this house but he must pile it or file it.
Mysterious boxes lurk under beds and at the back of cupboards, stuffed with papers relating to MOTs for cars sent for scrap a decade ago, boiler maintenance certificates for a house we don’t live in now and bank statements for banks that don’t exist anymore.
I’ve found leaflets begging for our votes in a General Election that involved Tony Blair. There are vouchers for supermarkets. He hardly uses them. I know this, because when he does use them, he trumpets his triumph for hours, like a Neanderthal rejoicing at the death of a great big woolly creature and announcing mammoth steaks all round.
Don’t get me started on the random nails from walls, chipped plates in the greenhouse and drawers full of electrical cables for bits of equipment long, long lost.
At least I can wear my shoes. Well, actually I don’t know that I can. I think I’ve gone off them...