Your hands tremble with fear and embarrassment. All around you people march past with glazed, unfeeling eyes, getting on with their daily routine, unaware of the internal struggle going on between your brain, your heart and your stomach. Sweating profusely, you stretch out your unsteady arm to grab the nearest article, ducking away into the crowd like a petty criminal, ashamed of yourself. You stagger to the cold MDF counter and lay the spoils of your hunt down before the stone-faced assistant like a slaughtered lamb on the butcher's slab.
Struggling out of La Senza, you shed a solitary guilty tear as you remember your empty boasts. "Shopping for my girlfriend? Easy!!"
OK, so that may not happen to everyone. But having said that, how many of your guys have a girlfriend? How many know her clothes size? And that's without any of the following 'help': being told outright, or picking her garment off of the bedroom floor and checking the label. And even if you know that your lovely miss is for example a 12 up top, did you bother to listen when she said "Oh but I'm a 12 in New Look and a 14 in Monsoon and a 10 in River Island and a Medium in Next and a 24 in Primark..."
My point is, I have a beef with those women of the "You bought me the wrong size? How dare you. How dare you insult me with your presence, get out of my life, you never loved me, blah blah."
Judging by my approxiamtion of what a shopping trip must be like for a guy purchasing for his fairer half, I'm not surprised that the number of men eager to buy their girlfriend clothing as gifts is waning furiously.
I SAID WANING. During a conversation with my poor put-upon boyfriend, I casually asked him what size he thought I was. "Er..." he said, all the while probably thinking he aught to remove himself from the kitchen and the array of sharp objects before answering, "er....a.12?"
I was extremely flattered, and I didn't mind admitting that I am actually a 14-16. I say this because I'm a 14 in New Look, 16 in Next, yada yada - and that's just up top. There is no such think as a definitive 'size' any more. Look through my wardrobe (don't, actually; I'll be mighty pissed) and you'll find 14s, 16s, the odd 12 and 18 in both tops and bottoms. This is because I'm bigger up-top than on my hips. And I'm not the only girl with this trait...but then not all girls are like me
So you guys have a tough time already before you've even hit the shops. Take lingerie shopping for example. I'm actually in London as part of my Christmas/Easter treat, and Mr Brawn has allowed me to visit the Covent Garden branch of lingerie mogul Bravissimo's stores. And there I will be buying my own lingerie, simply because I am one of these women who does not always fit directly into the size 'niche'. Of course, I could send him in there with my money and see what happens, but to be honest I could probably predict that I will wind up out of pocket and out of decent bras.
So give men a chance, for Freya's sake. Stop berating them when they get the tiniest thing wrong. The odds are stacked pretty high against them as it is, and anyway isn't it better in the long run to carry on letting them think you're a 12?