The madness of the sales is in full swing. Having just returned from a trip into Cambridge I think it's fair to say that the world has run mad. We went in mainly to get a replacement phone for the boy as his other one decided to turn up its toes, and made the wise decision to use the park and ride so we didn't have to cope with the nightmare that is parking in Cambridge.
Wandering around there were a number of things that hit me, apart from a great many raindrops.
The obvious thing was the number of people who were clearly on a mission. With a lustful urge for maximum retail therapy, these folk were determined to let nothing get in the way of their goal; clutching numerous bags plastered with designer shop labels and a disturbingly large number with a large picture of a honed and toned naked male torso on (seems so very wrong when it's being carried by a pre-pubescent girl).
Despite the regular downpours these people were clearly living the dream. Spend spend spend, regardless of whether the purchases were necessary or not, because there was 50 percent off so it would be crazy to not have it, wouldn't it?
Now I'm not one to pay particular attention to children - in fact those who know me will be aware that I'll go to great lengths to avoid the bloody things - but there was one that did catch my attention, and not for any good reason. This girl couldn't have been more than twelve, but she was dressed like a thirty-year-old and a thirty-year-old with plenty of money too. When I looked further and spotted mummy I realised where the kid's influence lay and it made me think.
I know that kids seem to grow up faster these days, but what's with this obsession amongst many of them to be grown ups before they've even given themselves chance to be kids? I know most kids look forward to being adults with all the exciting prospects that brings, like your own money, not living with your parents, going to bed when you like etc, but to forcefully bring about changes in appearance and attitude that are too old for you when you lack the physical and emotional maturity to get away with it is puzzling.
I mean, what kind of image are these kids trying to portray? Take a walk around a city centre and if you pay attention you'll spot no end of examples of this phenomena, and the really odd thing is that they're almost exclusively girls. I've yet to spot an eleven-year-old boy dressed like Richard Hammond.
It's like those weird beauty pageants they have in America where they have girls of about eight done up like a cross between Barbara Cartland and a prostitute and paraded in front of a crowd of people of questionable tendencies. Now we live in a world where we're constantly being told in the news about the latest paedo perv to be arrested, and yet events like that are still allowed to take place which I personally think is just sick.
We're adults for a hell of a long time so kids should be making the most of having no commitments, riding their bikes and climbing trees for as long as they can get away with it.
Young girls dressed like grown-ups isn't the only thing you see when walking through a city centre either and some days you wonder if it's halloween or something. Granted I'm not someone who can pass much judgement on fashion, but it beggars belief some of the sights you see and you wonder how these individuals were able to look at themselves in the mirror before leaving the house and thought "yeah, that looks fine".
Guys with their trousers hanging down with their underpants on show is a look that I always thought weird, but I recently discovered that the origins of this habit is traced back to American prisons where an inmate would wear their trousers low round their arse to indicate the (ahem) availability of their rear for the entertainment of other inmates of a certain persuasion. Since I found this out I can't help but laugh to myself whenever I spot someone wearing their trousers like that.
Teenage girls dressed like trainee sluts, men of fifty-plus dressing like a twenty-year-old, and all sorts of shapes and sizes wearing clothes designed for a completely different shape and size.
Which brings me to the ultimate faux-pas.... fat women in leggings. No. Alright? Just no. It's not big or clever and nobody's impressed so please just stop it OK?