(I need quite a bit of equipment for the new job (they only supply a shirt and, whilst they don’t expect you to outlay for extra stuff, I’ve been doing this job long enough to know what will make my life easier) and today was the day for obtaining it.
I hate shopping so I’d previously asked my husband to come with me and he, sensible chap, had researched the shops where we could obtain the necessary items and narrowed down the destination to an area where three were clustered. He knows my limitations, thankfully.
I needed new boots, a hat, some quick-drying material shorts/pants, gaiters and a twisted rope personal washing line. The first store we went into had a lot of shoes/boots but I couldn’t decide on any of them and I tried on a lot. The ones that felt bedroom slipper comfortable didn’t have much ankle support and looked like sneakers; I do understand that there is a market for lightweight hiking shoes but I need to present a professional appearance and the last thing I want to do is to have my passengers turn up in sneakers simply because they thought they saw me wearing them.
The ones that looked great and had the ankle support were heavier and much more expensive. I’ve had boots supplied as part of a job before so I assumed they were a tax deductible expense: apparently not, according to my accountant. He says it is because I could wear them outside work . I pointed out that I wasn’t marching over extreme terrain in my everyday life (if I suffer, I want to get paid) and noted that sunscreen, sunglasses and hat (all of which I could and WOULD use outside of work) were covered. Apparently the Tax Department isn’t known for logical thought.
Anyway, the best boots in this shop were nearly five hundred dollars. The sales girl talked them up a lot but she didn’t really comprehend why I was resistant. We are really broke right now, what with me not working since September; no fucking way could I justify spending that much on a pair of footwear. So, we moved on.
The next shop had much less attentive staff so we moved into the shoe department and I tried on a random pair that had caught my eye; they looked fairly professional, were waterproof and relatively lightweight and, more importantly, they felt good on my feet. I immediately said that I would take them and then we looked at the price ticket – around $300 cheaper. Win!
From there, onto looking for pants/shorts. They needed to be lightweight enough to dry overnight; neutral colour; lots of pockets. I looked at one particular brand because it was on sale, only to discover that the women’s version was about $20 more expensive. I tried on both but in the end went with the male ones: they didn’t try to emphasize my arse; they were longer; they had lots more pockets in them.
(Digressing slightly to ask why clothes designers of female ranges don’t want to give us pockets? Is it because we are supposed to be carrying a bag that we shove things into? We aren’t worthy enough to have bulk pockets? We don’t do things that require tools for pocketing?
So, boots and pants. We couldn’t find the three other things I needed but, by that time, we had already been to four stores and my husband could see that I was all shopped out. Boots and pants are enough really, and if they aren’t, I can always buy the lower priced items out in Alice Springs. A relatively painless shopping experience, all things considered.