Why I am short of money
As I'm perusing the selection, the assistant says to me, 'Are you looking for anything in particular?'
She thinks I'm going to say, 'No, not really. Just browsing, thanks.' and then she can go off and finish her coffee and Custard Cream behind the counter.
But she has no idea.
'I want one with a silver surround, but a leather strap, which can't be baby blue or pink, and it has to have numbers, not Roman numerals or little sticks, because, I mean, what's the point?, and it has to have the date, because I need to know it in order to write it up on the whiteboard for the students, and the face and strap can't be too big, because my arms aren't very long and the watch would use up too much of my forearm and look like a piece of medical equipment I have to wear for a chronic illness, but it can't be too small, because I'm short-sighted these days and can't see the numbers, and it has to be around £20 to £30. Other than that, no, I don't really mind what I have.'
She smiles, one of those smiles where the mouth moves but the eyes are saying 'Do people like this really have employers who pay them money to go into shops with?', and says, 'Well, I'm sure we can try to help you, Madam.'
She can't. No one can. I suppose if I went into Harrods they would make me one just the way I want, but then charge me £350 for it.
So, in the end, I buy one with a silver strap, not a leather one, and a date that I can only see if I hold the watch so far from my eyes that the actual time goes all fuzzy. It'll be OK as long as I only want time or date: not both.
And I have to pay £65 for it.
Compromise sucks. And costs money.
Why don't I just go on ebay like The Sister is always telling me to?