I wandered into a vintage dress store in King Street where a girl of about 17 was trying on a fantastic and massive skirt. She was there with her mother who, with the shop owner, was trying to find a top to go with the skirt. Her mother was rather young, in her early 40s maybe, but it could have even been late 30s. Her head was shaved on either side with the shiny black hair on top plaited to sit along her skull. She wore a grey shirt and black bum bag hung across her body in the style Kim Kardashian has been wearing lately. What I am trying to convey is, she was cool.
The mother and the shop owner held up option after option to go with the skirt, each of which the girl politely declined. Her mother grew more and more frustrated as she and the owner dug through the shop holding up random shirts and even dresses they said could double as tops.
“What would I know, I’m just your mother,” she said rolling her eyes at another rejection.
“And what would I know, I’m just a shop owner,” the owner said sharply. I caught my giggle in my mouth but I do love passive aggressive customer service, it brings a bit of humanity to the transaction.
Finally the girl agreed to try on a velvet black long sleeved top with frills. She put it on with the skirt and when she walked out of the change room even I squealed.
“You look amazing!” I couldn’t help myself but then I immediately wondered if I was young enough for my opinion to matter to her. Probably not.
Her mother also loved the outfit and the shop owner applauded and then, incredibly, started weeping.
“Oh to be young and beautiful again,” she said, hands clasped to her chest, with tears running down her face. I was so surprised I rudely stared at her and she turned to me.
“Who said ‘youth us wasted on the young’? I thought it was Oscar Wilde but a man told me I was wrong.”
“Oh, I thought it was Oscar Wilde too.”
“No, this man knew what he was talking about, we are wrong.”
I left the shop owner weeping with the girl and edged out of the shop.
My friend told me she was going to Ireland last month.
“Oh, they are having their best summer since the 1970s there,” I said.
Deadpan, she replied “yeah, isn’t that because of the abortion referendum?”
What to read:
Jonathan Gold was an extraordinary food writer and his obituary is a reminder that nowhere is ordinary, if you look hard enough
Accidentally causing a death is understood to be both meaningless and overwhelmingly consequential
This Clickhole about seven foetuses who live in a microwave is hysterical, but perhaps only for the silly and filthy among you
Beyonce said FUPA in Vogue, and it honestly made me feel better about mine
I already love this series Guardian Australia is doing on men who take paternity leave and/or are the primary carer for their children