Sophia Money-Coutts

Back to stuff Vivian didn’t have to worry about hangers. 1:40pm Monday 25th April 2016

A thing about changing room etiquette

I went for a run along the towpath last night. Well, not night exactly but sort of dusk. The stretch between Hammersmith Bridge and Barnes. Because it wasn’t bright daylight, I thought I’d be alright in my oldest running leggings. A black Nike pair which are now so faded and the lycra so thin that it’s like running in a pair of 10 denier tights. Revolting. I could have been had up on an indecent exposure charge. So when I got home, I decided I’d go mad and buy some new kit at lunchtime today.

I was in a peculiarly gung-ho mood for a Monday so I decided to brave Niketown. Normally, I make it a rule not to shop anywhere so dark that you can’t see your own feet. But, sod it, why not. Also it’s a bit drizzly today and Niketown is the closest option to my office.

Whatever. The point of this ramble is that while I was queuing for the changing room, a woman came out of one, handed about 17 sports bras back to the shop assistant, then she gave back all the hangers separately. SEPARATELY. She hadn’t bothered putting any of the bras back on their hangers again. She simply smiled merrily at the assistant, the assistant smiled back. And off she went.

What??? Have I been doing it wrong for the past 20 odd years? Surely, if you go bra shopping, or clothes shopping in general, you are supposed to put your item of clothing neatly back on the hanger again before returning it? And then you smile guiltily and apologise to the shop assistant as you hand back various size 10 dresses on size 12 hangers and vice versa because you couldn’t quite be bothered to match them up. But, you know, you’ve tried, and that’s good enough.

I know we all want to hand the poor shop assistant a pile of clothes turned inside out and the hangers separately because hanging everything up is such a faff, but that’s not the spirit that won the war, is it?

Anyway, I bought two new pairs of leggings. So that’s something. And then I left the other five pairs lying on the floor of the changing room. Just joking. Obviously I spent 15 minutes trying to fold them and clip them back on the hanger so they looked as neat as they did on the shop floor, even though I was so hungry I wanted to eat my own hand.

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