Last Saturday Kat took me shirt shopping.

I need to point out that I don’t usually go shirt shopping with Kat. In fact, truth be told, I never usually buy shirts. I am not a shirt type of guy.

I am a t-shirt and shorts type of guy. Jeans if it is really cold. I don’t generally do shirts. Except at funerals. Or when I want to impress someone. In fact, Kat sometimes reminds me of our second-ever date when I was wearing a shirt (in order to impress her) and I greeted her with the immortal line “Last time I wore this was because my great granddad was dead.”

The reason that I needed to buy one now however was because we have got a wedding coming up.

‘Where are they getting all these mad new-fangled ideas about dress-codes?’ I moaned.

“What are you talking about?” Kat asked. “You always wear shirts to weddings.”

‘I have no recollection of ever wearing a shirt to a wedding.’

“That is because you very rarely remember anything from weddings. Because you always get drunk. And then you dance with the bride’s mother and then you get really emotional and talk about how beautiful it all is and how all the universe needs is love sweet love.”

‘I have no idea what you are talking about.’

I wasn’t in the best of moods anyway. A friend of ours had invited us over to watch 300 and at this rate we were going to miss half of it. And I love 300. Kat’s argument of “You’ve-seen- 300-a-million-times-and-the-wedding-is-literally-next-week- also-you’ve-got-it-on-Blue-ray-so-just-watch-it-tonight” was, I’ll admit, sound, but still didn’t stop me having a
little sulk.

I picked out a shirt (my second choice because apparently Hawaiian ones don’t count as wedding attire) and decided to try it on.

The problem was, there didn’t seem to be any fitting rooms. “There are fitting rooms on the fourth floor and on the bottom floor” laughed the sales assistant, who had seemingly read my mind.

Perplexed as to why you would only need to try clothes on if you were buying them on the fourth or bottom floors, I got into a lift and went up to floor number four.

Where all the fitting rooms were full.

“You’ll have to wait” said the Sales Assistant who had somehow found his way to the fourth floor too. Was he following me?

I couldn’t wait. I had 300 to watch.

So, I hurried back to the lift and headed towards the bottom floor.

Where all the fitting rooms were full too.

I was starting to get desperate.

Then it hit me. Why didn’t I just think outside the box? Or inside the box as it were.

The lift.

Because to all intents and purposes, a lift is a kind of a fitting room itself isn’t it? A private little box with a mirror in. What more do you need? I got in. By some miracle I was alone.

I realised that this could work. I could try the shirt on right here, right now. That way we could get out of the store and get to 300 before I missed too much. I was thinking like a real warrior! Excited by the plan, I popped off my t-shirt and went to grab my new shirt, when all of a sudden…the lift door opened.

And everyone waiting to get into lift, including Kat and the Sales assistant (again), saw me standing there with my shirt off.

In my defence I had very little time to think. And my mind was swimming with thoughts of the movie 300. Because if I had had time to think and I wasn’t thinking about 300, I probably would not have done what I did do.

Which was to scream ‘This is Sparta!’ at the top of my lungs and then saunter out of the lift and go straight to counter to pay. Still topless.

And that is why I am now going to the wedding wearing a shirt that is two sizes too small.

But at least I saw most of 300.


© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – Steve Hili