NEW YORK DAY TWELVE: MASSIVE BEDS AND MAD GIRLS

Ahhhhh. That’s nice. After five days in pitch black, cold, crapness, we are in a BIG WARM BED and it’s lush.

Anyway. Here’s day twelve. (Thanks, by the way, for sticking with me, my friends. I got an email through yesterday with the statistics for my website for the last month and was like, say WHAT? You are reading my blog. I love that. Thanks very, very much.)

The Man is a documentary film maker. Word got out that he was in New York during Hurricane Sandy. He was called by about a million TV companies all wanting him to help on their fast-turnaround docs about the storm. He said yes to one of the offers and now I’ve lost him.

Which is fine, actually, because it means I can finally get round to a bit of shopping. Sorry, I mean further research for my novel.

And shopping. The lights are back on in SoHo! I CAN BUY SOME CLOTHES. (I’m not going to apologise for this. I’m helping with the relief effort. Let me buy some clothes.)

Ahh…. clothes. Shopping. SoHo. Yum.

It’s funny; I blogged for Marie Claire for three years and never once talked about fashion, even though my blog was literally laden with flashing links and clever little boxed features inviting me to view the ten best party dresses or winter coats or autumn boots. My blog like an island of filthy language and pointless ramble in the middle of a sleek showcase of fashion writing. And now I’m going to write about fashion.

Oh God. Do you know what, I’m not going to write about fashion. I just can’t.

It will be a truly sad day for me when I start talking about teaming a cute something with a statement other thing. Topping the look off with a pair of high heeled things and an oversized leather other thing. ARGHHH! FUCK OFF! NO!

What I will talk about, however, is the fact that the shop assistants here appear to be on drugs. I think most of them are on speed with a bit of cocaine thrown in, but some are on full-scale MDMA. We’re talking air-punching and screaming and jumping up and down stuff.

I walked into a lovely place called Madewell today. ‘HI HOW ARE YOU!’ yelled the girl nearest the door. I took a deep breath; I know this is what to expect in the States.

‘Great, how are you,’ I said pleasantly. I’m good at this now.

‘LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED ANYTHING!’

‘I will do. Thanks.’

‘UHUH.’

(Americans always say this when you thank them. I find it unnerving.)

I walked three feet across the shop and started stroking lovely jumpers.

‘CAN I GET YOUR SIZE FOR YOU? THESE ARE SO CUTE AREN’T THEY!’

‘Oh, no, it’s ok, I’m just browsing at the moment…’

‘OK COOL AWESOME!’ I swear she clapped her hands excitedly.

Reporting the speech of these trendy shop ladies in capitals does not do justice to the sheer energy and volume (+ hysteria?) of their voices. It’s like every sentence is a stadium-filling anthem. If you’re British, and used to indifference from shop assistants, it’s deeply unsettling. I can only imagine how terrifying it must be for the French.

A minute later, I’ve found a couple of things that I want to try on. ‘LET ME GET YOUR SIZE FOR YOU!’

‘Oh, no, it’s ok, I have it right here, I can-‘

Oh, shite, she’s already grabbed it. ‘SMALL, RIGHT? GREAT!’

I now have two items in my hands and I know what’s coming next.

‘LET ME TAKE THESE FOR YOU SO I CAN GET YOU SET UP IN A FITTING ROOM, OK? SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO CARRY THEM AROUND!’

I cave instantly; it’s pointless arguing. If I don’t give in to her, someone else will get me.

And that’s it, the relationship begins. We are now best friends.

GREAT!!!! MY NAME’S VANESSA! WHAT’S YOURS! ASK ME IF YOU NEED ANYTHING!!!!!’

And now we really are off. I try to find my size in a pile of skirts and she all but rugby tackles me away from them so she can do it for me. And when I eventually do make it to the dressing room it’s like being in their with my best girlfriend, only I don’t know her from a hole in the ground, and, unlike my besties, she is utterly hysterical. Off her nut. Crazy. ‘HOW YOU DOIN’ IN THERE LUCY!’ she shouts every time she walks past. ‘CAN I GET SOME DIFFERENT SIZES FOR YA!’

The ‘ya’ thing seems to be quite common in shops. It’s said in a familiar way, presumably designed to make you feel like you’re on pal terms with them. ‘Let me get that for ya.’ ‘Sure, I’ll go change that for ya.’ I sort of want them to be wearing homburg hats when the ‘ya’ starts.

When I did poke my head out to ask Vanessa for some help, she was standing DIRECTLY OUTSIDE my cubical and she practically cried she was so excited. ‘I’LL GET THAT FOR YA RIGHT NOW!’ she screamed. I swear she leapt over to the jeans table and back again in one movement.

When I left without anything (I like to mull and ponder my clothes purchases these days) she looked suicidal. I felt so awful I came straight back in and spend $150.

They’re smart, these girls.

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2 Responses to NEW YORK DAY TWELVE: MASSIVE BEDS AND MAD GIRLS

  1. Kate Gerrard says:

    Resonates. Not been to NY since I was 15 but I’m still haunted by the sales girl that literally bounced up to me with a ‘HI! HOW’S YOUR DAY GOING?!’

    ‘Arrrrrrrgggghhhh! I’m just looking!’

    Glad you’re getting some shopping done though.

  2. Jeni says:

    Hey Robinson,
    My sister just got back to Edinburgh today. She and her new husband went travelling the world for 3 months after the wedding and were due home last week. Except they were in NYC and then the hurricane hit so they’ve been there till today. At least they got a free Aerosmith gig out of it, which is what you want when there’s no power, hotel rooms or food *lol*. They had it fairly lucky, like you seem to have but i’ll be interested to hear how they found it.
    Enjoy the rest of the stay – start hyper shouting back to the sales assistants! x

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