I have Philip James to thank for this. I finally have a name for that affliction which strikes me following a shopping expedition. Apparently it is called "Post Traumatic Shopping Disorder".
I do not enjoy shopping. I especially detest shopping for rear paw coverings - shoes.
The problem was that the shoes I had bought earlier this year, far from being the sturdy things I had been promised, have a hole in them. I have managed, yet again, to put my toes through them. No, don't ask. I just do it.
The Senior Cat was teaching his young magician so I took the opportunity to prowl off to buy something new. This involves putting the tricycle on the train and going in search of a shop which sells such things.
I am not fussed about the look. I want something that I can actually wear. Even my good "going out" paw coverings are what I can actually wear. I did tell the shop assistant that I would draw the line at flourescent pink trainers but if it had to be lime green or bright blue I might just...
She produced pink. No. She produced something rather too large. No. She looked at something I knew I would never keep on my paws - and even she shook her head.
I prowled along the shelf. She dug into boxes.
"These?" she said at last. They are mostly white with a minimal amount of purple "flash". I try them on. They fit. They feel as if they might not fall off if properly laced and tied.
We look at each other.
"They're leather," she tells me, "And they're reduced."
Right. She knows how to sell me shoes after all. I buy them.
Two people I know speak to me. They think I am there for the fun of it. I see my aunt. She knows otherwise.
I go off to catch the train. There are a pile of noisy boys and bikes on the train already. There is also an acquaintance of mine wondering whether he and his wheelchair are going to fit on the train. It is me or him in the space available. I know his wife has to pick him up at the other end so I tell him and the transit officer that I will wait for the next train. It isn't in the least what I want to do as the trains are an hour apart at weekends.
I wait. I knit. I read. I wait. I get on the train. I pedal home at the other end. I get sent "virtual tea" by an internet friend when I prowl in to check the e-mail.
And, although I hate shoe shopping, I sit there and think how very lucky I am because Post Traumatic Shopping Disorder, is really one of relief it is over. It is not like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which can take years to recover from - if you recover at all.
It's why I was prepared to wait for that hour. My acquaintance in the wheelchair would have found that wait very, very stressful. He also suffers from PTSD.