£150. One. Hundred. And. Fifty. Pounds. That’s the eye-watering cost I incurred calling every River Island in the country, in a bid to source one particular jacket. Oh, and overseas. Yup, that’s right, I rang every store in Ireland, too – AND WHAT OF IT! I could tell you that I didn’t know the calls were being charged at an extortionate rate. I could tell you that I forgot to hang up. I could tell you that Vodafone had made a clerical error (and I bet you’d believe me! Classic Vodafone; amirite?!). But I would be lying. I was of arguably sound mind (‘arguably’ because, well, would *you* telephonically hound every RI in the country? No? I rest my case) and had absolutely, categorically, nobody to blame other than myself. My fanatical-to-a-fault self. Unsurprising news bomb: I am, potentially, the most obsessive person you’ll ever e-meet. I started watching Arrested Development a year ago and I’ve watched all four seasons on a loop ever since (needless to say, I slay AD on Dubsmash). Recently, my boyfriend and I watched, consecutively, the LOTR trilogy (no mean feat for a couple who see each other twenty hours a week) and, moments after the film credits rolled, I yelled “AGAIN, AGAIN!!” like a petulant child demanding to be pushed on the swings; I needed to be in-Viggo-rated all over again (if you know, you know). In a similarly obsessive vein, I ate a family-size Galaxy Salted Caramel bar every single day for three months after marvelling at its arrival in my local supermarché. At uni, I ate fish-sticks solidly for two months. My pals were horrified and bemused in equal measure, uncertain as to whether the onslaught of (very loosely) shrimp-based goods was a result of insanity or financial constraints. They’ll also tell you of the Special K phase, the fish finger phase, the toad in the hole phase and the cheestrings phase. Other phases include: the Jaffa Cake phase, the Twirl phase, the Super Noodle and hot-dog phase (better described as: chop up frankfurters and drop them into your noodles mid-boil phase), the Tesco prawn mayo sandwich phase, I could go on… No, really, I could. Don’t believe me? Okay then: the Greggs sausage roll phase, the pre-made egg-mayo eaten-straight-out-of-the-tub phase, the Maccy D’s chicken mayo burg phase, the stilton phase (probably the phase least appreciated by my housemates).
It’s not that I consume these things in a gluttonous manner, i.e. all the fucking time, it’s that I *only* consume these things. Individually. Exclusively. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. I pine for them. I fancy nothing else. You best believe I was eating fish-sticks all day, every day, BECAUSE I WAS. After peeling the wrapping off those babies for months on end, my fingers started to resemble, and smell like, shrimp. As I type, I have come to the realisation that I’m in the midst of an exclusively sushi phase; problematic for many reasons but predominantly so because THAT SHIT AIN’T CHEAP. It’s weird but, in the incessantly-quoted (by myself, natch) words of R Burgundy, it’s my life. Those around me mutter about the sorry state of my insides and how I’ll “regret it when I’m older”, but my mouth is usually too full up with sausage roll to be able to offer a witty retort. I read once that Pisces were fairly addictive people and I’ve been dining out on that excuse ever since: “E? Oh no, thank you. The minute I start getting involved with that shit, it’s game OH-VER for me, buddy. I’m a Pisces. You know how it is.” (We’re also the most psychic zodiac sign, FYI, so I totally know that you think I’m bat-shit crazy right now.) And clothes. Well, clothes are no exception.
With all that knowledge in your arsenal, let me resume. Where were we? Ah, yes. River Island.
I’d seen a jacket in store a few days earlier. It was leather and it featured some kind of jazzy, gun-metal embellishment. It was fitted and, honestly, it looked like an absolute dream on. I marvelled at it, snuck a peek at the price tag (“Sixty reduced from One Fifty, not bad. Not bad at all.”) and deduced that, in spite of the grand saving, it was still out of my budget. I walked away. What a school-girl error that was. The following day, unable to go myself, I asked my brother to go and get it for me. He went. The jacket wasn’t there. Unsatisfied and distrusting of his shopping skills, I asked another brother to go and get it for me. He went. The jacket wasn’t there. Unsatisfied and distrusting of his shopping skills, I called the store. This phone-call marked the beginning of a seven hour phone session that would see me sat at the kitchen table, piping hot phone pressed fervently against my ear (those things sure do get toasty), assuring my beloved family that the next call “will be the last one; promise! I’ll be chatting up a storm with you guys in NO TIME!”
I never did get my maniacal mitts on that leather finery. What I did get was a phone bill nearly thrice the cost of the jacket, and an experience emblematic of a future that would be riddled with relentlessly, and delusionally, obsessing over a never-ending array of garms. From that day forth, much like a soldier in battle, I never left a piece of clothing behind. I acquired my infamous Meadham Kirchhoff X Topshop coat in a very similar fashion, i.e. hounding, harassing and hauling ass to every Toppers in London. Virtually speaking, I’ve got nine tabs open on my laptop right now, featuring the same pair of boots on several different sites. I refresh each tab religiously to see if the shoes have dropped in price. Obsessive and thrifty.
It’s true what they say about Pisces.