My husband is a man.
Therefore it goes without saying that he does not like change. Particularly not when it comes to buying clothes.
He will buy several identical pairs of cords and wear them until they disintegrate. He will then curse M&S for no longer selling exactly the same cords 20 years later.
So it was with some trepdiation that I ventured into Austin Reed, clutching a £20 voucher (courtesy of the Daily Telegraph). Surely I could get him a nice packet of socks for £20.
I inspected them. No: they were not exactly the same as the M&S ones. Quite apart from anything else, this would lead to panic about mis-matching pairs. Then I look at the voucher’s small print. Excludes socks.
Well, obviously it does as they are the only things under £20.
I turn to skulk away.
But then I see them. Cotton jumpers in a fabulous shade of blue – a snip at £20 with the voucher.
I think of the current Jumper Collection. There is a definite theme: woollen, orangey-grey and patterned. If, that is, the pattern hasn’t been eaten by moths.
Yes, I think. Time for a change!
At home, I put the bag in a prominent position on the kitchen table, where it is ignored.
“I bought you a nice new jumper,” I declare.
He looks suspicious.
“It’s blue,” I say helpfully. “Blue cotton.”
“Yes. Nice cotton.”
He retreats behind his newspaper.
I move the bag upstairs and put it on the bed. He sniffs around it cautiously, but doesn’t open it. My guinea pigs do this too when something new is introduced to their cage. After a bout of suspicious sniffing, they then try to eat it. They are also male. Hmm.
Three days on, the bag is still unopened. But I know him. In a month’s time, he will try it on. Then he will say he is so glad that he thought of buying it. Then he will buy four more identically the same and will wear them for the next 200 years and will be sad when Austin Reed no longer make them.
Not that men are predictable or anything.