There was a period in my mid-teenage years when I’d get the bus into town every Saturday. The guitarist in my band worked in his parents’ shop, and members of the band and friends would meet there and “hang out”.
It was a little clothes shop, or as they were called at the time, a “boutique”. A fashion emporium. We’d sit around, ogle the female customers, drink tea and get stoned sniffing dry-cleaning fluid. I’d forgotten until just this moment, but I had a crush on the guitarist’s elder, red-headed sister, who would come to the shop sometimes.
I can’t remember if I ever actually “helped” in the shop, or served customers. I have a vague suspicion that I might have, but that doesn’t seem very plausible, given that I was such a shy and awkward youth (you’ll be surprised to hear). Somehow, selling clothes seems like an inherently camp occupation, and you need a bit of style and self-confidence to carry that off. Oh, get me and my butchness.
Unlike Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap (“what size do you wear, sir?”), I don’t think I’d be very good working in a shop today: too little patience with idiots. In fact, the things I know about, cars, computers and musical instruments, would probably suffer a higher percentage of annoying idiots than any other products. So I’ll just stick to being a customer.