What are sunny Saturdays for if not to take two reluctant teenagers into town to buy jeans?
Today was possibly the sunniest, warmest, summeriest day we’ve had so far this year. I know this isn’t saying much but still it was great to feel warmth for a change. Just for a while.
People were lazing around on the Meadows, barbecuing burgers, playing games, reading or just sucking in those rare rays. We watched them from the bus. They looked happy. Possibly happier than we were.
I suppose it might not have helped that, on the way to the bus stop, we stopped at the barbers and got Mark to trim Robert’s hair. It needed it. It had recently grown thick and bushy and was beginning to cover his eyes.
Robert hates getting his hair cut. James does too actually. Today though James escaped since, for some reason this month, his hair seems to have grown more slowly than his brother’s.
Luckily Mark knows us well and reassures Robert that he will definitely NOT be using the electric razor to tidy up the back, and yes, he hasn’t forgotten that he mustn’t use any gels, mousses or products, other than water.
What a relief it is when folk understand how important these seemingly little things are for our AS buddies.
Anyway, eventually it was done and we made a dash for the number 11 heading into town, and as it turned out the grumpiest bus driver of all time.
As we got on board James was stopped and asked something that neither he nor I caught. James stared blankly at the driver, waiting for clarification so I intervened and, assuming the man was querying his age, reassured him that James was indeed still only fifteen and therefore yes he did still qualify for a child’s fare.
“You need ID. No one will believe you’re only fifteen,” he said gruffly.
“Yes, he has ID for that very reason,” I replied politely, “Would you like to see it?”
“No” he replied, “But you need ID or the drivers won’t let you on,” he repeated.
” Yes” I said between gritted teeth, “He is very tall for his age, that’s why we made sure he always has ID with him. Would you like to see it?”
The driver shook his head and reluctantly let us on the bus. I gave him a Paddington Hard Stare as we walked past. I think it had no effect whatsoever.
The jeans shop people were very nice and helpful but nevertheless it was here that we discovered the awful truth. No one makes trousers in James’s size. He needs a 30″ waist with an extra long leg. Unfortunately extra long-legged people only come with a size 34″ waist or bigger. Did you know that?
So James had to make do with a 32″ waist in a long leg, which he’ll need to wear low down on his hips so they don’t look too short. They were in the sale at least.
The boys were remarkably chilled out about the jeans buying once we got to the shop. I was very impressed and relieved. I’d like to believe it was simply because they love their old mother so much that they decided to help her out. It could possibly have been because I promised them the next stop would be to the GAME shop though.
Out of desperation we bought James the slightly too short jeans and found another pair which weren’t too short, for Robert. Then, coming good on my promise, it was off to GAME.
We spent what felt like a year there, while the boys enthusiastically and methodically rummaged through every pre-owned PC game in the place, looking for bargains. Meanwhile I stood by the door in the bored-but-patient-mothers section, trying to look interested whenever one of them appeared to show me another seemingly identical game they were considering buying.
Games finally chosen the boys queued at the tills to pay. In an ironic twist, the till-guy decided James didn’t look old enough to buy the game he wanted and asked to see ID.
The poor dude just can’t win can he?
So that was today’s adventure. We made it into town and back again, we have jeans, we have tidy hair (some of us) and we have proved to the world, twice, that James is in fact a rare individual: a tall, slim teenager with remarkably long legs.
It is nice to be special.