So this was completely my fault.

I was off to watch Billy Oceanwho was at London Palladium tonight and yes, I could have stayed at the Plantation past 4 O’clock but, for what? Instead I decided to pop into Oxford Street. As I’m on a new savings budget (yeah, I’m not really sure what this means but I think it just means avoid Selfridges) I avoid Selfridges and go to Debenham’s instead. Part of this was because I wanted to check out their bikinis and partly because I really felt bad about the brand being in financial trouble. I’d abandoned them for way too long.

Somehow, and don’t ask me how I end up in the shoe section trying on heels that are likely to give me vertigo and stumbling around the place. An African auntie spots me and drags me around the widefit section looking for a size 8 for her because her feet are tired. I don’t know why my face says I’m willing to help but she’s Africa and an Auntie so I can’t say no. I’m facing my own water retention shoe fit struggle so maybe I fell her pain.

Then I decide on the 4 pairs I’m taking home with me (don’t judge) and ask the young Asian guy to get me the other shoe. He tells me that he’ll leave them at the  till then disappears for ages. I go to the till after a last check to make sure I’ve not left anything in the shop which should go home with me but y shoes aren’t there.

The till operator is an older black woman who decides to go hunt him down. I’m slightly concerned at how much glee she has in her eyes as she states that he’s been sulking all day! Huh? She tracks him and my shoes down and then explains that he’s just come back from holiday. I explain I’m just about to go on holiday and she asks me if I want to open an account.

Now this is where I fucked up. Recently the same thing happened at M&S where I got 10% off and a Sparkles Card so I assumed it was the same thing. But then Sister Patricia as we will call her starts asking me how much I earn and shit? For a fucking store card? I know Debenhams are in financial trouble but this seems rather extreme.

She tells me about her grandkids and asks about my holiday. I’m late for a Nandos but she doesn’t have her glasses on so this is going to take a while. I tell her I’m taking myself away for a few days and she fit bumps me. I realise that this is outside of the usual bonding / customer service and B*cky is side eying us hard.

We go through the process and finally she presses a button as I stand there feeling violated by all these questions. YES AUNTIE PATRICIA!! I’m single with no kids and way too much disposable income. Fuck!  Let’s be clear. Patricia doesn’t know how to use her inside voice.

Computer says no and she has to make a call. ‘This happens a lot when you earn too much’, she says pointedly at me. Er…..ok. Next time I’ll lie .

They clear me for my store card and then she leans over and says….’you’ve been approved for £5000!’

So this was a credit card? She says yes, that it’s an account. Me I’m still confused. So it’s not a  store card but no,  Granny Patricia tells me that she clearly said account. Sigh

As I’m preparing to leave she asks me how I’m getting home. Dear god, I don’t have a car to declare on my phone. I tell her I’m off to see Billy Ocean and she starts in on how she loved him. She asks me how much the tickets are and to be honest I’m too embarrassed to tell her so say, it’s the start of the #BikiniBirthday. Ancestor Patricia high fives me and I see her white colleagues looking on in wonder. Whatever, she’s giving me props for living my life. I’m giving her whatever store related points she gets for signing people up to a card they never wanted.

Now I’m going to have to shop a lot at Debenhams. Sigh. Everyone knows I’m more of a John Lewis Lass. But technically it means I didn’t spend any money today, right?

Oh and I also bumped into a tinder date ex but, that’s a whole other story for another time. I have to try on these shoes again and hope the swelling has gone down.

© Chelsea Black 2017

Chelsea Black is a writer. Romantically seeking her Fubo (future boyfriend) she often gets distracted by misadventures. She is currently working on her second book, first baby (sperm to be confirmed) and first real career. Chocolate and cocktails are food groups