Chapter 12 - Shopping in hell

Shopping in Hell

Language level: upper-intermediate


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Today I did something I hate. Why? Because I love my woman and when you love someone you must sometimes make sacrifices.

Today I made a big sacrifice. I went shopping with Concettina for baby clothes. 
Women like to shop. This is something men can never understand. Something we never want to understand.

She didn’t need me to go with her, but she did need my wallet, so I went. We went to a new shopping centre in the city. It has an incredible number of shops, more than 200.

Zombie

When we entered and Conci saw all the shops, she almost fainted, and so did I!
 She tried on jumpers, skirts, shoes and many other things, while I just nodded sadly at other men there who knew my pain. 
I walked like a zombie while Conci ran from shop to shop, singing happily. 
A smiling shop assistant saw me and asked: “Can I help you?” I looked at her and said: “No, dear, nobody can help me now, it’s too late.”

Then I asked her a question: “What time do you close?”
 Her smile immediately disappeared and, with demonic eyes and in a profound, satanic voice, she said: “We never close!” Or maybe she said, “Six o’clock,” but my brain remembers the satanic version.

An old problem

Conci tried on some new jeans and asked me if her bottom looked big in them.
 I wanted to say, “No, dear, they look very good on you,” but, when I opened my mouth, I just cried like a child.
 “Please can we go home now?” I said.
 “Is my bottom big in these jeans or not?!” she shouted. 
I fell to my knees, “No, dear, no, noooo!”

When we finally arrived at the baby clothes shop, I was half dead, but then I saw my salvation! A small dark room in the corner.
 When nobody was looking I ran into the room and sat in the dark, hiding.

Another world

“Welcome,” I heard someone say. I lit a match and looked around the room.
 There were four other men on the floor hiding like me. One of them had bought a dummy and was sucking it for comfort.

We all told our terrible stories, while drinking rum. It was so nice to speak to other men who were suffering like me, so nice to be understood. 
Gianni told how he had only come to the shopping centre to buy a new shirt, but his wife had forced him to look at tables and kitchen chairs for more than two hours!

Poor Pino

Pino told us how his wife had forced him to try on six pairs of trousers and how, incredibly, she hadn’t liked any of them, so he had suffered the nightmare for NOTHING!

Then I heard her call. Everybody froze.
“John!” It was Conci, calling me back to the Shopping Nightmare from Hell. 
The other men embraced me and wished me well.
 When I returned into the light of the shop, Conci was holding some baby clothes.

She asked my opinion and, in a moment of madness, I lost my mind:
 “Why are you asking me? You don’t listen to me anyway! You will buy what you want to buy and my opinion makes no difference! I am going to the bar and I’ll wait for you there!” 
After I had finished shouting, I could hear applause coming from the secret hiding place. 
I went to the bar to wait for her and when she came back with her bags, she said: “I am never bringing you shopping again!” 
I nearly cried with happiness!


Glossary

baby clothes - vestitini per neonati
wallet - portafoglio
she almost fainted - quasi svenne
jumpers, skirts, shoes - maglioni, gonne, scarpe
I nodded sadly - facevo tristi cenni
pain - dolore
brain - cervello
bottom - sedere
I fell to my knees - caddi in ginocchio
hiding - nascondendomi
dummy - ciuccio
for comfort - per consolarsi
nightmare - incubo


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