Retail Therapy

Yesterday I bought myself an uncharacteristically pink jumper.

I am not really a pink person. I can probably count on one hand the number of pink items in my wardrobe, and they are all varying versions of “nude”. ‘Girlie‘ isn’t really my style, partly because I was raised to think ‘girlie’ was a synonym for ‘simpering halfwit’ and partly because now that I know that’s not the case I feel… unworthy. Floral, ruffled, pink things with bows are for delicate, graceful butterfly people who can braid their own hair and wear white without getting stained in the first five minutes, not galloping whirlwinds of disaster who wear black to disguise the mess and faceplant in public places with startling frequency.

I usually stick to jeans and white/grey/black because anything more complicated than that necessitates the intervention of people like Olga.

And we know how that turned out…*


Yesterday I spent the afternoon with a good friend, an old friend, a friend who time and circumstance has distanced from me. She now lives on the other side of the world, and has a husband and a baby and a life that I barely know. We talk, but I miss her. I see her over skype, but I miss her. When I walk into Penneys, I don’t have her there to tell me that I definitely need those fifteen things that I definitely don’t need. When I go to Butlers and get a free chocolate with my coffee, it tastes a little less sweet for not having her there with me.

So it was strange seeing her again after three years; I felt distressed about missing so many of her milestones, but delighted to have her back again. The emotional tumble-dryer in the pit of my stomach propelled me into a shop, where I blindly walked the aisles trying to sort out my feelings.

In Penneys I spotted the aforementioned pink jumper. This shapeless chenille cloud the shade of mass-produced raspberry sorbet made me smile. I tried it on and looked in the mirror. I looked like a fuchsia version of Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka.

It made me smile.

I bought the ludicrously bright jumper, and it kept me smiling all through the day. Even after I realised that it was leaving a fine but determined dusting of pink fluff all over my black jeans. Even after I realised that the fluff was relentless and probably uncontrollable. Even after I met up with Scrubs and his eyebrows shot up into his hairline.

“That’s… bright,” he said. He side-eyed it, probably worried that looking at it straight on might strike him blind. “You look like a marshmallow.”

I looked down at myself and plucked at the hem. “I think I look like a raspberry.”

Scrubs nodded slowly, considering this comparison.

“Mmm,” he eventually said. “Maybe a raspberry marshmallow…”

That made me smile too. I handed over €10 for a jumper that is high-visibility enough to be used for cycling on country roads, and that ridiculous purchase lifted my mood through the rest of the day. I guess that’s why they call it retail therapy. Sometimes all you need is a break from routine, even if that’s as banal or minor as reaching for a pink jumper instead of yet another grey one.

Sometimes all you need is some time as a happy raspberry marshmallow. 

*TL;DR: surprisingly well, actually!



  1. I think that a photo of the aforementioned jumper would certainly embellish this post. 😉

    1. I second that!

    2. Perhaps but I can’t promise it won’t leave fluff all over your screen. It sheds THAT much!

      1. A risk I’m willing to take 😁

      2. It’s a risk that I’m willing to take. 😉

  2. Leave to a guy to say you look like a marshmallow. We really are sensitive creatures, aren’t we? 😃😃

    1. It’s fine. I mean, who doesn’t like marshmallows? Practically a compliment!

      1. Hahaha! I like your attitude! 😃👍🏻

  3. 50 % of my wardrobe is pink. And I wear that for nearly the exact same reason you bought your jumper: every moment from when I first see it, hand it to the cashier and every day I wear it, it makes me happy. It makes me happy, because it’s a fun colour. Part of me enjoys it even more, because most people will look at me, and think I look tacky.

    I’m not arguing that the colour was the only or even the most important factor. Doing something different just to do something different is a rush I know very well too. 🙂 But it could have been a bit of a factor.

    PS: I have absolutely no grace. I get stained almost instantly, either from food, drying my hands or sitting on the ground. Being delicate and girly is not a requirement. 😉

    1. Maybe I do need to lean into the hot pinks. I think pale pink is a little too high-maintenance for me but once we hit the if-I-eat-a-jam-donut-and-it-spills-you’d-never-know area of pink then I’m golden!

      1. Hot pink is best pink 😀

    1. … to make the boys wink!

  4. you may never wear it again but those kind of buys are always the best buys!

    1. I wore it again! It shed again. EVERYWHERE. I am like a pink fluff storm in that thing. It may need to just chill in a safe place until I can figure out how to make it stay…

      1. I could give you a 101 ways to stop shedding but that wouldn’t be too much fun!

  5. I used to own a pink, cotton button-down collar, cotton shirt I bought from Brooks Brothers. I wore it with light blue slacks and tan sport coat and pastel tie. I loved the look. Ha! I got the same reaction from one or two of other faculty as violetonlineisonline. 🙂 Of course no body told me I looked like a marshmallow. Maybe they were being nice! Ha!

    1. I mean that sounds like a nice shirt to me! What happened to the shirt? Did you wear it to threads?

      1. Yep! But we’re planning a summer trip to Japan, so maybe it’s time to start thinking about refreshing my cool summer wardrobe! a.k.a. buying stuff. Ha!

  6. “Sometimes all you need is some time as a happy raspberry marshmallow.” That about sums it up! 

    1. Who doesn’t like marshmallows?!

  7. You sound just like me lol. Quinn your posts really make my day.

  8. I have space in my wardrobe filled with things I have never/rarely worn that were bought on a whim as a form of therapy – that jumper sounds right up my street, but I’m not really a pink wearer either!

    1. I think that’s pretty cool! I need a cubby hole that’s just impulse smile buys. So far it’s the holographic rainbow runners, the pink jumper, the unicorn slippers, the slip dress that makes me look like The Little Matchstick Seller and potentially my furry legwarmers!

  9. That was wonderful! I hope your time with Prodigal Friend is was delightful as that jumper 🙂

    1. …and as funny as my typos. Stupid fat fingers…..

    2. Hahaha! It was pretty nice. I didn’t mention that on my way to meet her I forgot to get off the bus and terrified the bus driver when I appeared out of the dark after he’d pulled into the depot…… Less wonderful.

      1. Oh my god – back when I was a grammar school bus driver, that’s how I met my first girlfriend! (She may sound angry about it now, but without that experience she never would have gotten to know the sisterhood that is the #METOO movement. You’re welcome, babe!)

        1. HA!

  10. I’m the opposite. The older I get, the fewer bright colors I’ve been buying for my wardrobe. I guess my mother’s advice about being practical has finally started to seep through.

    1. I definitely gravitate to black, white, grey and navy these days so bright colours seem almost unnatural at this point…! I do find it difficult to dress myself on the best of days though so the limited colour palette is more to help with that than any actual preference for those colours….

  11. I want a raspberry pink jumper! Sounds beautiful x

    1. Well you don’t want THIS one because it will turn everything you own a hazy shade of fluff pink, but I definitely wholeheartedly recommend you get a different one! 😀

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