A better late than ever.

Weird excuse for my lateness at work today.

It all started out so well. My girlfriend left early and I managed to fall back to a restful sleep. 8am: Alarm went off and I rose with it. Fed the cat, took my pills, prepped breakfast, stretched and got dressed. Fitter, happier, more productive. Making good time, I strode (you bet your arse I was striding) out the door ten minutes earlier than usual. Jogging to work, playing Pokémon Go, I yet again made good time. Considering I had to stop to take over gyms and wait for lights (/my ever-crashing app. Probably once every five minutes), today was going swell. I arrived at my physio and took a shower, as I normally do after my runs. There’s no shower at work and arriving sweaty isn’t a viable option. My physio is right across the road and, after being such a frequent customer, they don’t care if I shower there. After washing off the stink I reached into my bag for clean clothes and came up short. Pants? Yes. Underwear? Yes. Socks? Yes. Shirt?

Walking into the office garbed in a sweaty dinosaur shirt was not an option. No matter how great the design is.

It was 9.20am. I was early still. Working downtown, I tried sussing out the best place I could get something I’d actually wear after today. Hudson’s Bay? Why? So I could buy a $50 shirt reduced from $150? There were a bunch of cheap odds and ends stores with virtually disposable clothing, but that didn’t sound enticing. I couldn’t see the dollar store (much as they have my enduring affection) having non-scratchy fabrics. H&M it would have to be. I’ve got a weird body shape and they stock clothing that fits it. My regular selection of plain work shirts already comes from there, so why not add to the collection? It was perfect.

Only issue was it didn’t open until 10am. What was I gonna do in the mean time? Drop my things off at work? Go in and get set up in the hopes that nobody noticed my odd attire, then duck out to grab something fresh? Phone a friend and ask for something delivered? Get a coffee?

Choosing the only realistic option, I walked around playing Pokémon a little longer and got myself a flat white. If I’m gonna be late I may as well make the best of it, I thought. I strolled around Yorkville and sat on things for a bit. There are many differently shaped stone structures in Yorkville. I used a good cross section of them. I trawled r/askreddit for mindless amusement. Stumbled upon a thread about the best “edgy teenage” things people had done. So many long trench coats and claims of emotional voids/psychosis. Cringe all the way down.

I got to H&M about ten minutes early and just waited. The woman behind the counter caught my eye and let me in early. I explained my situation and dashed downstairs to pick something out. An assortment of drab grey colours met my gaze. Guess summer is ending after all. I grabbed three shirts in a haze and checked them out in front of a mirror. Fine. Acceptable. I found the one that best met my bare minimum standards and strode (just because I was late, didn’t mean I’ve give up the chance for a good stride) up to the counter, shirt still on my back. I plucked off the tab and handed it to the staff member who already knew the situation. With a quick exchange (“I guess you know this means it’s final sale?”) she scanned me through and I was out the door afterwards. Arriving at my desk I discovered that, well, it was Monday. Practically everyone was late anyway. So any kind of disaster upon my arrival was thankfully avoided. Plus I’ve been enjoying my comfy new shirt all day.

Though that stitch in time didn’t save shit.

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