"You are NOT buying that!!!"
"Put it back."
Normally I can think of several things that I would rather do than joining the post-Christmas Oxford Street bargain hunters. Accompanying Robert Mugabe to a Stereophonics gig, for example. However, I have promised that I will go the whole day without moaning. It is my extra-special Christmas present to her.
It is therefore unfortunate that she is being so negative about a rather snazzy T-shirt I have spotted.
"It's really good!"
"Put it back."
It is bright red, and depicts two ladies engaged in a lesbian leather bondage session. I have quite an eye for fashionable clothing and this garment caught my attention immediately.
"Where, precisely, would you wear it?"
"To the village shop," I reply lamely. "And next door."
Her stare could best be described as 'withering'. I explain that these T-shirts are clearly all the rage, and that Selfridges is a very trendy shop indeed, and would only sell artistic stuff and nothing tacky. Indeed, it is a good reflection on how far our society has come that the ladies are empowered to be featured on T-shirts and are not forced to conceal their practises underground.
She forbids me to wear it outside the house. I am both surprised and disappointed by her homophobia.
"It'll be good for wearing onstage," I explain at the checkout.
"When, pray, will you next be going 'onstage'?"
I pay for the garment, feeling good that through my action we are one small step closer towards being a more equal and tolerant Britain.