Fashion Quarter Mindsets

Welcome to a new, occasional contributor.  This is a short story inspired by a sign in a Limerick shop window.


Limerick fashion quarter

Browsing in a boutique, you feel a tap on your shoulder.  The proprietor whispers ‘ your husband called… he said you can buy anything you want’.

The wrongness echoes in your ears.   It takes some time to sink in because you’re single, own your own company and live in the 21st century.

Looking around, as he swaggers off, you see his staff giggle.  Its not the first time that line has been rolled out.  Its usually gets a laugh.  Isn’t that why he printed it out and stuck on the boutique window himself?

But you’re not laughing as you fall in step and return the tap. ‘Excuse me, but, what did you just say to me’?

There seems to be genuine confusion. ‘Sorry love?’

‘Sorry? Why would my husband call, and what for again?’

Both staff now look nervous.  This is not the tone used around here.  Not in this boutique.  This is the fashion district in Limerick City.  Doesn’t she know this?  They look at each other, their thoughts the same ‘ I don’t know her either’.

Sensing the reaction of the staff, the boss stares.  Quickly they become busy straightening shop things on the counter, two faces reddened from a chastising scowl.

Shark smiling, his priority becomes face- saving.  Is he obliged to answer some sort of a customer who seems vaguely familiar?

‘ Well now…’ he nearly says ‘love’ but stops this time.

You match the smile but are not in any mood to be blindsided by the vaguest of platitudes, nor are you angry enough to be provoked. You are relaxed enough to repeat the question which hangs in the room alongside clothes you will never buy.

The boss is silent neither smiling nor frowning, heels rocking, ignoring his swinging arms and sweating palms as, hiding her mobile, one of the staff begins to dial the shop phone.  It rings and allows the boss to raise a ‘just one second love’ finger to you.   The staff smile at each other relishing the drama of this cute call.

As always the day is too short for this carry on.  You start to leave but not before catching the eye of the staff member who didn’t think to throw the lifebuoy to the shop phone.  She doesn’t appear happy.

The boss slowly puts down his phone. He is aware that you are now outside with your phone raised to photograph the printout on the window.

Later, before the monthly City Council meeting, a colleague reminds you about an upcoming event to promote plans for the Limerick fashion district.

You look at the picture in your phone and wonder, if you were married would your husband be the type of person who would call a boutique on your behalf?




24 thoughts on “Fashion Quarter Mindsets

  1. “The Fashion Quarter”. Absolute bollox, and I’d nearly go in to this shop to have a go off whoever runs it. I’m surprised they don’t have “The Financial Quarter” signs up town as well. Or “The Burger Quarter”. Posh Wank!

  2. Could the notice not be taken for what it is, an attempt at humour? As bad an attempt as it may be I don’t think it meant to cause offence.

    The sexes are equal yet different, lets celebrate the difference and not be so quick to take offence where none was intended.

    I don’t care

  3. That should read

    I don’t care what they call the area as long as it brings people into the city centre and creates / saves lobs.

  4. The sign looks like some thought went into it. It is offensive as it suggests that there is support given to an antiquated mindset where shopping can only be activated on the whim of the ‘husband’. Its highly unlikely that an other ’boutique’ elsewhere in another ‘Fashion Quarter’ would give such a sign prominence. Because of how that quote is framed any customer leaving the shop can possibly appear as being -in what used to be referred to as- ‘kept”. That does not appear to be positive. If it is a private joke referring to people who shop in the Quarter why make it public?

  5. Ah build a bridge and get over if for fecks sake. we are becoming so bloody PC in this country we will be a generic yellow pack race of german lab rats if we are not careful.
    Grow a sense of humor (and I was going to say a pair of balls oooppps)

  6. Its just a joke, a bad joke but a joke none the less.

    The guy has an old fashioned sense of humour, which is fine, because its an old fashioned shop with old fashioned customers.

    Chin up, and go to TopShop, everyone can relax

  7. I’m not sure what to think about Seamus’s piece, but at the same time, I don’t know what “just a joke” means.

    The people are entitled to put anything they want in their window, within reason, even something utterly stupid. As far as I can see, this post isn’t condemning them for it, just riffing on the antiquated ideas behind it.

  8. The clothing in the window is very conservative 1960’s in style, not exactly à la mode so maybe the sign in the window will hit the mark for the intended clientele. The shop window does look a bit outdated but it’s still better—much better than an empty boarded up shop window–something that’s becoming all too common in austerity Ireland. Good luck to the shop owner and his staff–I hope it works for them.

  9. I’m inclined to agree. The clothing looks to be very much in tune with the poster. Or the other way round.

    It has that Sixties feel to it, but not in a hippie way. More in a Wilma Flintstone sort of way.

  10. Would the husband be allowed hammer the shit out of the wife if she brought home too many dresses?

  11. Jesus Barry. No.
    The wife should only get a few clatters ’round the ear for that.

  12. Back in the 80s, a fellow in Dublin who sold solid pine furniture caused a minor stir. He was very proud of how solid his products were and so he put an ad in the papers. It showed a man clubbing a woman with a chair and the slogan said “Beat Barabara to death with one of our chairs”

    Some people were a bit upset, but it didn’t make the main evening news. It was only a joke.

  13. wonder how they would have reacted, if told ” i buried my husband last week”

  14. Jesus get over yourselves, for fucks sake.
    You’ll end up analyzing everything to the grave and for what?
    Its a fucken joke!
    I hung a sign on my shop last week. ” Fresh eggs straight from the chickens hole” Shoot me on behalf of battery chickens everywhere.

  15. And the best thing of all is the “faces” of the fashion quarter are turning on each other, what with yer wan taking yer man to court for falling over in a pub. I am delighted. Personally I hope yer wan gets taken to the cleaners and is never seen or heard of again, but I couldn’t give a shit either way. They will all get what’s coming to them.

  16. Famous last words from the barman, as yer wan was looking a bit shit-faced and getting wobbly on her feet.. and scaring the regulars.

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