When I was younger, there was one shop which always baffled me. John Lewis. I just couldn’t quite work out what it was for; it seemed to be an overexpensive land full of stuff that existed to please housewives and children. And once I got old enough to not be in the toy section anymore, I just didn’t care.
I didn’t want to spend all my money on expensive bedsheets when I could get cheap polycotton sheets from Asda. I didn’t want to buy nice cookwear, because I never, ever cook. I didn’t give a crap about the haberdashery section, because why would I want to make clothes when I can buy them filthy cheap in Primark? The only thing John Lewis was ever any good for was buying bras, and that was only when I couldn’t quite be bothered to venture to Bravissimo. Other than that, it was useless. Or so I thought.
But clearly, there was some kind of weird timebomb in my brain which was just waiting to activate a mad John Lewis love. I think it’s probably linked into the old biological clock, for at about the same time when I started gazing longingly at babies in the park, I also started coveting much of the stock of John Lewis. I’m blaming it on some weird nesting instinct; my body wants me to have babies, and it wants me to buy things from John Lewis to make the babies happy.
It started small. It was the cookware section that got to me first, for which I blame my Farthing Wood Friend. Since we moved in together, he has been encouraging me to cook, just so he doesn’t have to do it every single night. Traditionally, my favoured cooking technique has been “pierce film lid. Microwave on high for 3 minutes”. But apparently this isn’t grown-up or healthy enough anymore.
And so I found myself wanting to buy all sorts of exciting John Lewis things to make cooking more fun. Because cooking with old, beaten up Asda saucepans is no fun. And also quite tricky, since many years’ worth of stuff is burnt onto the bottom of a lot of them. So yes, I wanted cookware.
Next came the bedsheets. After years of excellent service, the old faithfuls started quite literally falling apart at the seams. I was going through a bout of horrible, soul-destroying insomnia at the time, so decided to invest in some quality John Lewis sheets. WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE AMAZING. My bed instantly became at least 6,000 times comfier. So I went back the next week and bought some more.
And then I decided that I needed a hobby to occupy my time whilst I sat on my sofa being a bit mad, and so found myself in the crafting and haberdashery section. Where I was surrounded by amazing yarns, and lovely pattern books, and all the supplies I could ever need to knit everything in the world.
And so, my John Lewis crush has turned into a mad, wild-eyed obsession. A dangerous, potentially bankrupting, crazy mad obsession. The other day I actually found myself thinking that I could never move to a town without a John Lewis. Which made me think it might be time for rehab.