Declan Clancy

“The boys’ group shopping trip is just not something I can comprehend. Meet at 10 for a skinny mocha gluten free decaf extra shot of oestrogen frappuccino.”

dec grand arcade Lad levi malia milkround shopping trip

…casts an irreverent eye over some of the week’s most pressing issues…sometimes.

Ah, third year – home of the free lash. The graduate schemes roll in to town, with more prawn tempura and prosecco than you can shake a stick at.

One from just outside of the Magic Circle was the other night, as Levi’s opened its doors for ‘the student lock in’. 30% off, a DJ and a couple of cheeky rum and cokes. Well up for it, bombing through the Grand Arcade, images of the lads and I getting absolutely battered and vomiting on a pair of faded 501s. Like all shopping should be.

Levis - lock-in time

However, once we had the free drink (singular), it did turn into 5 lads on a shopping trip. Which is uncomfortable to say the least. It’s just not natural. You don’t want to try anything on the shop floor, as I always feel a bit of a dick doing that anyway, a feeling only heightened when there are 4 male friends accompanying you.

They weren’t even taking the mick. One even tried to give me a compliment and some advice about jeans, which only made things worse.

It’s idiotic I know, and any girls reading this will despair, but the boys’ group shopping trip is just not something I can comprehend. Meet at 10 for a skinny mocha gluten free decaf extra shot of oestrogen frappuccino. Shop till I drop. Lunch at Pret. Bitch about that girl from New Hall.

Yet it does happen. I was in H&M the other day next to these three proper ‘lads’. I’m not talking about some drinking society Cambridge ‘rent a lad’ but the real football, booze and birds lad. The lads who read both Zoo and Nuts, and take in all the fashion tips; (the reason you see so many stacked fuckers in the outfit of boylouse, Aladdin arse jeans which stop halfway up the calf, no socks and plimsolls made out of tissue paper) out on a shopping trip together. The people who got Hard Fi their record contract. They’ll be out there booking a boy’s fortnight to Malia at the age of 28.

And I knew at the same time that whilst they each tried on hats, and gave each other completely sincere and non-ironic comments about how it looked, they were more than likely going to be in Spoons that night, getting into a fight and kicking people’s faces in on CCTV. It doesn’t make any sense, but at the same time weirdly enough, it is completely consistent… Back each other up on the shop floor and the dance floor, all the time knowing that even if it is covered in blood, that new set of rosary beads is going to be looking dead smart.

Before people even start, this is not a town v gown thing,  because I would have said the very same thing 3 years ago, far before I could ever be accused of being a patronising Cambridge prick. And I never went to Malia. But then again, take a step back and look at ourselves. We all start to merge together, changing our behaviour depending on our social groups and what they dictate.

Is wearing drinking society ties, shirt and trousers and going to Cindies on a Tuesday night, Life on a Wednesday and Thursday night, and Fez on a Sunday night, or any Big Fish event proudly associated with The Tab, not just exactly the same as going shopping with the lads?!