There are many, many things that I have done in my life that I am not proud of. This is one of them.
Sometime in the late 1970s we went on holiday to Great Yarmouth, staying in a caravan on a holiday park. It was probably around 1978 or 79, as it was before I began wearing glasses full time. Gran and Grandad came with us, but aside from this I don’t remember much about the holiday, other than that it was incredibly windy and I seemed to spend the whole time getting stuff blown into my eyes.
On several occasions we went into Great Yarmouth itself. Each time we seemed to walk past a shop selling tshirts, which you could have your own choice of design printed on to. I normally wouldn’t have noticed, except that they had a selection of their wares hanging in the window and one of the shirts showed a football with the name of my own team, Aston Villa, emerging from it.
Walking past that shop every time was torture to my pre-teen self. Each time I held out hope that someone would notice my longing looks, but if they did they didn’t act upon them.
Finally, it all got too much and on one occasion, as we walked past the shop on the way home, I had a complete meltdown – a tantrum so severe that Grandad took pity upon me and offered to buy everyone a shirt.
And the thing is that it must have been horribly transparent that this was all a big show, that I had completely faked my distress to get an adult – and I knew it would probably be Grandad – to buy me the shirt that I so badly wanted. In fact, I had to deal with a very angry mother as soon as we left the shop, because she knew what I had been up to, even though I feigned innocence.
And yes, I feel bad about it and always have done. But I wonder if anyone out there ever did something similar?