For our wedding, someone gave us a cake plate from a very shi shi home store about an hour away from where we live. It is Mackenzie Childs, and with it we got a knife and cake server. It was beautiful, but alas, I am plain, plain, plain...So the white and blue ornate design simply doesn't fit in with my other stuff.
My mom tells me that Mackenzie Childs is expensive and lovely. I wouldn't know. I never heard of Mackenzie Childs. Until this past weekend, I thought he was that kid who joined the Facts of Life cast for the last two seasons...you know, once they 'jumped the shark'.
Anyway, we returned it to the upscale home store and got a store credit for $350. And I looked around and thought "what the hell am I going to buy for $350 in here?" We spent an hour looking around, the store had beautiful things, most not my taste, but beautiful nonetheless. There were some things that I loved...but I can not bring myself to spend $250 on a glass vase.
On the way out of the store with my credit in hand, after an hour of shopping and not finding anything, the store clerk said in an extremely rude voice:
"What kind of taste do you have anyway?"
She was implying that I had no class. It was clear by her tone. If you want me to get furious, one of the ways would be to act snooty. I was furious. In an effort not to embarrass my husband, I just replied that although everything was beautiful, I have plain taste. What I really wanted to say was "I like Target, but your stuff is good too, I'm sure I'll find something next time." But you know, the husband gets pink in the cheeks when I do stuff like that.
There are two ways to confront someone like that. I could tell her that I am a well bred attorney, My parents are the So and So's from so and so, and I drive that Lexus parked out front, so who does she think she's talking to? But to me, that seems a little too Ron Burgundy in Anchorman "I'm kind of a big deal around here...people know who I am." And truly, doesn't that make you as guilty as she is?
My preference is to tell her I shop at Target (which I do on occassion). Because I think that if you do it in the right way, someone like that sales person knows exactly what you're doing. And I think the point is worth making.
When I was planning my wedding, I was not really on a budget. My parents could afford to give me the wedding that I really wanted. But I think cheapness is in my blood, so when I priced flowers, I was horrified at what they cost. Who spends $20,000 on flowers? Who? Seriously, WHO?
So I was meeting with a well known florist is Philadelphia and they quoted me $18,000 for flowers. I still have a scar from when my jaw hit the table. And the lady, seeing my horror, asked "Why? How much were you thinking?" and I replied "$2500" and she said, "Oh, honey, I am sorry but we only do nice
My husband was not with me at the time, I was alone in fact. So I replied with all sincerity and sweetness "I'm sorry, I have wasted your time. See, I am trying to plan a shitty
wedding. Do you have any recommendations for florists who work with shit
weddings?" And that is how I got thrown out of the fanciest florist in Philadelphia.
And you know what happened? I found a florist who did the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen for a third the price. It took me forever, and I spent way too much time searching out someone like her. She was a wonderful woman who does it out of her home, on her own. People kept warning me, saying I was being too cheap and going too far to make a point..."what if she's not good? What's her reputation?" But on my wedding day, more people came up to me about the flowers than I can remember. And every single one of those people said "you must have spent a fortune on the flowers!" No, actually, I got them at Target.
*Update: Just to clarify, I am neither well bred nor do I drive a Lexus. Plus, although my parents are extremely nice, they are not really So and So's from So and so. My mom is from Boston and my dad is from Brooklyn...So unfortunately that just makes me a lawyer, like every other kid who didn't want to work after graduating from college so kept going to school for 3 more years!