ABOUT THE POLL
Yesterday (Sunday) I was writing in my journal about what happened when Lauren and I went shopping on Saturday, and it occurred to me that what I experienced was probably something that most people experience. So I stopped writing and asked people on my blog and on Facebook: Which is worse when it comes to shopping — buyer’s remorse or missed opportunity?
An appreciative thanks to everyone who participated in my impromptu poll! Choosing was difficult, I know, and I think it provoked anxiety in some: but now it’s over. We all survived — YAY!
If, however, you’re reading this and thinking: Wait a minute! I didn’t get a chance to respond! — Never fear, you can still participate if you click on — Poll: Buyer’s Remorse vs. Missed Opportunity. I continue to welcome any and all input! There’s no deadline and I’m fascinated by everyone’s answer to this!
Current results suggest that the majority feel that missed opportunity is much worse than buyer’s remorse. For some, though, it was the opposite. This question touched on philosophical beliefs as well as practical values. Some looked at the positives and others, the negatives. I heard the harsh voice of experience in some of the answers. Some, like me, just couldn’t decide. Again, thank you for your help!
And now, here’s the story that prompted this poll in the first place.
MACY’S VS. DILLARD’S
All I have to say is thank God Dillard’s came through when Macy’s wasn’t able to because we started at Macy’s and that was a bust. Maybe it’s because it’s June and they were running low on stock; but they didn’t have anything for the bride-to-be at Macy’s that was in a small or medium — in negligees, I mean. Is that an old-fashioned word? I’d call it lingerie, but my daughter Lauren says that has a naughty connotation, and we were definitely not getting anything naughty for our bridal shower gift. We were getting classy. So, whatever you want to call the sheer robe with the long, beautiful, silky white nightgown that we purchased — so be it — at least Dillard’s came through for us.
My favorite thing we got the bride-to-be (one of Lauren’s best friends from childhood and my unofficial kid) didn’t have anything to do with intimate apparel. It was the best thing ever, though — a bell — like the kind you hit at the counter of a hotel. Ding, Ding. Ding, Ding. “Hello, is anyone here?” It was a bright pink bell, too, with the words, “Drink, please,” written on it. The idea is that you hit the bell and, presumably, someone will bring you a drink as if by magic. Who wouldn’t love that?!
We saw the bell when we first entered the store. It was sitting on a display table with several other novelty wedding gifts. If it were Christmastime, this table would have been the stocking stuffer display; but it’s June, wedding season.
The plan was: if we found what we came for, we could come back to this table and get the bell and maybe another cute something-or-another. Then we would pay for everything at one time. It’s important to know that the bell was on the first floor, but we had to go to the second floor for “Intimate Apparel.”
Okay, I’m not proud of this because I’m on a strict budget; but while we were at Dillard’s, Lauren got herself earrings (which is fine; she can spend her money however she wants)…but I, too, was tempted to get myself a little sumpin’-sumpin‘.
I suppose you’d classify these last-minute add-ons as impulse buys — because we weren’t there to buy jewelry…for ourselves; we were there to buy a bridal shower gift. But then, lo and behold, we found ourselves checking out at the jewelry counter.
Not that we were wanting to check out in “Jewelry.” We were hijacked, more or less, by the determined jewelry-counter sales associate as we made our way from “Intimate Apparel” toward the escalators — gift in hand. Unfortunately, our route happened to be in this woman’s general vicinity and she zeroed in on us; except, of course, we weren’t finished shopping — the “Drink Please” bell was still downstairs. Even so, the saleswoman insisted we check out with her before we headed back down. “Here, I’m available, I’ll check you out!” she said, professionally grabbing bridal nightwear out of our hands and directing us toward her register.
We explained about the bell. She told us, “Oh, you can purchase that separately downstairs. Do you need the hangers for the robe and gown?”
Derailed from our original plan, I quietly told Lauren, “Just go get the bell. We’ll wait. This woman obviously doesn’t want us to leave this floor without first paying for the gown and robe.” I rolled my eyes, annoyed. I assumed the store must have a policy that big-ticket items were to be paid for on the floor they were displayed; perhaps to cut back on theft.
I mean, do we look like thieves?
No. The answer is no. I suppose I could have made a big deal out of this imposition and demanded that we check out downstairs. Maybe if we weren’t as stretched for time as we were, I might have, too; but I also wasn’t in the mood nor did I have the energy for that kind of nonsense.
Just to be clear, though, neither was I interested in making more than one purchase. The idea of doing that irks the crap out of me — pet peeves being what they are. I suppose this explains my aversion to shopping in multi-level department stores.
Anyway, this woman’s insistence put
us Lauren in a pickle, really. She’s the one who was going to have to go back downstairs and then come back up again and then go back down again when we left. I’m exhausted just thinking about all that running around.
Lauren said, “Eh, it’s just a bell. Do we really need it? What we picked out is fine. It’s more than fine!”
I was getting exasperated. “Yes, of course we need the bell! How can you even ask that? It’s perfect and she’s going to love it. Don’t be lazy. Go get the damned bell,” I ordered.
“Fine,” Lauren said, sauntering off.
I’m old and…tired or I would have gone to fetch the bell myself. Lauren’s not old. She’s only in her twenties. Geesh.
And sure I looked at a bit of jewelry displayed on the counter while I waited for my daughter; but I was looking at bracelets. I never wear bracelets. They were safe to look at while I was
Once Lauren returned, we began checking out in earnest. When the sales associate asked, “Is there anything else you need?” I immediately said, “Well, we will need a couple of boxes.”
“Oh, of course,” she said in her
grating overly-bright voice. “Wait just a moment while I run up to customer service and get those for you. I’ll be right back.” And then she was gone.
BROWSING WHILE WE WAIT
So then we had to wait another ten minutes. So, we browsed; because what else was there to do?
I’m just going to say this right now: if salespeople made some excuse in mid check-out to leave for just a moment, just long enough for the customer to have to browse, impulse buys would soar.
Anyway, yeah…browsing. That’s a dangerous thing for me to do; even in the relative safety of the jewelry department. I say this because I don’t wear much jewelry, so I knew I was less likely to be tempted. But still…
Lauren didn’t need incentive. Before the saleswoman was even out of sight, she’d already wandered away from the counter. “Mom, what do you think about these? I forgot to bring earrings to wear today. Do you think these will go with what I’m wearing to the shower?”
“Oh, yeah,” I said. “I like those. I didn’t realize that we were shopping for you, though. Are you sure you want to spend the extra money? I mean, this is already going to be expensive.”
Lauren said, “Well, I think I need to…”
Whatever else Lauren said was lost on me because my eye caught something shiny and the world disappeared for a moment. Okay, maybe “shiny” isn’t the right word because there was a lot of silver and gold around. Everything was shiny. How about…lustrous? Yeah…lustrous.
I knew I wanted the gold knotted necklace the moment my eyes spotted it. It wasn’t fine jewelry, mind you — not by anyone’s stretch of imagination. It fell more into the category of business casual. Still, I’d been looking for this, which was similar to my knotted silver necklace, for at least five years. I’ve been patient, knowing that one day the perfect necklace would reveal itself; and when it did, when that opportunity finally knocked, I’d be ready. And knock it did.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY VS. BUYER’S REMORSE
Okay, I know. I know. BUDGET. It wasn’t in my budget.
Well, yeah, but I also didn’t want to regret not getting it. I looked at the price tag of this shimmery strand and then tried it on. I kept asking myself — Yeah, but do you really need this? And I kept answering — Well, not really, not right this minute…but, yeah, I also kind of do need this. If I don’t get this now, then I’ll really, really regret it in the future. Then I told myself — Don’t be stupid. When you need it, get it then. That’s not now; so, PUT IT BACK.
I put the gold strand back. And then I picked it up again. Then I put it back. Lauren started to think I’d lost my mind. She’s never seen me have this much trouble making a decision about anything. Well, not anything so trivial.
There was a time when I would have gotten this necklace without batting an eye; but I was already footing half the bill for a very expensive bridal shower gift. This was not the right time for opportunity to be knocking.
Opportunity can be a real asshole with piss-poor timing when it wants to be.
What I know is that by not purchasing this necklace, this missed opportunity would haunt me, probably forever; much like the hoard of other things in my head I also regret not getting that continue to haunt me — not to be melodramatic.
I could see my future self getting dressed and thinking — If only I’d gotten that necklace. It would have been perfect with this outfit. Damn. I should have bought it when I had the chance. Too late now. Then I’d try on all the necklaces I own — one after the other — nothing working nearly as well with my outfit as that one necklace I passed on. This is the kind of regret that takes up way too much room in my psyche. It’s crowded in there with the memory of all the beautiful things that managed to slip past me over the years.
It was this fear of kicking myself, again, that caused me to just buy the damned necklace, already! I had a resist fail to the tune of $38 when the saleswoman showed back up and I had to make that now-or-never decision. The saleswoman approved of my choice. So did my daughter. Hopefully, when I need this necklace in the future, I will too. I justified my purchase by telling myself that I’ll find many, many occasions to wear this necklace over the next fifty years.
Ha! As if I’m going to live fifty more years!
So, ultimately, I both won and lost. I bought it and it’s mine now. So, no regrets.
Just Guilt. Lots of guilt. And extra gray hair; which when I think about it, really goes better with silver instead of gold.
WHO’S TO BLAME?
As guilty as I feel, I know this is really my husband’s fault.
I can see an irritated David, now, throwing his hands up in the air exclaiming, “And how is this my fault, again?”
1) He’s the one that insisted that I go to this bridal shower; and
2) He knew that meant spending money for a gift that I would have to shop for — in stores — stores with stuff; lots of glorious stuff that would catch my eye.
Honestly, though, I was so trying to be good. And I know he was trusting me not to overspend. He obviously thinks I’m a much better person than I am. But, again, is that really my fault? At least I managed to stay away from the bedding department, which Lauren and I walked right by. I’m a sucker for beautiful bedding. Matter of fact, my husband should be proud of me for resisting the bedding department.
But will he?
No. No he won’t. Because he will be focused on the wrong thing in this situation and he just won’t understand. That’s why I will never tell him that I bought this necklace. I will, however, make him something delicious for dinner tonight.
So that’s my story, Wayward Friends, and I’m sticking to it.
TTFN. Everyone sparkle in your own badass, wayward style! Mona
PS ~ When the bride-to-be opened her gifts, she loved the bell and said it was going to sit in the middle of her coffee table where she had easy access to it. It got a lot of laughs— and you know, I do live for the laughs. She liked the sleepwear, too; though, I’m not sure it’s really meant to be “slept” in. Hopefully, she and her groom-to-be will be blessed with lots of rugrats. Her mom thinks that the gown will probably ensure that. Just saying — Lauren and I were just doing our part to help set the mood! 🙂
PPS ~ Also, I think I have to go back to Dillard’s to get myself the “Drink, Please” bell because, you know, I could use one right about now.
PPPS ~ My conscience: No. No, you’re not. You don’t need that. Stay away from Dillard’s. You’ve already spent way too much!
PPPPS ~ Eh. We’ll see.