I am not your typical woman..... First off I don't much like chocolate - it's true I don't!! and am still surprised I haven't been drummed out of the women's guild because of it !
I don't like shoes - no I don't. I prefer bare feet - and in winter my ugly mukluk boots.
And I HATE shopping - with a passion! I will avoid it at all costs - except when I HAVE to... and then I take days to work myself up into the mindset of actually dragging myself through shops.
Recently W and I were discussing my inability to barter with someone.... or in my words ...cheat them . I don't ask if that's the best price - I don't ask what they can do for me.... I see something I like or need .. I buy it........ pure and simple.
Yesterday I HAD to go shopping for school. I needed a slew of arts and crafts supplies. But more than that I had to get 2 retirement gifts for ladies who are retiring this year. I was given a budget of $150 each. I wanted to purchase silver bracelets (they both love bracelets) and have the bracelets engraved with the name of the school. Seemed like a good idea when I had it.
When I actually went shopping no one .. and I mean NO ONE ... had silver bracelets suitable for engraving.
Finally after more jewelry shops than I have ever been in - I found one that had 2 different silver bracelets that would work. (Not exactly what I was looking for - but do-able)
So I asked to see the first one. It was very nice - and had a nice wide piece that could be engraved. I asked to see the second bracelet - It did not have the same space to engrave - but I thought the underneath side might be wide enough to handle some very small intricate engraving.
I asked how much the bracelets were. I should have known they were expensive considering the price tags weren't showing. The first bracelet was $159.99 the second one was $169.99. My heart dropped. I told the saleswoman I was sorry but they were out of my budget. I would have to keep looking.
She said "how much money do you have for these retirement gifts?" I lied (cause I knew I still had to pay for engraving ) and said "$100.00 each" She told me to wait and went got the manager. The manager asked if I would be paying cash. I said "good god no.. credit card". And then added it was ok.. I would keep looking. She - the manager said - hang on a minute and started punching numbers into the cash register. Finally she looked at me and said "I will give the two of them to you for a total - including taxes - of $200.00" I was shocked!! and of course quickly agreed. I wanted the shopping OVER.
Then I went to the engraving shop. The first bracelet was ok to engrave. The second one not so much. The first one could be done by machine - the second had to be done by hand. The first one would be $1 a letter and would be ready in an hour .... the second one - double that $2 a letter, and would take a couple of days. I didn't want to have to come back in 2 days........ so I said "right - forget engraving the second one - just engrave the first one". The girl seemed surprised. She then said "ok ok $1 a letter for both bracelets". I said "no no never mind - I don't want to come back in a day or so" So she said - "go have lunch I'll have it done in 2 hours".
I went to have lunch - but I still had a HUGE shopping list to complete. Unfortunately the shops I had to go to next were no where near this mall. I was getting antsy and wanted to get going. I finished lunch in under an hour and went back to the engraving shop. I poked my head in and said "No chance they are done yet is there??" The girl said "no no... I have the first one done but not the second". So I wondered off and priced new cell phones. 35 minutes later I wondered back. I figured I would sit on the bench outside the shop and wait. My feet were killing me....... even in my ugly mukluks.
The girl motioned me into the shop. She had finished both bracelets. I hoped in the car and headed off to do MORE shopping. But I had a big grin on my face. I had been willing to spend $300 on two silver bracelets. I had managed to pay $232.00 without any bartering or bickering!!!
I spent approximately 4 hours shopping and had to head back to work - I had not finished......... and am now faced with yet another day of shopping - but I did feel good that I had come in under budget on the retirement gifts. BUT for the record... my shopping deals did nothing to change my attitude towards shopping........nope not at all !!