I don’t want to become That Girl Who Talks About Getting Married All the Time, but I had a ridiculous experience this past week that I must share with the world. The other day, my fiancÃ© and I headed out to check out some wedding bands. Neither one of us really had any idea of what we wanted, only that it should be something relatively plain. We’re not exactly fancy people. After stopping at one of our regular breakfast joints, we decided to check out the jeweler across the street, as my only preference was that we buy local. Later in the day, we were at the mall to catch a movie and decided to drop into one of the big boxes for comparison.
Holy hell. Why anyone would go to a mall jeweler is absolutely beyond me. Let’s compare, shall we?
We walked into the local place, and were greeted by the owner. He showed us some simple bands and some fancier bands that have been pretty popular lately. When we expressed a preference for something traditional, he narrowed it down pretty quickly to a few solid options. He talked about pricing at every step of the way, we had a nice chat about an interesting story I heard last month on NPR about gold prices being at near-record highs. He let us know about timelines and how long it would take to make either of the options we were interested in. All in all, a pleasant experience considering the fact that neither of us have ever spent much time in a jewelry shop before.
Then came the mall store. A saleswoman practically pounced on us the moment we walked into the store. She wrinkled her nose and raised her eyebrows when I explained that I didn’t have an engagement ring, nor did I want one. She tried to push newer metals and odd designs on us even after we told her we wanted simple gold bands. Don’t even get me started on her deep sigh when I explained that I didn’t want diamonds. In fact, they did not have a single women’s design without diamonds of some sort ““ I would have had to order a “men’s” band in an appropriate size. And then there was the look of disgust on her face when she realized that my fat little piggies require a size 11 ring. Oh, the horror! We had to practically interrogate her to get any useful information about pricing or a timeline. Forget it!
Last night, we went back to the local place and placed the order for our simple, brushed white gold bands. I’d had no intention of buying anything from the mall store, but it was an interesting experience checking it out. My fiancÃ© had wanted to see what the price differential might be, which was the only reason we investigated in the first place. Turns out that the traditional bands would have been a couple hundred dollars cheaper because of discounts the saleswoman could opt to give us if she so chose. My fiancÃ© joked that I’m not very good at purchasing in my own self-interest, but there is no way I want to reward the mall saleswoman’s behavior. I’d have died a little inside every time I looked at my ring every day for the rest of my life thinking about giving a commission to her over the lovely man who ran the shop in our neighborhood (and who recognized us when we came back yesterday). I think that’s pretty good self-interest, actually.