Oh. Hi there, awesome readers!
It all started when I needed a new bed … about six years ago. But lately I’ve been experiencing a subtle pain in my neck, so this week I decided it was time. Time to go shopping for a new bed.
I can tell that my parents are reading this right now because I just heard a *gasp* from somewhere in Florida. And I can practically feel the knowing nod that’s following. This is because they know where this story is headed. And they’re right. It was a shopping disaster. A disaster that lasted TWO DAYS.
First of all, I need to explain that I never – EVER – go shopping alone. One, because I don’t like shopping, but more importantly, because I’m terrible at it. Perhaps because I don’t like it. Here’s how shopping usually goes around here:
My daughter: Mom, you need new clothes.
Me: What’s wrong with what I’m wearing? You liked it when I bought it.
My daughter: Yeah, but that was ten years ago and I was NINE! We’re going shopping this weekend.
And then every once in a while I’ll decide to go shopping by myself, which always turns into a complete waste of time because I end up returning whatever I bought. Except that during the return trip, I bring my daughter with me so that she can explain to the store clerk that I was obviously drunk when I chose that shade of lipstick. (Real example.)
Admittedly, there’s a huge difference between buying lipstick and buying a bed. That difference can be anywhere between $700 and $2,500, depending on whether or not I’m shopping alone. And since my daughter has been down with a bad cold this week, I decided to take this challenge on by myself. Mistake #1.
It all started two days ago …
The day before yesterday
Determined that there has never been a better day to buy a bed, I woke up accepting the task at hand and made the journey to a furniture store. Don’t let the word “journey” fool you. The furniture store is about a ten minute drive from my house.
I browsed. I looked at all the choices. I texted a friend, who upon realizing where I was and what I was doing, suggested that I “go home. Immediately.” It was at this precise moment that I was accosted by a sales person. (Sales people can pick up on these things.)
“What do you know about beds?” I asked the sales lady.
To which she responded, “I’ve been selling beds for over ten years.”
Ah. A professional, I thought. This made me feel somewhat at ease. Like maybe she could be my best friend for the next eight minutes or however long it takes to buy a bed. Mistakes #2 and 3.
I also explained to her that I wanted … needed … a headboard. So I re-walked the aisles that I had just expended about 300 calories on, and looked at the exact same headboards. Only this time, I had the sales lady to guide me into forgetting that I didn’t actually like any of them. All good. I was there to buy.
I chose a headboard and frame and then my new best friend (the sales lady) and I moved onto mattresses where she invited me to lie down on one.
“Oh this one is comfy. How much is it?” I asked.
“Just over $1,700,” she replied.
Wanting to take the bed on a real test run, I did what I always do while lying horizontally: I reached for my phone and texted my friend.
“Is $1,700 a lot for a mattress?”
The response was to the point: “Yes.”
I ignored the response. Mistake #4.
Then the sales lady invited me to lie on another bed for comparison. Except in hindsight, I’m thinking now that she may have purposely brought me to the crappiest mattress in the store. You know. To show me the difference between say … a super expensive bed AND A COT.
“Hmmmm … the other one was more comfortable but the price …”
Which lead said sales lady into “the pitch”.
“Oh but a good mattress isn’t an expense,” she said as though I had just gotten off a boat. (Spoiler alert: I may as well have.) “It’s an INVESTMENT.”
Her spiel lasted for about three pages of the last novel you read but I didn’t hear any of it. I was thinking about my neck and the excruciating pain. Well, not “excruciating” exactly but that’s how these things start.
“Okay fine,” I said. “I’ll take this mattress and that headboard.” Mistake # I’ve lost count.
And then we proceeded to the cash where she took all my money.
Quickly, I may add, because I think she and I had grown close enough by this time that she sensed I could change my mind at any second. At some point during this transaction, I received another text from my friend asking me to take pics, which I did. (Possibly the best advice I received AND LISTENED TO all day.)
And then I walked out of the store questioning myself and my decision to make the best investment of my life. All I wanted to do now was reunite with my laptop so that I could get over the trauma of shopping. Except that when I got to the parking lot … to be more specific … when I got to the spot in the parking lot where I had left my car, it was gone!
“Great,” I thought. “Spend eleventy thousand dollars on a bed and now I don’t have a car.”
A little in shock and not knowing exactly how to handle this, I walked back into the store and up to the receptionist sitting behind the counter.
“Yeah … So … My car was just stolen and I’m not sure what to do,” I told her.
Meanwhile I’m thinking, “DID YOU NOT JUST HEAR ME? SOMEONE STOLE MY CAR. WHY ARE YOU SMILING?”
“No, no,” said the smiling
snake receptionist. “I noticed you walk in. You came in THAT door,” and she pointed to another door (identical, I may add) on the other side of the store. As it turns out, my car was exactly where I had left it.
Later that evening I was looking at the pictures of my new purchases and realized that I didn’t even like the headboard. In fact, I hated it. It was metal and reminded me of a jail cell (except not the kind that Martha Stewart would have decorated).
This brings us to day two of my shopping disaster.
Remember how I thought that shopping for a bed would take me about eight minutes. Well, I was wrong.
The morning after my great bed investment – yesterday – I decided that I needed to cancel the headboard order ASAP (or never be able to face myself in a mirror again). A little nervous about this, I arrived at the store a few minutes before it opened. Why was I nervous? Because I downright hated the headboard and what was I going to do with a headboard that I hated if they didn’t accept my cancellation? Was I going to have to live with it for the rest of my life??? Yeah. No.
From the outside it looked as though I was walking into the store alone. But really, the Hamster wouldn’t shut up about what a terrible shopper I am and if I had only listened to my friend’s text about leaving immediately and WHAT WAS I THINKING SHOPPING ALONE???
Long story short, the nice lady at the store (not the sales lady but another lady) accepted my cancellation without a glitch and everyone lived happily ever after.
Except not really. There’s more.
Meanwhile my friend had texted me a picture of a headboard from another store saying, “and it’s cheaper”.
So naturally, having a mattress (and box spring) on order, I still needed a headboard and I decided to go to said other store.
As it turns out, it was more expensive than what they showed online and it came with the footboard. I didn’t want a footboard. This new sales lady did something that sales people don’t often do for which I believe she deserves a “best sales person of the year” award: She recommended ANOTHER store to me. And since this third store was close by, I decided to check it out as well. Yes, I was on a roll. After all, how much time can one waste shopping? Apparently, I was determined to find out.
It was at this THIRD store that I found a headboard that I liked. (And still like. I hope. We’ll see when it arrives. They didn’t have it in stock so I actually chose it from their catalogue. Don’t judge me. I was not about to go to a FOURTH store.)
I bought the headboard and mission accomplished. Everything was great until the sales person asked me if I needed a mattress. (Yes. Oh oh.)
“Nope. Just bought one,” I said.
“Oh really? Where?” he asked.
I told him. That’s when he responded with the very enlightening news that his prices were about 15% lower than that other store. The one where I had just bought my mattress. *Insert cuss word*
“Fine. Okay. Show me your stupid mattresses,” I said in defeat. He laughed but I’m pretty sure it was an evil laugh.
I picked out a mattress that I liked that turned out to be ELEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS LESS than the mattress that I had bought the day before. Then I called the first store to make sure that I could cancel the order. After all, I had cancelled the headboard less than an hour earlier. (I was imagining that they hated me by now.)
All was good and fine until the person from the first store asked if I would reconsider cancelling if she could lower the price.
“Lower the price by how much?” I asked as I felt the last piece of gumption leave my body. (This, after I had just told her a big, long story about how I needed to cancel my order because my mother, upon mysteriously finding out that I had bought a mattress, informed me that she had an extra one to GIVE me. Lies. All lies. But after I had cancelled the headboard, I was afraid that they wouldn’t accept the mattress cancellation and I couldn’t imagine sleeping on a bed that I paid $1,100 too much for.)
“I can take $200 off so instead of paying $2,100, you’ll ONLY be paying $1,900,” said the shrewd business lady on the other end of the phone line.
“But I thought I paid $1,700,” I said to her. (There’s a lesson here: always look at your receipt when you buy something. *cough*)
Now, I’m not going to pretend to be a mathematician (you’re welcome, mom) but I’m pretty sure that even Gandhi would choose the mattress at under $700 over the one at $1,700. Especially since I in fact paid $2,100 for said $1,700 mattress.
In the end, they accepted my cancellation. Although I’m pretty sure that my mug shot is all over the walls of the back offices so that they can remember to ignore me should I ever walk in that store again.
So this all started with a pain in my neck. But let me tell you what the REAL pain in the neck is …
(Unless if it’s at an auction or flea market. But that’s not really shopping. That’s discovering treasures!)
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