“Well when I get (the mean reds) the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then—I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!” Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn
I was shopping recently with a girl friend—Cute, Smart, Available—who had a gift certificate for Tiffany’s. We stopped by the famous jewelry store to see what she could spend the $50 certificate on.
First, as film references go, if you’ve never seen "Breakfast at Tiffany's", and watched the classy Audrey Hepburn window shop at Tiffany’s while eating a pastry out of a paper bag, you should immediately curse your lack of cultural archetypal knowledge and go rent the movie. I can’t adequately communicate light reflecting off sparkling facets of diamonds in the highly-polished glass window. Audrey longs for what’s inside as much as what it represents.
The solace found in Tiffany’s bejeweled offerings isn’t cheap, however. My friend (CSA) and I—assisted by an overly helpful and extremely efficient saleslady—soon found that her gift certificate would not go very far in the store.
This is where I come in. I am one of the best rationalizers (definition: one who rationalizes) I know. If I want something (or I see that someone else wants something but they haven’t crossed the line to convincing themselves), I will find a way to make it obvious that not only is it the best solution, but that it is the most ethical, humane, fiscally-sound, environmentally-conscious solution as well.
When CSA despaired at Tiffany’s and made sounds like she was going to leave, I could not let that happen. I summoned my powers.
“Ok, so someone gave you this gift certificate, right?” I knew she wanted to feel that Tiffany’s magic, but she needed to justify it.
CSA looked at me somewhat hesitantly. She knows I can be convincing. I’d already helped her justify valet parking at the mall and having someone wash her car while we shopped. “Yeeessss.”
“Well, if someone gives you a gift then it is rude and selfish not to enjoy it right?”
“Right?” CSA answers my question with a question as the hovering saleslady eavesdrops nearby.
“In fact, if you don’t use this gift certificate, it would be just like throwing away a present someone hand-made for you, and you wouldn’t do that.” I know she would never hurt anyone’s feelings in such a thoughtless manner.
I see her eyes dart to a display of sterling silver bracelets that we’d already looked at. “But there’s nothing in here that even comes close to the price range.” The helpful saleslady has unobtrusively taken the bracelets out of the case. OOOHH…she is perceptive.
“I know, so in order to use this gift and do the right thing, you may have to supplement it a little but think of it this way—it’s your responsibility as a friend. Not only that, it’s an heirloom piece. Just look at it! It’s practically an investment opportunity.” I gesture to the bracelets while the nice lady begins removing them from their velvet cocoons.
Her eyes shine as she fingers one of the bracelets and (I assume) imagines herself walking into a room sporting this trinket that so obviously came from such a high-end store.
CSA addresses the store employee, “Can you size them?”
“Of course and we’ll ship it directly to your house.”
“I don’t know . . .” she wavers.
I’ll have to up my game. I’ve used some guilt and fiduciary responsibility, but what about self esteem and the mother of all rationalizers, love?
“Also, you deserve the best. You’re the only YOU there is, and if you don’t treat you well, no one will.”
CSA and the saleslady are both nodding their heads vehemently.
“And think what a conversation piece this will be. People might ask where you got it. Heck, men might even ask you out.”
“I’ll take it.”
CSA and the bracelet picked me up for coffee last week. I’m pleased to report that both girl and accessory are doing well and are very, very happy.
copyright © 2009 Tiia Jones