There is, in Seaside, a lovely little jewelry store called Magpies. When we visited in July, I sauntered in, looking for innovative ideas to steal...eh-hem..."borrow" for Daisy & Elm, LLC. (I have almost gotten to the point where I can look at a piece of jewelry and determine if I will be able to replicate it and if so, how. I know that I'm supposed to be a "creative genius" but I believe that there are very few completely original ideas in the world. So, I "shop around" and think about what I have in my tackle box and go from there). Magpies is what we would consider an "upscale jewelry store"...one step below Kay Jeweler's and about 12 stories above my fledgling business...but it never hurts to look, handle and inspect without the sales lady realizing your intentions. I did this successfully in July and as we just happened to be biking through the neighborhood, we decided to stop in. The scene went like this:
Setting: When Anna and I walk in, there are 2 ladies (I hate to be stereotypical and judgmental since I gave all of that up for Lent last year, but I want you to get the picture) who are fresh off the plantation and looking to buy an amply brimmed hat in which to take their morning sun. These women jangle with pure gold bracelets...the only class of society who still buys gold...and dollar signs hurl from their lips when they sneeze. Who else would go into a jewelry store, looking for a hat? It's like going to Tiffany's to buy a quart of milk.
Saleslady: Oh (and "Oh" has about 14 syllables) I just love (12 syllables) these hats! We just got them in. Aren't they fabulous (123 syllables)??
Rich Bit...oh sorry...customer: Yes, it will be perfect for the beach. I only have a baseball hat with me and I almost wore it today!
Saleslady: Oh NO. I would never wear a baseball hat....(followed by what I can only assume is cackling in its natural habitat).
Customer: Oh, I know. It's awful. This is much nicer.
Saleslady: And....it's MUCH more age-appropriate. Baseball hats are just not age-appropriate.
At this point, I look over at Anna. I only glimpse the back of her, though, as she and her age-inappropriate baseball hat flee the store. And I am close on her heels.
So, here's the lesson, boys and girls: we may not look like much when we've been biking 8 miles and weathered a monsoon from a beach boardwalk just hours earlier...but we all have credit cards. And we all have money in the bank to back those credit cards. So, if you own an "upscale" store in a "downturned" economy, it is my advice to you to keep your opinions to yourself. You can talk about the weather, you can talk about what great seafood you have in your little community, but you cannot comment on the fashion crisis of the baby-boomer generation. Because we have no problem spending our money elsewhere. And I have no problem frequenting your store only to get ideas for my own profit. You may see my face, but you will never see the inside of my wallet.