Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Meet my new lovely. I found her hiding among racks of drab, lackluster scarves, the kind suited for utilitarian rather than aesthetic purposes. When I caught a glimpse of her glorious ruffles peeking through the grays and blacks, it was all I could do to contain an audible gasp of delight. Now, when shopping at a market where bargaining is de rigueur, one must do one's best to keep their "game face" on - act nonchalant, disinterested even. Ask whether the shopkeeper has any other possible colors, because this shade just isn't quite what one had in mind. Sigh, point out a tiny flaw in the knitting, let it fall back on the rack with a look of distaste. Pick up a nearby scarf that you really have no interest in and ask its price. Pretend to consider the price while inspecting this new scarf with feigned interest. In an offhand manner, ask the price of the first scarf, your true intended purchase, the one that you have implied is somehow inferior. Now bargain hard. Your goal is to pay only about a third of the original asking price, so your first offer must be ridiculously low. They counter; you raise your offer by a miniscule amount. They lower their asking price by an even smaller amount; you state your final price. They refuse; you begin to walk away. If you've played your cards right, this is when the shopkeeper will call after you, "okay, okay!" And you will walk out of the market with an inconcealable smile on your lips, your neck draped with buttery-golden tiers of silky softness. Oh, yes, she is lovely.