Story Time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Today we are pleased to present

Miss Lady is possibly one of the cleverest girls Jane and I have ever met. Her blog is story after story of daily happenings; she has eyes that see the extraordinary and the ability to draw you in and knock you flat on your back before you can say cheeky.

Believe it.

This is her telling of how she beat Nordstrom, got some fabulous shoes, and conquered a little piece of the world.


I have a rather rich, very blonde and middle-aged-but-denying-it
friend who tells me "haggling is an art, but it's very cheap." Now,
she is a woman who haggles sheerly because that is what you do in a
Turkish bazaar, even though both she and the merchant know that she
can pay the original price for the beautiful carpet. She doesn't
really understand haggling. It's not an art of argument, persuasion or
rhetoric, no, it's more of an instant grow a backbone. It's having the
strength to be forward, demanding and sometimes downright rude to a
total stranger. And it's not cheap either. Haggling isn't about saving
the money. Haggling is about the pride of getting something you were
going to buy no matter what for a better, even if it is
microscopically better, price.

I have haggled my way out of a taxi cab in Slovenia, bargained my
parents into a higher allowance, manipulated my debate coach into
letting me go to the strip during a debate tournament in Vegas, and
convinced BYU to let me go on a college study abroad at 16. But
perhaps my greatest haggling accomplishment was achieved just a few
days ago.

Our story begins with these shoes.
They're a beauty ain't they? I saw them when I was browsing at
Nordstrom the other day. I was in that kind of mood where you want to
buy something for no reason other than it feels like everything you
own is from the seventh grade. I skimmed my hands over Vera Wangs and
Jimmy Choos and even a few pairs of sneakers that it looked like I
might be able to afford when I saw them. Beautiful. I was going to
have them if it meant I had to work overtime for the next 3 years.

I picked up the sample shoe and found a saleslady. Nordstrom
salespeople have the best customer ettiquite. They know how to help
and be attentive with being in your face or "oh you like that ring let
me show you every piece of jewelry in this six story store" desperate
to sell. I asked her to skip back to the magic room where the shoes
live and pick me up a 7 1/2. I sat down on the red velvet couch and

She came out carrying two shoe boxes. This is never a good sign
because it always means they don't have your size so they brought a
size too big, a size too small, and your size in a color you didn't
want, then they say the sizes run funny in this brand so you're not
actually the size all your other shoes are. Sure enough she walked
over to me and gave me the "sorry we don't have exactly what you want
but I brought these three and we can ship you your size if you'd like"

Well, the 7 was too small, the hot pink 7 1/2 was disgusting, so 8 it
was. I tried it on and there was this funny feeling in the left sole.
It felt like when the seam on your sock is in the wrong place and it
makes your back tighten up. I looked- lo and behold on the black and
white polka dot satin sole, there was a bubble. I waved the saleslady
over and showed it to her. She acknowledged that it did in fact exist
and quoted the Nordstrom slogan "we can ship a new pair to your house
for free."

My haggling radar started to go off. The shoes were a little - about
half a size - too big. And that bubble was worse than a little rock
that sits in your chacho. But it wasn't that bad, if I could get a
discount. So I hatched a plan.

I walked over to her with my Oliver Twist face and said, "I really
need these shoes for this vacation. I only want the nude color. Is
there any way I could get this pair at a discount?"

She looked a bit aghast. Apparently when people buy thousand dollar
purses and evening gowns for dinners that cost ten thousand dollars,
they don't typically ask for discounts. She quickly regained her
Nordstrom saleswoman composure and said, "let me go talk to my manager
and see what I can do."

She came back and said rather briskly, because by asking for a
discount I had become an unworthy customer, "you can take this pair
for 10% off or we can ship a new pair to your house."

"I'll take the discount." I tried not to sound to excited.

"okay" she's disgusted. Nordstrom is above discounts.

She rang me up. My 10% discount came to a total savings of nine
dollars. I walked away with a pair of shoes half a size too big with a
bubble in the sole.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. I think they are pretty shoes -- I love the ribbon laces. I am totally jeal of your haggling abilities.

    But I wonder how much use you'll get out of a pair of shoes that could be uncomfortable. They don't fit, meaning they will rub your feet wrong and the bubble could be a problem of comfort when you are walking. A cobbler could take care of that problem - but will likely cost at least $10 -- and thus negating the discount!

  2. I have actually found the salespeople at Nordstrom to be some of the nicest I have ever met. I once bought a swimsuit for $200 (not my proudest moment) and it had weak fabric so I brought it back to exchange a few weeks later. They let me know it was on sale and gave me a new swim suit and over $100 back. It was amazing.