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5.29.2014

I'm NOT Enthusiastic About: "Oh, He Must Be Thrilled."


I know. You read the title and couldn't make heads or tails out of what I might be referring to. Well, let me explain…

A few weekends ago, I was out shopping with my husband. We were in search of a few key items for a black tie event we were heading to and this included shoes and a clutch for yours truly. Essential for elevating a dress from just a dress to a gala-worthy frock. I say "we" because this kind of adventure is meant for two. I respect my husband's sartorial opinion in most cases.

So, there we were, perusing and making silent "OMG" faces at each other as I picked up clutch after clutch to expose their hefty price tags. I mean, I know they're meant for fancy events, but can someone tell me why a small box can cost 10 times more than most large handbags? Or why these small boxes can cost as much as a designer handbag that's 10 times bigger? It's not like they were constructed with leather blessed by monks in some remote village in the mountains and encrusted with rare crystals from deep space. I mean, I'd be lucky to fit a piece of gum and some chapstick into some of these things.

Anyway, I'm digressing.

So, after lots of OMG-ing (silently, of course), I found a clutch that was not only playful and fun, but very reasonably priced. (Phew!) It was big enough to fit my phone, some oil blotting sheets, and my lipstick - really all I need - and small enough to be considered a clutch. It was also structured enough to use as a weapon if need be. Charles said it was "very mid-century modern." It all checked out…and off to the register we traipsed.

As I got rung up by the enthusiastic salesman who regaled us with tales of his epic mother's day (which included meeting a well-known actor at a bar, getting drunk, ordering too many nachos, and blacking out watching Frozen…all with his mum) we chatted about the prices of some of these clutches and how crazy they were. I then pointed out, "thank goodness this one is so affordable."

To which the salesman replied, "Oh, he must be thrilled."

…it took me a minute to understand what he was saying and then I realized he was assuming that my husband who was standing there was paying for my purchases. I scoffed loudly and said, "Well, it's my money and I earned it, so I'm the one who's thrilled."

Lucky for this man, he was fabulous and we got along, so I didn't immediately feel the need to dive over the counter and kick my foot through his head. He acknowledged what I had said and then proceeded to point out my handbag (which I bought as a "congratulations to me for surviving fashion week and getting a raise" over a year ago.) I proceeded to defend myself again, noting that I had bought that for myself too.

It was as if he was trying to find something I owned that my husband had purchased for me. It was a verbal sparring match…a good-natured one, sure…but, why the salesman was so adamant about finding something that my husband had gotten me, I have no idea. Was he trying to prove he was a good husband because he gifted me with material goods? Was he trying to prove that women are always financially supported by men? I have no idea.

Then my husband pointed out that he had gotten me the leather jacket I was carrying…he noted, "as a congratulations on surviving fashion week this past season." That seemed to satisfy the saleman, thank goodness. As fabulous as he was, I was getting very close to a foot-through-face response.

I dunno. Am I being crazy? I had such a violent reaction to it that I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me. Is this a common thing? Do most women get their stuff bought for them by their men and don't think anything of it? Is it the whole Asian woman/White man combo? Do people think I'm submissive and completely dependent before they get to know me? Is it weird that I have such a strong need to be self-sufficient?

The initial shock and rage has subsided, but now I'm left with this thought: Should women expect men to buy them everything?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go crawl back under the rock that I've apparently been living under…and, by the way, it's my rock that I found all on my own!

2 comments:

  1. I totally understand your rage.

    It's a source of pride for me when I buy myself something nice. I've worked hard and that bag/dress/jacket is a small luxury and a reminder of why, even when work is tough, I love having the job I have. Like you, I have items that I've rewarded myself after a particularly tough work period (ie: the "I survived the holiday madness!" "managed not to screw up while the higher ups were at CES!" or the "successful six month mark!").

    So to have any one act flippantly and assume the only reason I'm carrying or wearing something is because my boyfriend paid for it? I see red. Look I love my boyfriend, he's my partner in crime who is a great gift giver but I don't need him to buy me things. It was actually a sore subject in the first years of our relationship, it weirded him out that I insisted on buying everything. Every time he wanted to gift me something, I had already bought it for myself. I just like my independence and apparently that's a difficult thing to understand for some people. Like you I wonder why. Is it a southern thing? is it 'cause he's a white dude and I'm Latin? SO MANY QUESTIONS

    Sorry to leave such a rant but no, I'm pretty sure you aren't crazy.

    Also, this reminds me of how bothered I am when people assume I dress my boyfriend. Sure I might help guide some sartorial choices and introduced him to some brands that are flattering but he's an adult and not my ken doll. I don't dress the guy.

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    Replies
    1. Sofia, my long lost sister! Thank goodness I'm not alone. I'm so glad to hear you take pride in purchasing your own things too. They're like lovely little reminders of your own self-sufficiency…meanwhile, I'm wondering if the world looks at both of us and thinks, "oh, it must be so nice to have significant others that buy them nice things."

      Who knows?! But at least you and I know that we're independent women who can support ourselves and give ourselves gifts. If anyone thinks otherwise of you, I'll head to wherever you are. Point out that person and I'll break their knees.

      As for dressing the significant other…sure, I taught my husband a lot of what he knows now about what suits his physique, but the training wheels are off. He gets what he wants…including shoes that I sometimes can't hide my dislike of. Good for him. ;)

      Please, rant all you want. This is a subtle, but serious issue. It just shows that there are things bubbling under the surface in our society. Not cool. Not cool at all.

      xo!
      N.

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