I Was Just Being Nice
Mrs. Cranky is nice. Too nice. Sure, she calls me a JERK from time to time, but much of her life is spent trying her best to not hurt anyone’s feelings. This does not sound like the stereotype of a life-long “Jersey Girl” but in fact it is pretty typical. Don’t mess with a “Jersey Girl,” but most of the time they are friendly and nice…too nice. Mrs. C does not always recognize when someone is being nice to her for reasons other than “Being Nice.”
A week ago Monday, we were in Ketchikan Alaska, the final destination of a 7- day cruise. As we sauntered past the jewelry section of a souvenir store, a “Nice” saleslady stopped us and offered free things for just looking at her wares.
I grumbled, but Mrs. C agreed to take a free 12 cent piece of crap that said “Alaska” on it and proceeded to look at rings and things. As soon as Mrs. C seemed interested, this lady from Ketchikan, Alaska immediately turned French.
“Dis is lovely piece no? ere, you must try eet un.”
Then looking to me, “Eet is beautiful no? Eet is only $2600, but for cruise ship assangers…une mo-ment…” She then pulls that jewelry store crap with a calculator and heavy numbers crunching…shows me the new figure of $2249. “A very good price no? Surely your wife is worth such a good price!”
That’s right, the old make-the-husband-look-like-a-cheapskate-in-front of-the-wife routine. I want to scream, “Lady this cruise is costing a fortune and $2249 is a crap lot of money, I can’t afford it, and yes I am a cheap bastard…see ya!” But instead I simply grunt, hoping Mrs. C gets the hint. She does not. The suddenly French saleslady from Ketchikan, Alaska keeps on pitching.
“I doo ave some lovely choc-o-late diamonds that are a little less expenseeve, perhaps ma-dam would like to see?”
I am now doing a slow burn. We came into this store to look at hats with “Alaska” emblazoned on the brim, not $2000 jewelry. In addition, I had already decided to surprise Mrs. C with a nice necklace she saw on the boat which was far less expensive than $2000 but not cheap. Saying no to this more expensive stuff was going to ruin my surprise.
“Surprise, I got you an inexpensive necklace instead of the really expensive stuff you wanted!”
I had to put the kibosh on this lady’s sales pitch and get the heck out of this store.
“Oh, chocolate diamonds…aren’t those the crap they used to just throw away because they were so plentiful no one wanted them until someone decided that if they offer them as something rare and special, idiots would and do pay top dollar for them?”
The French saleslady from Ketchikan, Alaska seemed momentarily out of words and I managed to induce Mrs. C to finally leave the store.
“What the hell, it’s not like we couldn’t buy diamonds in New Jersey!”
“I didn’t want or like any of that stuff.”
“Then why were you looking at it, trying it on, and asking the price?”
“I was just being nice.”
“I swear, I am always ‘a jerk’ but a salesperson with a smile and you always have to be nice!”
“You were just rude.”
“If you are not rude to sales people, they will not give up. Eventually you have to either buy something, or you have to be rude. If you are not going to buy something, you are actually doing them a favor by being rude!”
“I like to be nice.”