COLLEEN: I walk into Tiffany in my summer-in-the-city uniform of t-shirt, floaty skirt and flip-flops. Admittedly, not the most pulled together I could be. I head up to the third floor and park myself by a long glass case filled with sparkly things.
After I wait long enough to understand where I fall on the priority list, a well-groomed salesman in his late 30’s approaches.
I explain that I’m looking for a graduation present for my sister and ask about the prices of two sparkly items in the case. He tells me, I choose a gift and he takes my credit card. In the middle of all this I ask an innocent question: “Which floor are the wedding rings on?”
Unknowingly, I’ve spoken the magic words that open the icy Tiffany Gates of Superiority and all at once I’m welcomed into the warm and cozy Land of Tiffany.
“I noticed that,” he enthuses like we’re best friends, pointing to my engagement ring (three emerald cut diamonds and a platinum band, very sparkly, exactly what I wanted). “It’s beautiful. Your fiancé did a good job.”
I smile and say, yes, I love it and, wow, it needs to be cleaned, doesn’t it?
After wrapping up my sister’s gift and praising me multiple times for my excellent taste and for being such a great big sister, he hands me his business card. “I’m happy to help you with anything you need from Tiffany in the future.” He repeats his name and directs me toward the “secret” elevators on the other side of the store.
I wander off thinking about the transformation my salesperson underwent before my very eyes. Poor thing doesn’t realize I’m destined to be a perpetually broke grad student for the next six years. Unfortunately, his attentions towards me did not maximize his time.