I mean PRICE POINT.
Do you know the price you’re willing — or NOT willing — to pay for a specific item?
And what factors affect your decision?
That tipping point between purchase or walking away.
I. Am. Officially. Crazy.
I wouldn’t allow hub to buy a ten dollar mop from Target ‘cos I knew i could get one at the dollar store for a dollar (which I did), but I can spend a mortgage payment on a pair of shoes.
Who wouldn’t want to save NINE DOLLARS, right?
My tugboat man flew home last week for a brief respite and our reunion was a whirlwind of shopping for new deck furniture, repairing a broken washing machine — it needed a new tub seal ‘cos it was leaking — hub’s a GENIUS at fixing things, especially since there is NO surf ‘cos the Pacific Ocean is a LAKE so he had a lot of free (not surfing) time. This turned out to be an all day project because he decided to take it completely apart and do all sorts of maintenance while he replaced the broken part.
We put our old deck furniture out on the street and it was picked up within minutes, which was awesome as it saved us a trip to the dump and then the universe rewarded us by our discovery of an amazing outdoor coffee table also on the street just a couple blocks from our house that should complement our new furniture perfectly, and only needs to be refinished — another one of hub’s many talents.
See, I’m a girl who can appreciate the finer things in life as well as bringing home the detritus ( I mean the treasures) others discard.
I wasn’t at all naggy or anything — hardly even reminded hub of his duty to fulfill his penance with a pair of Loubies ‘cos we were uber busy — and then one day — UNPROMPTED — he asked if I had changed my mind about that certain trip to South Coast Plaza.
Quicker than you can say, “are you f***ing kidding me” I hopped in the shower and threw on a casual but California cool ensemble. Perfect for a day of trying on shoes.
I am horrified by what I’m going to say next, but I’m all about keeping it realz.
I don’t like the way Louboutins look on my feet.
This style is NOT foot or leg-flattering. That whole TOE CLEAVAGE thing that Christian Louboutin’s all about is NOT sexy on me. To me, it looks like a whole bunch of butt cracks and then I start thinking about plumbers and no. can. do.
Not even for those red soles that I had obsessed about for a while. Not even.
Plus, not comfortable at all. Not at all. I have a really high arch, so a tall heel is no problem — but after trying on almost every shoe in the store, I had to accept defeat.
My tugboat man was SO patient, he actually ENTERED the shop and sat with me while I modeled shoe after shoe. He didn’t like the way they looked either, but it was like pulling teeth to get him to offer an honest opinion — we’ve been married way too long — but I needed him to be brutally honest At $650 and up — there’s a lot of considerations that don’t arise with a purchase from Ross Dress For Less.
Which brings us to PRICE POINT.
We tried all the shoe stores — Jimmy Choo, Dior, Prada, YSL, Roger Vivier, Stuart Weitzman, Bloomies…and then there was CHANEL.
I mean, we were right there; it would have been so wrong NOT to see what they had, ya know?
I didn’t want to. I said, “Let’s go and eat some lunch and think about it.”
So we did. We shared a salad and a veggie panini at the Corner Bakery Cafe and strolled back over to Chanel where I tried the shoes on again and walked all over the store. Yes, they were comfortable, more so than the Loubies. The heel wasn’t too low nor was it too high. There was none of the dreaded toe cleavage.
BUT they sorta kinda gapped open just a bit at the arch, ‘cos of the whole ballet dancer high arch thing. They didn’t hug my foot. They weren’t perfect, but pretty darn close.
My tugboat man waxed poetic. They were elegant, sexy, classy, timeless (his words.)
In all honesty, I bet he was really thinking to himself, “she’ll never bug me about buying another pair of shoes ever again so in the long run, this’ll save money and I’ll come out of it smelling sweet and looking like a hero and I’ll never have to watch her try on a thousand damn pairs of shoes ever again.”
OK. Here goes. The price point…They were $850. EIGHT HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS, not including tax.
Way more than I’ve ever paid for a pair of shoes. The most I’ve ever spent was about $200 or so for boots.
Practically $500 PER SHOE.
This was well above my internal price point, but my persuasive husband exerted influence and FORCED me get them.
“You deserve to have them.”
“You should have had shoes like this twenty years ago.”
WHO IS THIS GUY? (And no, he doesn’t have any brothers, he can’t be cloned, and his dad is/was a selfish jerk, so I don’t know how he became so awesome or I got so lucky.)
So I caved. Against my better judgement, I slapped down the plastique and made the purchase.
But something was bothering me.
I was afraid to wear them. What if they got scuffed up? What if something happened to the little bands of gold and the CC charm on the heel?
And that gap issue bugged me; shouldn’t they fit like a Cinderella shoe? Shouldn’t they be BEYOND perfect? I could have a custom shoe handmade by a cobbler for less than $850.00.
All my “what if” worry issues were stimulated.
The shoes sat on display on our dining room table for a few days.
I tried them on, walked around the house, but it was like an itch, a burr under my saddle, a nagging sense of something NOT QUITE RIGHT.
I even woke up from a deep sleep worrying about those damn shoes.
I was afraid to wear them. They were beyond my price point.
There’s a fourteen day return policy.
My tugboat man left to go back out to sea on Veteran’s Day.
What a dilemma!
On one hand, I loved the shoes A LOT, because Chanel, HELLO!
On the other hand, they weren’t 100000% perfectly fitting my foot. And on a third hand, they were ridiculously expensive, and I’m not sure I would enjoy wearing them because I’d be too frightened to walk outside.
I am fully aware that these kinds of shoes are not for hiking in the Anza-Borrego Desert and are much more akin to a hothouse flower that should only walk on a red carpet at a Hollywood premiere or the lush marble floor of a cocktail party in Rancho Santa Fe — but I’d be waiting YEARS for those events to occur.
And it’s also not that I don’t LOVE to be pampered with pricey prezzies (Chanel handbag #1 and #2, diamond anniversary band, opal ring…) but somehow these shoes triggered a deep emotional hesitation.
Know where I’m going?
I mean, literally, do you know where I’m going?
Yup, as soon as my tugboat man was safely on a vessel in the middle of a vast ocean, I packed up my beautiful but not perfect shoes and drove an hour back to South Coast Plaza and returned them.
More than anything, I didn’t want to hurt my hub’s feelings — he really and truly derives so much joy from buying me nice things — but I just couldn’t keep them.
And I didn’t want to let him know in advance that I was driving to the OC ‘cos it’s a hundred-mile-plus trip roundtrip and he’d worry about me. The last thing I want to do is to cause him to pay less attention to his dangerous work, pulling and pushing barges and winches and towing lines and all that.
AND since we have a policy of full disclosure, I would never NOT tell him, because that’s not how we roll,
Last night when he called to say goodnight like he always tries to do, I gently broke the news to him that I had returned his lovely gift, but more so than the actual purchase, I loved him for wanting to do whatever it takes to please me and make me happy, and THAT was priceless.
He was disappointed, but understood that that the whole “gap” and “fear” thing took the joy out of it for me.
Now here’s some questions I’ve been thinking about:
Do you think it was all a ploy by my tugboat man? Reverse psychology? He knows how cheap I really am, and perhaps he did this so he’d come out the generous knight in shining armor and I’m the undeserving scullery maid?
It’s possible…it is. He’s a clever one, that tugboat man of mine.
However, all is not lost. I have a $20 discount coupon for DSW. Hmm, maybe I’ll see what they have to offer.
Do YOU have a price point? Especially for items that are not necessary like food and shelter. What factors enter into your purchase decisions? Is there a point at which you say no? What’s the most you’ve ever spent on shoes?
Here’s a photo gallery of South Coast Plaza all dressed up for the holidays and one last look of me holding a Chanel bag…