Today I had to go to Barneys to return some housewares and wait for my sister in law there. It began with no parking space, everything in Beverly Hills was crowded from the Golden Globes weekend and I had to pay for valet parking which really pissed me off. By the time I had gotten the heavy candelabra into the store, up to the 3rd floor and into the boutique I was nauseous. Trudging past the 75% off signs and the amazing earrings and the new spring bags I felt Iike I was sinking. I had promised my sister in law that I’d wait for her, there was nothing to look at in housewares, my crack dealer in COOP handbags and accessories was waiting to “hang out” – I had to go and soon.
After I left minutes later I realized I had to get out but not because I would buy something. I could not stay because I was drawn to look backwards, to hear the old arguments of why I need to buy something and that I should especially if its on sale. The thought of going to that place made me really sick especially since Barney’s is the worst because you are confined to the walls of those five floors. There is no air, no change of pace. It’s so obvious how they get the customer to buy things they don’t need or even want. I saw that so clearly today. I was on a mountaintop being forced to look backward at the most treacherous journey I had freshly conquered, forced to re-live the memory. I felt like I was going to turn into the archetypal pillar of salt.
Why bother? I thought. I got it together and there is nothing here I need. There is no fantasy here, just commerce. I paid my four dollars at the valet, forgot to tip the guy who brought my car since I was on an important call with my accountant of all people. Usually Im a great tipper but this time I just didnt mind hanging onto my two dollars. I got out in one piece, a little panicky, a little cheap for not tipping, but basically allright.
Huge victory today.