“One-hundred and seventy dollars” she says, “firm”. We counter offer, “One-Fifty?”. She says, “No. One-Seventy, Firm.” So we walk away.
This is a trick my father taught me when we went to purchase my first car. You bring only the amount you intend to spend, not a penny more, and if they don’t accept your cash offer, you walk away, it isn’t the right car. The idea here is that most salesmen at this point will stop you, they’ll say, “I really shouldn’t do this, but…” and then they strike a deal! No dice. We walked away, she didn’t stop us. Instead, I turned around and kindly asked her for her phone number, “In case we can swing the extra $20”. She gives me her number and we leave. I can’t believe that my puppy eyes and sincere poverty do not strike her heartstrings to just drop the price twenty bucks and let me leave with a smile on my face and a bed in tow.
Ten minutes later, we decide to spring for the bed. We might not be able to eat this week, but we cannot continue to camp in the condo, I feel like a squatter. So I call Eva. The convo is as follows:
Me: Hello, Eva?
Eva: Ooooh! REBAYCKA! You must hurry if you want the bed. I just sold the whole bedroom set to another couple! Hurry! Come now! (click).
I am pretty sure we’re being bamboozled but it is still a legit good deal so I pack the Honda with bungee cords and race to her condo in the pouring rain.
That Eva was a woman of her word. Half way through the move, a young couple pass my boyfriend and I arguing strategics in the breezeway. They give us eyes. We pretend not to notice and quickly load the mattress. What a feat. But the bed got there in the end. And dressed with our 700 thread count sheets and brand new duvet you’d never guess we’re struggling.
Eva let me borrow a tarp she had all ready sold to someone else and asked that I promptly return it upon removal of said mattress. My boyfriend and I return to her condo. She swings open the door, sobbing.
“Rebaycka. (Sobbing). Thank God you are here. (Sobbing more). You are my angel.”
I go back to my bamboozled idea. Oh no. She’s got seller’s remorse. I am going to have to drive home, re-bungee, and get the bed soaking wet again to take it back to her. All she has to do is ask, and I’ll turn around and bring it back. I have a heart and it’s starting to think about someone other than myself for the 1st time in days. I am thinking about how desperate her situation could be, running dramatic scenarios in my head, just preparing for her to lay it on me so I can be the random angel she thinks I am.
“(Sobbing). Booohooohoohoo!!! Rebaycka. Please help me! Please! Take your shoes off, come in.”
I take my shoes off.
“I don’t know how to inflate my air mattress! Whahwhoohoo…”
I pick up the electric air pump, plug it in, untwist the nozzle on the mattress, and voila! Air mattress.
Silence. Like a child who has just seen something sparkly in the midst of a temper tantrum. She says, “You are my angel, Rebaycka. You are so smart. You should be an engineer.”
Only if it is as rewarding as inflating air matresses for strangers.
*No hearts were broken during this mattress purchase. A later conversation with said saleswoman revealed she was moving to a new beach house in Miami, thereby negating the idea of me being a heartless bed-robber. *