On the way to meet my language partner, I made a quick stop at a shoe boutique 200 meters from my house. It was still before 8:00pm, and it wasn’t Shabbat, so in a rare occurrence, my local store was finally open for business for me!
And there they were, the most wonderfully obnoxious, attention-demanding, pair of wedges I’d ever seen. A match made in heaven! I asked for my size, slipped my foot in like Cinderella, and fell deeply in love. “They’re amazing. How much?” Crap, I think, they’re expensive. Really expensive. I double, triple asked if this was the final, FINAL price after the sale markdown. “Yes,” she confirmed. Completely unapologetic, I persisted with, “There’s nothing you can do? Didn’t you mention this is the last pair? 10% off if I pay in cash?” Haggling is a way of life in Israel. Only foreigners forgo these local business practices. In Israel, you’re a doormat if you don’t at least try.
Anyways, I whip out the the pep talk to myself as I approach the register. You know which little internal conversations I am talking about!! It goes something like this:
“Beata, it’s just money. Why do you work so hard if you’re not going to spend it on yourself? Money circulates: if you don’t spend it, you’ll never have it. You don’t have a pair like this, not even close. This is the time to look your best. When, if not now?? YOU DESERVE IT!!”
Making my way down the office hall the next day, I stopped at each room and just stood there like a statue until my new shoes were noticed. Yes, it was wonderfully obnoxious and attention-demanding in every way. Women began to squeal, causing others to run out to see what’s going on. It was exactly as if a colleague brought in their newborn. Or in my case, head-turning, stunning twins. Mommy is very proud.