It was 1986. My local shoe shop. I was 14 years old. Every day for 2 weeks, I went for a walk and saw them gazing at me from the window. Finally, I walked in and tried them on. White leather boots, not too high, not too short – more like semi cowgirl style. I remember tassles - funky white strips of leather hanging down the sides, and little shapes cut out through the top.
Man, I loved those boots. I tried them on, and strutted around the shoe store, suddenly feeling oh, so trendy and grown up. I asked the sales lady how much. $50, she told me. How could I ask my parents to buy me the shoes? I would do jobs, I would do whatever it took to have those babies on my feet. When my Dad came home that night, I explained every little detail of these amazing boots, and how much in love I was. Would it be at all possible if he could please buy them for me? He asked me how much. I answered, only $50 – and they’re real leather (and oh, so gorgeous). He told me to return to the shop the next day, and if you can get them down to $45, I’ll give you the money.
They’re the kind of life lessons you have when your father was a car salesman in the 80’s. Everything was negotiated. He saw every purchase as a challenge. I’m pretty sure I even remember some negotiating happening in the local Continental Deli, asking the man to throw in some extra cheese and salami. One particular weekend, both Mum and Dad had been out, furniture shopping. Mum was so excited she found the perfect lounge suite. Six weeks later, the lounge suite hadn’t yet arrived. The other pieces they ordered had been delivered, but no lounge suite. She questioned Dad, asking had he heard from the furniture company about the suite. He said no, why? She said well it’s been six weeks, and it hasn’t arrived. His answer was there was no order. When asked why, he explained that he refused to put the order through, because they wouldn’t throw in free cushions. Everything was a negotiation.
Nowadays, retail is quite different. There’s not a lot of negotiating power, which is why it’s great when you find a company who has already done the negotiating for you! By using your Australian Baby Card, you have instant access to loads of discounts and offers, without the embarrassment of haggling. Jump on the website to sign up today, and check out the daily savings you can make.
Oh, and I did get the white boots with the tassles. But it was a secret between Mum and I, that she slipped me the extra $5…
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