like Sebastian Flyte said: if

like Sebastian Flyte said: if you look like you need it, people won’t want to give it to you.
Also, baleful stares don�t help.

Due to our fond memories of the Exton mall, Kate and I thought we’d try to get our wedding rings there. Hey, it’s a metal band, how ghetto can it get? Pretty ghetto, it turns out. It’s funny how you filter out things you’re not interested in, then as soon as you’re ready to shop for wedding rings you realize that there are FOURTEEN JEWELRY STORES at the Exton mall, all selling marquis-cut Princess Bands with plastic certification cards from the Independent Gemological Society and the Gemological Association of America, all of which sound-like-but-are-not-quite the real independent certification body whose name I forget.

There’s no getting around it, we discovered: cheap jewelers are depressing. I wasn’t trying to be an asshole when I went in, and I certainly wasn’t trying to go slumming: if the Internet industry spits me out for good, the jewelers at the Exton mall will become the correct price point for me. However, the plastic placards proclaiming “Platinum: As Pure As Your Love”, and the outrageous, knuckle-duster size of the “Gentleman’s Classic Three-Diamond Wedding Band” were kind of hard to take. Also, most of the jewelry is manufactured by ArtCarved, the same company that manufactures high school class rings “…in durable, affordable gold-toned Electriumtm!”

Kate wasn’t having any more fun than I was: apparently, mall jewelers and mattress salespeople take the same hard-sell kung fu classes. After fixing us with a baleful, sheeps-eye stare, a woman behind the counter demanded of us “What can I do to earn your business today?”, while a man in a polyester tie glared at her from the other side of the store, apparently ready to award her the set of steak knives or fire her, depending on our answer. The same lady, later: “the wedding is in June of this year? Oh, MY!” Not noticing us rolling our eyes, she continued: “You’ll need to buy the rings right away, to get them sized.”

Get them sized? Get them sized? Jesus Christ, lady, we build space shuttles in this country! If this were a hardware store, you’d have all the sizes in stock, with different versions for right-hand-thread and left-hand thread-thread, plus a separate version with a Teflon liner! I’m 100% sure that ArtCarved keeps some kind of giant pre-sized ring warehouse in Kansas, with a huge staff in golf carts and fleets of UPS trucks idling at the loading dock.

Which is to say, I guess, that she didn’t earn our business, and we’re going to give dissembling mall jewelers a miss in future. Unless we get a hankering for durable, affordable gold-toned Electriumtm.

That night, at dinner, our personable college-aged waitress was much more successful in giving us the hard sell. “Would you like to try the baklava? If I sell the whole tray tonight, I get a free case of beer!”

I had two pieces.

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