I had a little road trip planned for Friday: retracing the route for Day 3 of the AIDS Ride. I’m writing my sample chapter, and having serious problems with describing the route, since I really don’t remember any of it. (The two times I rode, I was concentrating on riding, and the time I drove, I was concentrating on not hitting cyclists.) So I asked my ex, the eccentric millionaire, to come along. He’s a botanist/geologist/lots of other stuff, and his expertise in California native plants is virtually unparalleled.
He arrived about an hour later than expected, which is about par for Rob. He also arrived with a friend/acquaintance in tow, a woman-in-distress (he has a habit of picking them up) with various medical problems and an (emotionally) abusive boyfriend. Rob wanted me to talk to her, since I used to work with the Support Network for Battered Women, & could point her in the right directions. Unfortunately, the boyfriend called up, they had an argument, and she decided to bail on the trip, so Rob and I wound up going off alone. I did pull her aside briefly to chat with her, and determined that she was in no physical danger; I offered to talk more if she ever wanted to, but I don’t think she’ll need me; she seems to be doing pretty well (under the circumstances). I may call and ask her for makeup tips though–hers was flawless, and I want to know how she does it!
Anyway, we set off around noon, headed for King City, the campsite for Day 2.
About an hour into the trip, in Gilroy, we stopped to buy supplies (food/water), and Rob felt compelled to go by Starbucks “for a caffeine”. (Rob has an unerring ability to find Starbucks in any location–you name the town, he knows exactly where the Starbucks is. It’s uncanny.) So we stopped by the Gilroy Outlet Mall, and while Rob was getting his coffee (and a passion iced tea for me), I went for a quick look around the mall.
I poked my nose very briefly through Perfumania, which had nothing exciting. I’m not that into perfumes, preferring floral fragrances myself–rosewater, jasmine, and vanilla are my favorite scents, followed by cinnamon and other stuff. I was about to wander down to rejoin Rob, when I saw The Movado Store. 😎 I’m a big, big, BIG fan of Movado watches, so I went in to take a look around.
(Not, you understand, that I could afford a Movado. At least not at the moment. But they’re god-awfully beautiful watches, and it’s fun to try them on. Besides, I figured I might be able to find a used one on eBay, if I found the right one.)
Rob eventually joined me with drinks-and-all, and we went poking through the watches. I was looking for a gold-toned watch with a white face, as I need a watch in that color, and tried a couple of them on. Nothing really remarkable. I was looking at stainless steel bands and remarking that I’m nickel-sensitive (so I can’t wear a lot of stainless steel), so I really needed something gold-plated.
At this point Rob, who also loves Movados (he has two), gets curious and says to the saleswoman, “Hey, are they still making the solid gold watches?” She says, “Yes! Right over here,” and moves to a special locked case on the counter.
I can’t resist this, of course, so I *have* to go see. I look in the case, riffle through the gold-and-diamonds watches (hey, I’ll never have one, but I gotta try them all on!), and eventually try on one with a mother-of-pearl face, twelve tiny gold dots around the rim, the signature Movado dot on the rim, and “MOVADO” in tiny letters across the center. It’s the “Ariel” style, and good gods, is it gorgeous. I fall in love with it.
It is THE nicest watch I’ve ever seen–elegant, understated, and beautiful. So many expensive watches are simply gaudy–“Look at me! I can afford a diamond-encrusted watch!”–but this one isn’t. It doesn’t call attention to itself, it doesn’t scream anything, but it is lovely–and the more you look at it, the more beautiful it is. Like classical music. It’s an absolute joy.
I gulp, and ask the saleslady, “How much is it?” She takes it, looks at the tag, and says, “Well, the list price is $3300.”
I choke out, “Say no more.”
She says, “But it’s on sale for $1350.”
I look at it. I LOVE this thing. I absolutely LOVE it. I need a gold-and-white dress watch for work. I do have some money, because of the severance, so I *could* buy it…but I. just. can’t. afford that much money for a watch, no matter how much I love it. I briefly consider skipping my trip to Central America. It is just, just, beautiful.
I say, “Let me think about it,” and get ready to walk out. I want to get away from this watch so I can think about it for several hours. I love it, it’s perfect, but my God, $1350…for a watch…(!!!)
She says, “I’ll give you a 15% discount, on top of the sale price…”
I say, “Aaaack!!!” and “Aaagh!!” and finally, “Give me your card…I’ll think about it, and come back later in the afternoon…”
At this point, Rob [who, you may recall, is a millionaire] hands his credit card to the saleswoman, and says (to me, over his shoulder), “Happy birthday.”
I’m flabbergasted. “Are you SURE???”
He says, “Sure! You need a watch for work, and this one is just perfect. It’s beautiful. You couldn’t possibly find a better watch. And it’s a REALLY good price…hell, you could probably get that much just for the gold in the watch.” He hands his card over to the woman.
I’m ecstatic. It’s the most beautiful watch I’ve seen, and I just love it. [I know Rob isn’t trying to bribe me for anything, because that’s not his style–he likes giving things to people, it wouldn’t be enjoyable if it were a quid pro quo.] So I am thrilled. I’m just about ready to kiss him, then I remember that he’s my ex.
So now I have this gorgeous, gorgeous Movado watch, solid gold, with sapphire crystal. I love it. It’s going to last me a lifetime.
(I was looking online for a photo of it, but the best I could find was an eBay ad–I don’t know if it’ll be up permanently, but you can check it out for now, here. The photo doesn’t do it justice, though.)
Of course, now it’s almost 2pm, and we haven’t even gotten out of Gilroy. Am I complaining? NO!! But it’s going to be a tight squeeze for the rest of the day.