Andrew and I spent quite a while this week working on the baby's room. It is looking a lot better--not only can you walk in the room, you can walk in the room and lie down on the floor. I know it is hard to believe, but we have cleared all the junk away and somehow fit it into our storage closet.
We recently went to Target with a gift card from Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Frank--they sent it all the way from Germany. Okay, so it was mailed from wherever Target headquarters are to us, but they ordered it all the way from Germany--and we got a few more baby necessities.
Using their gift card, as well as our credit card points, we purchased a stroller/car seat combo, a crib mattress, and a few unmentionables (like a breast pump).
We're now feeling almost ready to have the baby. We can bring the baby home, we can feed it (alright--Andrew can help me with the feedings now), and we can give it a place to sleep. Granted, it will spend the first few months in the bassinet, but that's okay because we got a steal of a deal on the crib mattress!
We went to DI first to check out the mattresses there because my friend Bonnie told me they had new mattresses for sale pretty cheap ($35 for foam, 45 for springs). We went and looked at them, but I wanted to look at other places as well, just to compare. At Target, there was this awesome spring mattress for only $34.
We decided on that one, since the one next to it was over $70! (Who knew babies were so expensive?!!)
When we went up to pay at the register, the mattress rang up to be nearly $50! Now, there were only 2 mattresses on display--only two mattresses to choose from. There were also only two price tags. We told the cashier that the mattress only cost $35.
He didn't even argue. He just took our word for it. He charged us $34.99 plus tax, even though the UPC rang up a different price. He didn't go check the price or a catalogue, or have us go back and double check ourselves. He just gave us a discount.
A little reminder to me that we really do live in a barter society--it's just that very few people ever do it because, let me assure you, if you tried to barter down the price of apples at your regular grocery store, people would look at you like you were crazy. It is perfectly legal to barter, just not socially acceptable.
Furthermore, no one knows how to barter here. Had we been nearly anywhere else in the world it would have been like this:
"I'll give you $35 for this mattress."
"The sign says $50"
I would give the vendor a disgusted, shocked look.
"Fine," they would sigh in return, "$48."
"No, this isn't worth $48...Maybe, maybe $38...but the workmanship is a little shoddy."
"You insult me! You insult my family!" two second pause, "$45!"
"No...I don't think so..." at this point I would walk away to another mattress vendor, just next door to the current one.
"Fine, lady! $40! Final offer!" he would call after me.
At this point I would figure that I was saving about 10 bucks so would go back and purchase the mattress.
As I walk away with my new find, we would both think to ourselves, "Ha! I totally ripped them off!"
But that would never happen here because Americans seem to be perfectly content being overcharged for everything.
Oh, and, by the way, we weren't trying to barter with the poor kid. The price tag really did read only $35, but...it could have been for a different, cheap-o mattress. We will never know though because the cashier didn't go and check for us. Oh, well.