Saturday, February 18, 2006

Prolonged Agony: The Strange Man at the Furniture Store

My wife and I have been saving for some time for new furniture in our living room. We've been married nearly 6 years and we're well passed the life expectancy of Cost Plus furniture. It was a good run with no cat scratches or stains and they'll make a nice addition to that empty bedroom downstairs filled with nothing.

We went for leather and Room Source here in Sacramento has cheap leather couches that hold up forever. Plus they love to give you a deal if you do their 90 days same as cash thing. They'll knock 200 bucks right off the top if you sign up. You had better pay though. 22.9% interest! Whoa boy! Writing the check as soon as they send the bill.

Anyhow, we hate shopping. We use the internet for everything. We even get our groceries online from Safeway. It saves us the time in strolling over there and dealing with the crowds.
But furniture is different. You keep it for awhile. You have to go and try it out. Lay on it. Jump up and down. Stuff like that. (I ain't going any further with descriptions)

When we made our decision we met with the man to go over the finances. What a cheeky fellow he was. A nice Filipino man in his 40's. Just kept talking... Ever met a salesman that after he sold ya something, he kept talking about it? I am in sales myself and this is the worst thing you can do. We made the decision and the dude kept selling the couch. How soft the leather is. How puncture proof it is. I kept thinking to myself, "I wonder what would he'd say if we bought that exotic leather couch in front of the store for ten grand and not the cheapest leather couch they had in the back of the store, next to the sky blue denim couches you'd only see on Trading Spaces in some redneck's house?" He even told us that the couch would fit into a mobile home!

Then he reviews the credit app. And the list of stupid questions start: "Oh looks good, I see you live in Sacramento, are you from Sacramento?" Ok, we live Sacramento, so we must be from around here. Who comes from out of state to buy furniture at a Sacramento based furniture store? He sees my wife's occupation. "Teacher....oh, do you teach?" And it just so happens, the man grew up around the block from my wife's school. Imagine that. Here come a bunch more stupid questions like, "How long have you been at that school?", which is clearly stated ON the freaking application next to years at job. The small talk then turned towards me. I had no idea what we were waiting for, the purchase was finished.

I mentioned earlier the man was Filipino. How can I possibly know this meeting the man for the first time? It was the accent. The accent I heard everyday growing up. You see, there is this rather large suburb south of San Francisco called Daly City. 90% of that city immigrated here from the Philipines. If you have lived there, you know the accent. And the conversation led all the way to where I was originally from, Daly City, he got all happy and cheery and said to me, " You're Filipino? So am I!! You are my people. My family is from there."

"Daly City or the Philipines?" I ask, puzzled that this man could look me in my blue eyes and even have the slightest suspicion that I was born in the Philipines. I just wanted my couches. It was Saturday. Let's go, already.

"No", he laughs. "Daly City, part of my family moved there in the early 1970's off of Gellert Blvd on Warwick."

"Really?" I says, "I lived off Gellert too." I am just totally playing along now even though I really lived off of Gellert Blvd. He starts naming people, vague names I barely knew, Asian restaurants I hadn't the foggiest idea of their existence. I grin and play along. I made his day. Restaurants and people, he names on and on... over and over. His cousins went to my elementary school. It was like I was from the Old Country. I was an immigrant. He and I were brothers with the same roots...

What a strange experience. I thought was gonna get a brush up in my Tagalog.

No comments: