Monday, February 9, 2009

A Tale of Two Vases

When it comes to bargaining, you can't beat "The Hammond Girls." Let me explain.

Every fall Ashley, Alyssa and I start e-mailing one another with group e-mails about what we each want for Christmas in an attempt to get some good ideas when it's time to go Christmas shopping. I'd been perusing the Pottery Barn website a few weeks before looking for some kind of red vase for our family room when I stumbled upon three very beautiful, but very white vases. Of course my first thought was "Yes! Load that into my cyber-shopping-cart" but I was good and resisted. However, when the "What do you want for Christmas?" e-mails arrived, I was ready. I e-mailed both girls with the website for the white vases (there were three of them in small, medium and large). I also liked a cake plate set on Crate and Barrel but that's another story...

So - Alyssa wrote back shortly thereafter saying something to the effect that SHE liked the white Pottery Barn vases, too, and to add it to her list. For some reason, I didn't connect with the other items Alyssa had mentioned on her Christmas gift list - out of stock or whatever - so I decided to go with the Pottery Barn vase (medium) - one of the three that I liked, too. It arrived safely, was even prettier than the picture, and I wrapped it up.

Now - follow me closely, here. Christmas morning I unwrapped one of Ashley and Jim's gifts to me and - Voila! It was one of the pretty vases I liked from Pottery Barn in the small size. It was beautiful. And Alyssa and Rob had chosen the cake plate that I loved from Crate and Barrel. So I was a happy camper.

Well. That was hardly the end. I soon found out that Alyssa (apparently not trusting that she'd get one of the vases) ordered a medium Pottery Barn vase for me AND for herself. When she learned Ashley had purchased a vase for me, she decided to return the Pottery Barn vase and get me the Crate and Barrel cake plate instead. BUT - she didn't return the duplicate vase and had misplaced the receipt. So Alyssa was left with two identical vases.

Here comes the bargaining part. Alyssa asked me to simply return the duplicate vase I bought for her and then she and I could go to Anthropologie sometime and buy her a replacement Christmas present. Sounded good except for a couple of minor problems. One, I couldn't locate my receipt, either and two - I really liked that vase, too!

Dilemma unresolved, my birthday arrived. Alyssa and Rob bought me some bowls that went with the cake plate Christmas gift and a pedicure at a salon of my choice - we would go together - a fun girls' outing. But there was still the issue of the extra medium Pottery Barn vase to work out.

And now this is where things get totally confusing so hang on. Alyssa had a new idea because I was thinking of keeping the vase myself but then I would still owe her a Christmas present, which we would address when we went to Anthropologie. However, Alyssa's brainchild was instead of her treating me to a pedicure, we would EACH pay for our own pedicures and go to Anthropologie (or somewhere) at her birthday time in June.

Now. If you are confused, you are obviously not one of "The Hammond Girls" because it was one tricky negotiation and one that my girls and I seem to find ourselves in frequently. And for the most part, we "get it." But here's the thing: Did Alyssa get a Christmas gift? Will we remember ANY of this when her birthday rolls around in June? Does Ashley owe anybody a pedicure?

Sadly, we will probably never know. Perhaps Jim and Rob can treat one another to pedicures. Now that is one salon visit I will HAVE to witness!


  1. I think you summed it up perfectly. Makes sense to me!

  2. Somehow I just knew that it would :) p.s. aren't the vases awesome in that picture? Maybe I should get a job with Pottery Barn - I sure gave them enough free advertising on my blog today :)

  3. i think instead of pedicures Jim and I will just split a bottle of rum and see what mayhem ensues....

  4. No nude wrestling in the swimming pool!

  5. Hahhahhah! Don't know how I missed this blog before but I laughed out loud as I read it today. They are beautiful vases and my theory is that you just can't have too many vases. After all, when you are taking flowers from your garden to someone, it's nice to have a duplicate vase that you don't mind parting with. As for all the trading/bartering/gifting I say one excuse for a treat is as good as any other, especially if it's among family! And now for the burning question - did you get this comment notification by email?

  6. Ooops - I didn't check my comments for a little while - No, "Zerlindatar" I received your comment on the blog, not an e-mail...although Alyssa (younger daughter) told me there is an e-mail notification that tells you when you have a comment on your blog - I need to follow up with her and find out HOW to do this! I am such a computer dweeb...