I was in a craft store which shall remain nameless this past weekend.  I was looking for silk poinsettias.  Little flashback:  a couple years ago I bought the most gorgeous live poinsettias from Trader Joe's.  They were so full and looked beautiful on my front porch.  I got to enjoy them for less than 24 hours.  That was the day I learned that poinsettias are not hardy enough to withstand cold temperatures.  It was a sad day.

So I decided that this year I would play it fast and loose with our homeowner's association rules and attempt to find some artificial poinsettias that would not shrivel to nothingness in the cold.  And hope that the aforementioned homeowner's association would not catch on to my little scheme and issue me a "stop it!" letter.  (I've gotten one before.)

So there I was, in the craft store-which-must-not-be-named.  And there, right at the front of the store, was a display of silk poinsettias!  And they were 60% off!  I rejoiced in my fortuitous timing and began looking for a pair that matched.  I found one the perfect size and color, but alas, I could not find another to match it.  Then I noticed that on the adjacent display there were some that were exactly like I wanted, but they had big bows affixed to them and were more expensive.

I held the two plants side by side.  I studied them.  I tried to figure out what might be different on the more expensive one other than the addition of a bow, but I couldn't find anything.  So, I enacted the "just ask" policy, went up to the counter and greeted the salesperson.  Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi.  I was looking for another poinsettia like this one (points to cheaper one), and this one looks like it's the same thing except for the bow.
Salesperson: That one is Custom Floral.
Me: Right, but it looks to me like it's the exact same thing as the other one, except that it has a bow on it.
Salesperson: It is the same, but it's Custom Floral.
Me: Well, could I take the bow out and just pay the cheaper price?  I don't need the bow.
Salesperson: No, it can't be altered.  It's CUSTOM FLORAL.

Needless to say, I left the store with no poinsettias.  Because friends, while the plain, unadorned poinsettia was $20 (plus 60% off), they were charging $39.95 for the one with the bow.  Twenty more dollars.  For a bow.  Otherwise, it was exactly the same.  That's highway robbery!

Plus, I feel like the good name of Custom Floral is somewhat sullied when it gets thrown in with something as haphazardly put together as a foil-wrapped fake poinsettia with a giant bow on it.  I mean, at least put it in a basket or a decorative pot.  But they just left the gold foil on it.  I gotta tell you, if that's all it takes to be a custom floral designer-- excuse me, Custom Floral Designer-- at this particular craft store, then sign me up, man.  I can make a mean bow.

This story does have a happy ending, because I was able to find a couple poinsettias at a different craft store, also on sale.  All's well that ends well.

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1 comment:

  1. My aunt is a florist and rants and raves constantly about the two big craft stores and their "custom" florals. Usually, they look terrible! I would've been so mad if I'd encountered what you did. Twenty bucks for a bow, when you know the roll of ribbon didn't cost any more than $5!