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But you could have knocked me over with a feather when they didn't want to serve me at all!
Having finished my ramblings and with a couple of possibilities firmly chosen, I came to a halt in middle of main counter, looking over to three staff members huddled together, quietly talking. The security guard had by this time finished his assessment, obviously deciding I was more of a danger to myself than stock and left.
It was me and two other customers, a mother and daughter on a day out to London by looks of things who were quietly in far corner, seemingly arguing over merits of a scarf versus a bag.
So I politely stood at counter for a couple of minutes, waiting quietly. I was fairly sure that both of girls saw me but chose to ignore me -- but hey, I could be wrong.
But I wasn't wrong that male assistant saw me when he turned round, looked right at me then turned back to his discussion.
So a polite cough was called for and duly given.
And just as duly ignored.
So a louder cough followed.
Which was followed by even more ignoring.
And that was when I coughed loudly and -- please forgive me dear reader -- made that awful hawking sound at back of throat that children make when they are about to do something they really shouldn't in polite company!
That got their attention. Three startled faces all looked at me with what could well have been a look of respect but I suspect was much more likely to be one of thinly veiled disgust!
Reluctantly male assistant tore himself away from safety of herd and ambled over.
"May I help you?" Did you notice lack of a "sir" at end of that greeting?? I did!
"Well, I was looking for a handbag for my wife as a xmas present" says I "something a little different and unusual"
"Everything in here is different. Did you have anything particular in mind?" says he.
Ever had that urge to just be rude back to someone and say "grow up!"? Difficult to resist, ain't it!!
"Well, I was thinking of a Mono Papillon but I'd like to see a Damier Ribera as well please. Oh, and if you have an Epi St. Moritz I'd like to have a quick look at that as well please."
That got him. You could see him almost rock back on his feet!
I knew secret.
A man, a man knew secret of store.
I knew names of bags!
A thin sheen of perspiration glistened on his previously dry forehead as he threw in a delaying tactic.
"I think you might prefer a Speedy instead?"
"No thank you, it's a bit too samey samey. The Ribera will do just fine thank you."
He turned towards shelves, shoulders tense and body ramrod stiff.
"Make that Ribera MM, not GM please" I whispered, just low enough for him to hear.
His shoulders slumped as last vestiges of defiance ebbed away.
Meek as a lamb he spent next twenty minutes retrieving item after item for me to review, paw and discard. He was asked question after question about origins, materials care, style variances, range histories and named designers contributions. He failed badly on some and confessed to not even knowing basics of deciphering date codes.
Finally, when he was just about all done in, I threw my ace on table.
"Actually, I'd like to look at new Marelle please."
"We don't have that bag sir" says he "it's not been released yet!" A small smile of satisfaction flickered at corners of his mouth.
"So bag on top shelf, just....there, that would be what then??" says I.
Game, set and match.
Can men buy handbags?
Some can - if store staff will let them.
Rufus Steele is the author and creator of the Louis Vuitton Handbags website, a site dedicated to all things Louis Vuitton and designer handbags.