02 October 2005

I got taken...

...but that's not what makes me mad.

Or, actually, it's only part of what makes me mad.

I went out to wander the street fair, and there are endless booths set up. One of them is selling sheet sets for $10, claiming that they're 300 & 400 thread count sheets.

Now, I can look at these things and see that the weave's not tight enough to be 300 thread count, and anyone in their right mind would know that $10 is too good a deal. But I'm desperate for new sheets, so I figured, what the heck -- they'll get me through 'til I can get some nicer ones.

Now, I'm wandering back to my apartment to drop off the two sets of cheap sheets I bought, and I come across another guy selling bath towels and sheet sets. As I'm browsing he comes up to me and says, "You know the sheets you just bought aren't real, right? They're fake. They're polyester."

I was a little taken aback by how in my face this guy was -- and now I'm seriously reconsidering the purchase of his very own cheap bath towels (which, I felt, and are really quite nice at $6 a pop) -- so I say, "Well, thanks for telling me." Listen, kids, it's not like I was gonna go right back to the other guy and demand my $20 back. In NYC, one knows one is taking one's chances when buying from a street vendor. So, okay, I got taken, and it makes me mad that there's a world where people lie, cheat, deceive and steal, but you know what? It happens. Sometimes you get taken.

Unfortunately for me, the new vendor guy didn't think he could just leave it at that. He gets really angry at me for not getting outraged. He wants me to pull the sheets out and feel them! He starts in on how, as a landlord, I should be screening my tenants, not taking their word for it that they're not thieves.

"Education," he says, "isn't enough. You need wisdom too."

You know what? He's right. But that's not what this was all about. It was about him wanting me to feel stupid. He wanted to feel superior. Why else pursue it beyond the "oh, well, thanks for telling me." He turned around to the young kid who was manning the booth with him and made fun of me. The kid looked embarassed.

Thank god my self-esteem doesn't rest on what that guy thinks of me, huh?

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