Sunday, October 22, 2006

Worst Bridal Salon in Pasadena: Paulette's Ambiance

If you have read my post on shopping for wedding dresses, you'll know that I find it pretty un-fun. But apparently I didn't know what un-fun really was because I hadn't been to Paulette's. I was actually really looking forward to going to Paulette's because I knew 3 people who bought their dresses there and they all seemed very satisfied. However 1 of the 3 did buy her dress there before the ownership had changed hands from the original Paulette to the current owner, who we'll call Crazy Lady. That should have been a red flag. Of also important significance, which I couldn't have foreseen was that all 3 were Caucasian, which we'll be explained shortly.

So it was a Friday afternoon, An and I are pumped for the weekend and are kicking it off with a trip to Paulette's. As we walk up, we are really excited because the store is the cutest little cottage and we saw the most adorable flowergirl dress in the window. When we walk in, we're greeted by Crazy Lady who keeps asking if I'm Vivian...those who know me will know the significance of that. Anyway, I approach her with the dresses that I have torn out of magazines to give her an idea of what I'm looking for. She becomes sort of agitated and starts pointing to different dresses saying "We don't have that one, we don't have that one either, and not that one" and "Oh so you want a Monique Lhuillier dress"...and I truly got the sense that she felt like I couldn't affford a M.L. dress and that I was crazy for even bringing the picture in. So I told her I didn't want those exact dresses, they were to give her an idea of what I'm looking for. She's not very happy and only shows me one dress that was part of the magazine cut-outs I brought. I have to ask if I can look through the rest of the dresses.

So I've chosen some dresses, out of her pretty limited selection, as most of them were very traditional and ball-gowny type and I wanted modern. An comes into the dressing area with me as that's what we've done at Saks, Neiman and R-Mine and we were the only 2 customers in there. Crazy Lady prompty kicks An out of the area saying "You can't be here, this is a dressing room. Go outside" So An uncomfortably leaves the room and I'm left in the uncomfortable silence with Crazy Lady. I should actually call her Dragon Lady - that seems more appropriate. So Dragon Lady helps me into the dress and tells me not to put my shoes on because there's a raised area outside. Why would you care if I wanted to wear my shoes???? Anyway, I walk outside to show An. An approves of the dress and starts taking notes like "An likes dress, VT likes dress", notes the price and does a quick rudimentary sketch so we can jog our memory when we get home and review our shopping trip. Dragon Lady proceeds to tell An that she cannot sketch the dress. An of course says she's only trying to draw a simple idea of the dress so we can remember it, then An shows Dragon examples of the dresses she's drawn so Dragon feels comforted that we're not trying to steal the design and go make it for cheaper elsewhere. Crazy Dragon then says "Those are great sketches, you can't sketch in my store". And not to rag on An but seriously if you saw the "sketches", you would die laughing at how absurd it is to think we could go make a dress from An's drawings. Anyway so An says fine that she will only take notes. Crazy Dragon says "No notes" and An says "What?" And that's when I lay into her about how ridiculous it is that she doesn't allow her customers to take notes. Crazy Dragon responds by saying "It's my store policy. You don't need to take notes. You just need to narrow it down to 1 or 2 dresses and that's it. You obviously know what you like, you brought in those pictures". I just go off on her because she is so irrational and stupid. Both An and I were thinking separately that she was being prejudice against us because we were Asian and that meant we were of course going to go and make the dress for 1/2 the price somewhere else. I mean she did tell me I was wasting her time and using her for all her customer service. I wanted to kick her when she said that. But I controlled my urge and told her that I can't see how she can keep a sustainable business and that I was going to tell all my friends about her. So that's what I'm doing. If only there was a way to get out the word beyond my little ole blog.

Anyway to sum it up, Paulette's Ambience is the worst bridal salon ever.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fiance = baaaad, Husband = gooood

So though I have issues with calling A my fiance, I have no issues using the "husband" card. Especially when the "husband" is a platinum Marriott rewards member. It's a long story but basically I needed to find a place to sleep in Orange County last weekend. So I Pricelined a hotel and got what I thought was a pretty decent deal...$95 for a 4 star hotel which turned out to be an Irvine Marriott.

I'm going to digress for a minute about the supposed deal. After I found out what hotel I got, I went onto Expedia TripAdvisor to read the reviews and find out that it's mainly a business hotel so sometimes even better deals are to be had via Priceline. Other folks got accepted bids of $55-$65. I don't know if they stayed off-season but still, damn that's a good deal!

Anyway, back to why dropping the "H" bomb is good. Though I had prepaid for the hotel room, I had to still give them a card for incidentals. I busted out with my Starwood American Express card because it's the best loyalty program ever! And the hotel clerk nicely gave me a hard time telling me it was bold of me to use a Starwood card at the Marriott. So I countered and said, "Well actually my husband is a Platinum member with Marriott and I was wondering if you could put me on the floor that we normally would stay on." After a couple minutes of chatting about Starwood vs Marriott and how A is at a Marriott as we speak, he gives me my hotel key and says "Don't tell anyone, but I put you on the executive floor". So before he can change his mind, I quickly make my way over to the elevator to see that he gave me the top floor- woo hoo! And I tried to be gracious though I wanted to be smug, when another hotel guest in the elevator with me said "Wow, penthouse. You must be special. I feel like I'm with a celebrity." My room was next to the Presidential Suite - it was huge and the bathroom had a bidet! And because the club lounge was closed on Sunday, I managed to get the hotel to let me eat in the hotel restaurant for free. All this and I didn't even have to give the hotel an actual rewards number.

I highly recommend using the made up husband in small doses - as you can see from my experience, you can be rewarded handsomely.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do you know what's worse than having carpal tunnel?

Having tendonitis! Yes I know a bunch of carpal victims are probably cursing me out right now, but like I approach most people who get mad at me, I just say "yeah, whatever" or if I want to be a little nicer about it, I may shrug and say "oops" but never "oopsie".

So for those who don't know the difference between carpal tunnel and tendonitis, here's the explanation from my perspective. Carpal tunnel is very painful and lasts forever, usually caused by loads of typing. Tendonitis is painful as well but caused by overexertion of whatever body area and isn't supposed to last forever. My tendonitis is from my thumb to my wrist so it's sort of in the same area as carpal, which means I have to wear a ridiculous thumb splint. This is really the most important difference in my mind.

If I had carpal, I'd be wearing this which could be mistaken for a rollerblade guard which is kind of cool in a weird athletic sort of way:

But since I have tendonitis, I wear this which will never be mistaken for an athletic glove of any sort:

In fact it's the total opposite, it's so ugly and obtrusive that my cousin forbids me to wear it with her if we're in public.

And don't get me started on the frightened confused looks I get from little kids who see me wearing this ridiculous splint...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The best part of my day was the worst part of my day.

The best part happened when I stopped for a chat at a couple of coworkers' cubes that I don't normally interact with that often. We had the best laughing session discussing how Filipinos have a unique style for naming their children. Don't worry, the person leading this conversation was of Filipino descent so it was politically correct. I kid you not, we know people who's first names are Babyruth (my friend's nurse), KitKat (my bf's coworker) and OrangeJuice (a friend of a friend).

While I was having a good time taking 15 minutes out of my day to socialize which I consider completely okay to do as I work my ass off at work, one of the VPs at work was ratting me out to my boss. And ratting me out is a strong word considering I didn't do anything wrong. What is especially bothersome about all of this is that the VP passed me in the hallway while I was chatting up my coworkers and didn't have the courtesy to stop and tell me he had a problem with me. Instead he kept marching along to my boss' office to tell her and walked by me about 10 minutes later without a word to me. That just bugs! Especially because I am by no means a slacker - and most of my colleagues and my boss for that matter can vouch for me. So it is such a slap in the face to be ratted on for something that I wasn't aware of. And that so far has been the worst part of my day. Hopefully it will remain the worst part of my day as I'm looking forward to going home and hitting the exercise bike so I can perhaps zip up another wedding dress! Good times.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Why do I have a problem calling my fiance...

my fiance? I find the word really obnoxious and I hate saying it. Why does it matter whether you have a boyfriend or a fiance? Do people view you differently if you have a bf vs fiance? I continue to introduce or refer to my fiance as my bf. It just makes me more comfortable and yet, I am secretly pleased when my fiance refers to me as his fiance. Does that make any sense?