There we were, dripping in diamonds. There must have been 100 tiny diamonds on each of my gold earrings, and another 150 on the matching bar necklace. My sister-in-law Heidi took the luxury even further, showcasing a movie-star-worthy ring with a giant rare pink diamond surrounded by smaller gems, plus a few ravishing diamond and emerald bracelets.
We loved it all. Could we buy it? No. That pink diamond ring had a price tag of $138,000; the earrings were a comparable steal at $3,600. No one at Deja & Co. Exquisite Jewelry in Saratoga, California was under the illusion that we would be buying the pieces we were trying on.
Still, Deja herself, the store’s gorgeous, gracious proprietor, treated us like Silicon Valley millionaires – or like her best girlfriends. She urged us to try on her favourite pieces, got excited when something looked great and made sure we were having as much fun as possible, no strings attached. We sipped Mimosas, took photos modelling the gems and spent upwards of an hour enjoying ourselves. Deja wrote down the items we liked best (in case we wanted to get them some day), and then we left, empty-handed and as happy and relaxed as if we’d just had a spa day.
It was a shopping experience like none I’d experienced, and I’ve got both Heidi and my Shopping for Happiness project to thank. Heidi had urged me to visit Deja during my trip to California – perhaps to splurge on one of the more affordable pieces, as she and her friends have done from time to time – but more for the joy of meeting Deja. She promised the store owner would show me a fantastic time. Like the Monterey Aquarium or the Iron Horse winery, it was one of those places a visitor just had to see.
Still, if I hadn’t had the year I’ve had with Shopping for Happiness, I probably would have skipped the store. It would have been hard for me to imagine enjoying “shopping” in a place filled with wildly expensive things I couldn’t afford. I also would have figured that any merchant in a store like that would make me feel guilty for wasting her time.
I’m really glad I’ve opened my mind and questioned some of my old convictions. Deja has an exceptional attitude – and by changing my own attitude, I was able to appreciate hers. I’m looking forward to my next visit already (and to affording that bar necklace sometime soon).