All I need to know about people I learned in the line-up outside Tiffany’s

The much-admired Tiffany’s opened a store in Calgary this week. This was particularly good news for moi as our fifteenth anniversary is two-ish months away. Since Diana’s ring – which I’ve always liked – is firmly ensconced on another brunette’s finger, I’m willing to settle for a pair of these.

No need to call me Duchess of Calgary.

I had the good fortune to be amongst the throngs of people waiting in line outside the iconic store yesterday and couldn’t help but marvel at the cross-section of humanity. On full display.

I contend, if you want to see people’s true colors, arrange them in a queue for fifteen to twenty minutes, stand back. And watch.

There are dutiful line-standers – bless their hearts – who will wait as long as it takes with nary a complaint. They may frown. They may sigh. But they will stand in line until such time as they’re allowed to enter the store. Then there are people who will wait in line a minute or two before walking away. Choosing freedom instead of whatever thrill might await them at the end of the queue. And, of course, there are people who will insist they are much too important to stand in line with everyone else.

Like the guy with the stroller containing an adorably tubby baby, who approached the security guard and insisted he couldn’t possibly wait in line for fifteen minutes, because he only had an hour away from his wife. Or the woman in black yoga pants and dark glasses who let it ‘slip’ that she’d attended the VIP-only opening on Wednesday…..yada yada yada…..she shouldn’t have to wait in line with the non-VIPs.  And the guy with the baseball hat who frowned at the line and marched up to the Secret Service-esque guard with the white earpiece; demanding entry so he could buy the THREE HUNDRED DOLLAR sunglasses (yes, he loudly announced the price) his wife had admired earlier.

But all this pales in comparison…to the thieves.

Tiffany’s was handing out Godiva chocolates to its would-be patrons patiently waiting in line: brightly wrapped bonbons artfully arranged on a silver tray to make the wait a little…sweeter.

If you want to get a sense of what people are really like, put a person holding a tray of chocolates in front of an exclusive jewelry store. And watch humanity unfold.

The people standing in ‘the line’ will react in one of three ways: decline the ‘free’ sweet, accept one sweet and decline all future offers with a confessional ‘I’ve already had one’, or enthusiastically take any sweets offered – repeatedly. As a card-carrying member of the third group, I will say – in defense of my gluttony – that it has limits. I would only avail myself to free ‘anything’ if I’m one of the intended recipients.

Unlike the no-holds-barred gluttons.

The people who have no intention of standing in a line, have no desire to enter Tiffany’s, but really want a free…..anything. Some try hard to make eye contact with the tray-holder, hoping to convince the keeper of the sweets – with their eyes – to give them a free chocolate. Some approach the bearer of sweets with a shy, ‘can I have one?’ Giggling as they snatch a bonbon from the tray. Some people send their children as emissary-chocolate-gatherers. After all, who can refuse an innocent child a little bonbon….or two!

And some people, people who are genetically incapable of feeling embarrassed, brazenly approach the ‘public sample station’. Curious to know ‘what flavours are these’ followed by ‘can I have one of each’……as they grab fistfuls of chocolate from the tray.

And walk away with their heads held high.

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