One thing I miss about New York is haggling. When I arrived in NYC as an 18-year-old freshperson, I followed the Midwestern negotiating protocol of nervous side-glances, conversational lulls, and indecision masquerading as refined fickleness. After being played for a fool in a fake ID scam and being ripped off by hard-charging, Italian orthodox Jews on the Lower East Side who played good cop/bad cop after locking me in their haberdashery, I wised up a little. Today I was shopping for a microphone and a pair of monitoring headphones, both of which I knew I would have to buy at Guitar Center. I used to dislike Guitar Center for its decibel levels and the charmless atmosphere, but I have to revise that opinion, or at least add to it. Before driving out to the ‘burbs, I called ahead and to try to haggle down the price of the headphones to match a lower one I found at an online retailer.
And Guitar Center agreed. Without protest. I saved 20%…just by asking for it. It’s almost enough to make me want to buy another van.