More often than not, we don’t really have a choice about a certain set of circumstances. We’re usually thrown into a situation without warning – everything from a waitress bringing us the wrong order to payroll screwing up our paycheck. And though we don’t get to choose our frustrating moments, we do get to choose how we respond to them. I’m completely smitten with this dress – but oh how we had a few ups and downs before we were finally able to see eye to eye. Grab a glass of wine and settle in for the story of My Journey to This Dress…
I purchased this amazing dress from Violets in May – an Etsy shop I discovered through Instagram. I was instantly smitten with the Genevive dress – the border print, the florals mixed with stripes, a cross-cross bodice and that oh-so-sassy back. I messaged the owner about accommodating my super long torso and we were off to the races!
General turnaround time for garments from this shop is 5-6 weeks. After about 8 weeks sans dress I messaged the shop and received sincere apologies – the fabric was delayed from the manufacturer. Another week or so went by and no dice. I was a bit befuddled, as this shop had fabulous reviews and many of my fellow vintage-loving ladies had purchased from here. I messaged the seller and was told the fabric was still delayed and was I okay to wait a bit longer for it?
And here’s the thing: was my first instinct to stamp my feet like a petulant child? Demand a partial refund for the unforeseen delay? I’m not going to lie, yes (seriously you guys, the urge was strong). I was one crabby vintage-loving scientist. When you make a purchase and are promised something, you have every right to be annoyed when that promise isn’t fulfilled. But I took a breath – was there any real rush? Other than wanting it in my hot little hands so I could wear her on a weekend getaway with my sister, no. Would a tantrum serve to do anything except make the shop owner more frustrated than she clearly was? Not really.
But I must admit it was frustrating. More so when weeks continued to creep by and no dress. Violets in May kept me in the loop on the status of the fabric – where she was continually in the dark as to when her supplier would be shipping it. After weeks of this, she finally had to resort to ordering it from another supplier. She continually messaged me thanking me for my patience and apologizing profusely.
And the dress arrived and was so beautiful. Seriously. The colors. The unique bodice. The construction. Rejoice! I did a little happy dance that we were together at last. And then I slipped her over my head and zipped her up, only to have the zip fully split on me from nose to tail.
Seriously?? Was I simply cursed when it came to this dress? I could not believe that after all this time, a faulty zip was keeping me from my intended. Did I want to throw a fit then, Brynn style? You betcha. After all this time, and the zipper breaks??? But, again deep breath and an email explaining what had happened to the seller and almost immediately, a contrite reply and an offer to pay for the repairs. And a quick trip to a tailor near work and she was back in my hands in a few days (with the tailoring costs paid for by Violets in May). Although the situation was less than ideal, I must say that the customer service in the face of so many ups and downs was amazing.
Well, it was quite an adventure to get to this photo shoot. 3.5 months, 2 countries, and a trip to the tailor later, this dress and I were finally united in blissful dressery. Although it was quite an ordeal, do I love the dress? Absolutely. Would I buy from this shop again? Absolutely.
I think we are currently living in a “my way, my time” kind of society. We’re so used to instant gratification that we can often be met with irrational rage when our expectations aren’t met. Here’s the thing – I’m lucky in that I don’t have to run a small business. I work at a large University with staff and infrastructure and funding (and does everything get done in a timely manner even with all of those resources? Nope).
I see people getting more and more verbally abusive with small business owners, with people in the service industry, with anyone who is in between the Consumer and the Thing They Want RIGHT NOW. And part of it has to do with the anonymity of the web: we forget there’s actually a person on the other side of our anger. We forget that, while we are at the mercy of the seller, the seller is at the mercy of some distributor, who is at the mercy of a supplier, and on and on and on. Do I believe in sticking up for yourself when the moment warrants it? 100%. Can I unleash the kraken when it’s needed? Ohhh you betcha. But howling for howling’s sake doesn’t solve anything.
I’d like to believe a very frustrating situation for both parties would have only been made worse by berating the shop owner for something that was outside of her control. We are all human and we all make mistakes. And we have choices when it comes to how we respond to these kinds of situations.
I suppose the moral of the story is: take a breath before you lash out. You are very justified in feeling crabby. You are justified in expressing your frustration. But, before you hit send, consider the person on the receiving end.
And you know what? This dress was absolutely worth the wait….
Lip Color: Manhunt