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This stupid one my wife wants 0

Dear Bradshaw,

While passing the window display of a shop at the bazaar near our hotel in Istanbul, Francesca and I saw a pillowcase that was perfect for our living room.

“When we go inside,” I explained, “ask how much it is. That’s the one we want, of course, but when the guy tells you the price, I’ll pretend it’s too much and will choose a less expensive-looking one.”

From there we would argue back and forth, knowing we were going to end up with the original one “but oh well fine if you give us a good price I’ll take this stupid one my wife wants.”

With our strategy set, we entered the shop and Francesca asked the price. The guy said thirty Turkish lire (about twenty American dollars) and, figuring we could get him down to twenty lire, I frowned, shook my head, and then grabbed a lame-looking pillowcase and said to Francesca, “This one’s much better. Look at the colors. They’re perfect for our living room.”

Francesca squinted her eyes, shrugged her shoulders, and then said, “Uh, okay. If you prefer that one, let’s get it.”

You can imagine what was going through my head then. We had just spent five minutes planning our attack, during which time I explained that I would PRETEND to prefer a different pillowcase. Meanwhile, the pillowcase I’d chosen was hideous.

I positioned myself so Francesca’s head blocked the salesman’s view of my face and gave her a look that said, “What frickin planet are you from?”

Getting the hint, she returned to the plan, and we ended up with the right pillowcase for twenty lire.

Outside, Francesca said I’d been too convincing. “Of course, I was convincing,” I said. “That was the point. But I was supposed to convince him, not you!

The next day, when she saw a pair of pants she liked, we had the same conversation before entering the shop. Nevertheless, when I picked up a clownish pair of pants and said they were much better than the ones she wanted, a perfect fit in fact, she squinted her eyes, shrugged her shoulders, and then said, “Uh, okay. Then I’ll get those.”

I would pay money (an exorbitant amount) to have a photo of the expression on my face when I positioned myself out of the salesman’s sight and gave Francesca the glance.

Oh well, whatever, right? Still though, I’m not sure what frickin planet she’s from.

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