By Richard Maloof
I decided to continue my search for this simple purchase that now has turned into an extremely eye opening experience. Why had the lines between men’s, women’s, rappers and “that guy,” watch styles become so blurred?
I was traveling back to Peoria for a quick visit to see my mom. I have a routine that is very familiar to her ever since I have moved from the area. I always fly SW into Midway and usually stay the night in Chicago then she picks me up. I am sure you are asking yourself why I just do not fly into Peoria directly. When I was younger and traveled in and out of Peoria “International” (Really? little aggressive! but if it makes them feel important) Airport, you would have to take a small Cessna like airplane to Chicago and then get on a real jet. I remember many winters, when it still snowed, how freaked out I was on these small planes for that 45 minute trip. You had to run outside in Chicago during the dead of winter to board, WTH! And the best part, most of the time you would end up getting stuck in Chicago longer than it took to drive back home. They always delayed the flight because they could never get enough passengers wanting to go to Peoria all at the same time. I am not jaded!! HAHA.
I decided to take a walk down Michigan Ave and browse the offerings that were available in terms of watches. I went in and out of each store and I still could not find anything that was a fit. I think that there is this one factory in Asia that makes all of these watches and just puts a designer name on them. They all started to look the same and the quality was pretty consistent, cheap!
I decided that I would give the search a rest and just head home to Peoria the next day. I knew that my watch search would not continue in Peoria, lets be honest it’s not exactly the fashion capital of the Midwest.
One day I was bored and I decided to take a trip to Northwoods Mall, it was the main spot when I was growing up with my favorites like Garcia’s Pizza and Orange Julius. There are a few minor changes in terms of store names, Famous Barr is now Macy’s, but overall the mall looks the exactly the same. I decided that I was going to kill time at Macy’s to see what they had at their one watch counter. My mom had a handful of coupons that she said I could use if I actually found something; I chuckled a little, ok.
I came to the “Fine Watch” counter, very similar to Peoria “International” Airport, clearly terms used very loosely! I started to browse through the limited selection and see what was hot in Peoria. As I browsed what appeared to be the same watch selection that they had when I was in high school, I came upon one that caught my eye. How could this be possible?? I asked the very nice lady who was working the counter if I could take a look at the watch that caught my eye. She took it out and started to explain the features to me but I quickly cut her off and asked her for alone time. HAHA. This kind of purchase takes time and you need to feel good about it. It’s like starting a new relationship; you are going to be seeing a lot of each other. I liked it! I mean I really liked it! How could this be possible in Peoria at Famous Barr, oops, Macy’s?
So one thing about me that you should know, I never pay full price for anything. I refuse to! With online shopping becoming the norm there are deals everywhere and I want them. I asked the price and as she presented that information, my heart broke; I cannot pay that for a watch. I began to remove the watch from my wrist and she could see the sadness in my face, my new relationship was not to be.
As I laid the watch down on the special felt watch holding pad, I took a step back to gather my emotions. As Mary started to unwrap that special jelly bracelet that holds all of the magic case keys, she said something that would quickly mend my broken heart. “Hey, did you know that next week we are having a special secret 007 half off special customer appreciation just because pre-sale extravaganza?” Ummm, NO! Tell me more please! You can buy it ahead of time for 20% off and then next week pick it up and get another 20% off … I blanked out for a minute as I saw myself running through a field of flowers dancing with my watch. I quickly came back to the moment and started to do the math in my head, 20% + 20% off + tax =? It equals her busting out that little Casio calculator that they all have to help close the sale.
Now lets focus on the cool things besides the price and the secret 007 sale. I was attracted to a few things on this watch; the face was not as big as a Venti Starbucks lid so that was the first test. Then, I analyzed the details and I started to grow even fonder of this beauty. Ok, I know I like pink but there are some “man” things that excite me. It has a Kevlar band, wait what?? Yes the band is made from the same material as a bulletproof vest! Then the face is made from Titanium … JACKPOT!
I remember that day like it was yesterday and I am happy to report that we are still together. I finally found my “soul” watch and it feels perfect for me and on me. The moral of the story is to take your time (no pun intended) to find the perfect watch that is perfect for you as long as it is not cheesy!! HAHA