Author Topic: You paid HOW much for THAT?  (Read 9798 times)

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whatsanenigma

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2013, 08:11:33 AM »

Hyacinth: I'm pretty sure that's X designer. Did you buy it yourself?
Me: It was a gift. So about the project...
Hyacinth: It must be nice to have your parents buy you everything. I'd never want to waste that much money on a bag. That cost $X - it's a complete waste of money.

Hyacinth has been unpleasant toward me since I met her - she once started a conversation by asking me "what's your deal", and then rapidly followed that with "what do your parents do", "where did you go to school", "where did you go to high school", "is that a private school" and "do you have a boyfriend". All normal questions, but the rapid fire questioning without giving me a chance to ask her anything in return made me feel like she was sizing me up. I also don't think that it's a matter of her being jealous - she seem to wear nice clothes and has a disposable income. Both her parents work in a lucrative field and went to fancy schools, which she never lets us forget. (Not sure why she talks about it all the time and brings it up every time she is introduced to a new person, since pretty much everyone in this environment has/is working on a graduate degree from a great school, so it's not like she's impressing us.)

She seems very concerned about everyone's parents, especially for a group of working people in their twenties.   Maybe her parents are rich but don't give her anything fancy, and she thinks your parents are rich and do give you fancy stuff all the time.  Maybe she has somehow come to the conclusion that you are a spoiled brat, who has only succeeded in life thanks to Mommy and Daddy paying for everything.

That wouldn't be fair, of course! And what your parents give you or have given you in the past is between you and them.  I am  just wondering if, if this is the angle she's coming from, there might be something more specific in terms of dealing with it, rather than just generic bean dip, etc.  I don't exactly know what that might be, but being able to operate her with some details might help.

CharlieBraun

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2013, 08:15:10 AM »
I would be of a mind to respond with outrageous and clearly absurd lines, much like Sharnita's suggestion.

"That bag costs Xx!  What a waste?"
"Yes, but this one makes fresh espresso."

"I recognize that designer!"
"Really?  Where is that guy?  Was he outside or is he in the building?"

"Where did you get that sweater?"
"Back of my closet.  Near the entry to Narnia."
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 08:17:20 AM by CharlieBraun »
"We ate the pies."

AmethystAnne

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2013, 08:16:30 AM »
June, as I was reading your OP, a thought/question came to me. I wondered if she thinks you are some kind of competition for her in some way. By bombarding you with intrusive questions, that she is trying to maintain her alpha female status over you in your age group?


*inviteseller

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2013, 08:28:07 AM »
Sounds like Hyacinth (last name Bucket???) is jealous and sees you as her rival.  There is no real reason why, just that she feels she is better and how dare you have anything more stylish/classy than her.  Next time she gets into interrogation mode, just look at her with boredom and say "I always thought it gauche to discuss what someone pays for something."  Then just change the subject/walk away.

lowspark

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2013, 08:55:46 AM »
My stock "answer" to what I consider nosy questions is to smile and then either turn my attention to someone else or walk away. I used to belong to a social group where there was one woman who would ask really nosy intrusive questions (including asking about how I could afford xyz, so along similar lines as what you're dealing with). I never ever replied verbally. I just smiled and then started talking to someone else.

Now, the alternative to that is to actually confront her with the very thing she is supposedly criticizing you for.

Hyacinth: Is that bag from X designer?
Me: Yes. I paid $500 for it! Isn't that great?
Hyacinth:  That's a complete waste of money. I'd never want to waste that much money on a bag.
Me: Too bad. I would. And did. And I'm pretty darn happy with it.

In other words, gloat. Now, normally, obviously, it's not something you would want to do. But heck, she's asking for it so I see nothing wrong with throwing it right back in her face.

And no. Absolutely Positively No Way should you stop wearing these items to the office. I'd purposely wear them and keep flaunting it. You could even make it a point to stop by her desk and let her know just how much you did pay (and pad the number if you want). Sort of head her off at the pass. I'll bet that will shut her up in short order.

There's really nothing to be ashamed of. You earn your money and it's your perogative to spend it any way you see fit. She's making you feel bad for something you shouldn't be feeling bad for. By making her realize you don't feel bad at all, and in fact are proud of how much you spent, you will completely deflate her balloon.

Redsoil

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 08:58:44 AM »
"I always find discussion of money very crass."  That should stop her dead in her tracks.

It's one thing if people discuss certain topics pertaining to money in a friendly fashion, but not when it spills over into judgement, one-upmanship or nosiness.
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JoyinVirginia

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 09:07:14 AM »
Hyacinth, what did this designer ever do to you? From your tone I can tell you hate anything by x designer.

Oh this old thing? I've had it for years, just pulled it out of the closet.

i'm so glad you like it! Can you believe I found it at exclusive consignment store?

Whenever she asks you price, act like she just complimented you. Thanks so much hyacinth, so glad you like it.


msulinski

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2013, 09:26:13 AM »
I agree with lowspark. If she asks about a designer, be truthful and say, "Yes, it is from designer X. Thanks for noticing." Or something along those lines. I still wouldn't mention how much I paid for it though. Don't let her make you feel ashamed for owning nice things.

Tabby Uprising

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2013, 09:34:34 AM »
If she brings up the subject while you are in a meeting, you can say something like, "I chose not to participate in this survey. Thanks!" Flat out ignore any further questions she asks.  Maybe just raise your eyebrows at her and give a slight shake of the head.

You could also try a sillier approach:

Hyacinth: How much did you pay for that?
OP: One million dollars.... plus an entire herd of pink unicorns. 
Hyacinth: No, really, because I bet it was expensive.
OP: An entire herd of pink unicorns, I said! Alas dear Hyacinth, I have no more unicorns for you.  No more.

Hyacinth:  What brand of shoes are those?
OP: Oh, my elves make these.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2013, 09:46:48 AM »
Perhaps not perfectly polite, although probably OK if you take out what is in the brackets but I think I would be responding with:  None of your [dingdangity] business.  To each and every question.
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Eden

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2013, 09:56:56 AM »
Now, the alternative to that is to actually confront her with the very thing she is supposedly criticizing you for.

Hyacinth: Is that bag from X designer?
Me: Yes. I paid $500 for it! Isn't that great?
Hyacinth:  That's a complete waste of money. I'd never want to waste that much money on a bag.
Me: Too bad. I would. And did. And I'm pretty darn happy with it.

This was something like what I was going to say. Do deflect or avoid if you can but if Hyacinth gets in a "I would never spend that." I'd respond with, "Well I would." or "Fine by me, leaves more available for me to buy." or something else. Basically emphasizing that you are not ashamed in any way.

Shoo

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2013, 09:58:48 AM »
Maybe you should just say, "Not your business."

Raina

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2013, 10:24:58 AM »
One phrase I've been practicing often as I have to deal with a couple people like this is: "I don't discuss my finances with anyone other than my husband."  If you aren't married, you could certainly just shorten it to "I don't discuss my finances with anyone." and if she persists, follow it up with "No."  I practice it in front of the mirror before I have to deal with people like this  ;D


Judah

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2013, 10:30:04 AM »
Maybe you should just say, "Not your business."

Or, "How does that concern you?" or my personal favorite, "Why would you ask such a personal question?"
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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TootsNYC

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Re: You paid HOW much for THAT?
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2013, 10:32:14 AM »
The moment she asks you about one of your possessions, say, "Hyacinth, I really don't want to talk about my possessions. Please stop asking."

Or quote She Who Must Be Obeyed ("Rumpole at the Bailey") and say, "The very idea! Noticing people's things!"


Oh, as for the parents thing--maybe she feels that all the good things she has came from *her* parents (which makes her feel inadequate, bcs the basic social construct is "grownups don't accept help from parents"), so if you are "winning," it must be because of your parents. And so she is attacking you on the very point that SHE feels vulnerable on.   Classic projection.