Chanel Trumps Sexism
My wife and I visited Paris a couple of years ago, we rented an apartment about two blocks from the Louvre which is not far from Chanel's flagship store. I made the unfortunate mistake of talking Sara out of purchasing a tweed Chanel blazer. She tried it on several times, went back to look several more but I convinced her that we shouldn't spend that much money on a jacket, she reluctantly agreed. For the past two years I've paid for my opinion as she has brought up that blazer and how she, "should have just bought it" about a billion times. Even after visiting Paris she still didn't have Chanel clothing or a handbag, until a couple of weeks ago.
We live just a few blocks away from an auction house and we walk by it nearly every day. A few weeks ago Sara had noticed some Chanel handbags in the window so we went in to take a look. The auction was in two days and she liked what she saw! I was running behind schedule on the day of the auction so I told her to go ahead and I'd meet her there. I arrived just before the bag she wanted went up for auction. It was a classic black velvet bag and it looked brand new; it was even still in the original box. I saw Sara up in the front of the room but didn't know if I could go sit by her so I stayed in the back and watched. I knew anyone bidding against her was facing the wrath of a woman who passed up a blazer from her favorite designer, they didn't stand a chance. Once the bidding started hands were going up and down quicker than the seasoned auctioneer could keep up. Sara was in the thick of it all until it was just her and one other lady still bidding... "Going once, going twice..." the acutioneer said, Sold!" Sara finally had her Chanel!
So what does all of this have to do with sexism? The auction itself had nothing to do with sexism as every party was on equal playing ground, only judged by the number of dollar bills they were willing to spend. It was empowering to watch my wife bid feverishly on a bag she so badly wanted with money she had earned! I was so proud of her and, after the Paris incident, I felt bad for anyone daring to bid against her that evening. But what happened after the auction really disappointed me... The auctioneer was an older gentleman, probably in his early to mid sixties. Once Sara had won the bid he asked her name, after she told him he asked, "Are you married?" to which she nodded yes. He then asked, "Does your husband know you are here?" As if she needs some sort of approval to buy herself a handbag with money she has worked for and saved! I was discussed but my wife had a different view. Although she wasn't pleased with the auctioneers sexist questions, when I asked her if she'd ever visit that auction house again she replied, "If I can get that great of a deal on vintage Chanel? Absolutely!"