Baddie has a Bad Day: Julia’s Story
Last Friday came very close to being a Friday the 13th to yours truly. No, I did not see ten black cats or other members of the feline persuasion. And the day started out nicely enough, sunny and with the arrival of a super-pretty parcel from England.
But let’s start at the beginning, because this story goes a little back. First of all, Baddie has a confession to make: “I am a shopaholic.” Yes, you can nod and tut all you want, but if you saw the size of my dress closet… and of my shoe closet… you would weep. Mr. Baddie certainly does. Anyhow, I am a shopaholic with a particular weakness for lovely dresses and shoes. And my favourite place to buy dresses is England – because there are so many wonderful patterns and fabrics, and sales, and… well, you get the picture.
Last time I went to London in February, I tried on this gorgeous Damsel in a Dress silk Julia dress in John Lewis. I fell in love with it, but the price at 139 quid was… let’s say it was a tad steep. So with a heavy heart I filed Julia in one of the drawers of my mind, the one labeled “beautiful clothes that must be stalked in sales”. About a week ago, the “search and purchase” button was activated in same mind, and to my utter happiness I noticed that the dress was 50% off. Still a lot of money, but a good investment. (it’s versatile, it’s silky, it has dots etc etc etc) But as it sometimes happens
because I am short on working braincells I saw a wonderful grey dress as well, ordered it, went through with payment, and then realized that I had not ordered the pink spot one. Which wouldn’t be so bad, if shipping costs to Germany weren’t 16 quid per order. ARRRRRGGGHHH!
Ok, ok, don’t panic. I wrote them an email, asking if I could just add the coveted dress to my existing order, and they can ship it together. The lovely people at Damsel in a Dress replied asap, said no, but if I placed another order and gave them the number, (because they are super nice), they would refund the postage. My heart did a joyful little fluttering. So far, so good. Que Friday morning. I get up, have my coffee, and the postman rings with a promising parcel. Yes, it was the dress. It looked diaphanous, and sweet, and special, and I fell in love. So I decided to wear it that evening…
… For going to an ice-cafe. You can see where this is going, can’t you? Sad to say, I didn’t. Now let me be completely honest. I hardly ever spill anything on my clothes. Unlike other people I know… And this time was no exception. I also almost always order sparkling water. This time, tragically, I opted for a coke. Which the waitress brought on one of these tiny round trays… as she got to our table… and now imagine some slow-motion movie… I could see her tripping… and losing control of the tray … so that the glass fell, broke, and I was drenched with 300 ml of coke from waist-down.
I don’t think I have been so furious in my life. What also didn’t help was that, while the waitress went for some towels, she didn’t seem too apologetic. As Mr. Baddie sipped on his coffee and tried to eat some of the half-molten ice-cream, I was dripping with anger. And coke. After a few strained minutes, I decided I wanted to go change. That’s when the bill came – with our drinks deducted. I frowned at the young woman and told her I’d rather pay for our drinks, and she pay for the dry-cleaning of my silk dress, which will surely be more expensive. Her eyes widened a bit, and she offered: “but coke should come out easily… can’t you just hand wash it?” I looked at her in disbelief: “The label says dryclean only.” “Ahhh ok I’ll have to ask my boss.” Which she did. And the boss offered not to charge us for anything (including the icecream) and kindly remarked that “Pech gehabt” Yes, bad luck indeed.
On my way home, I went in some posh-looking drycleaners and asked for their professional opinion. That was, I quote: “Coke will not come out with drycleaning. We’ll have to do a wet treatment, which is against the recommendation on the label, so if the dress gets ruined, we are not responsible.” Jolly good. I limped home in utter misery. Where I decided I’d do my own “wet treatment” of the dress. So I sprayed it with stain remover, and then hand-washed it with gentle detergent, in cold water. I handled it as you would your invalid baby, all the while
cursing all clumsy people muttering soothing words.
Reader, the stains faded. Now don’t go imagining a happy Hollywood ending. There’s still some yellowish tone both in the silk shell and in the viscose lining. So Julia will still go visit the professionals one of these days – experts might do better than me. But luckily, if you don’t know or get your magnifying glass out, you would not notice anything amiss. Of course I would (because I’m a bit OCD). But I can still wear it.
What struck me, however, is this total disregard and lack of remorse on the part of the waitress and even her boss. How can people be so casual about damaging other people’s property? How can they not even offer to take on the drycleaning bills in such a situation? Someone recently told me this is a typical attitude in Berlin. And I am disappointed to say, I am starting to believe it, as this is the second unpleasant story I’ve experienced recently. To be continued…