Next best thing is a phrase long in use yet I sometimes wonder what the real meaning is. I suppose it is the application. Yet is it a compliment or is it an insult.
While assisting someone I know, very high maintenance someone. Almost a waste of time someone and becoming more so with each encounter….revamp her office, I was not only berated for suggesting she use something she already had. Thus not having to buy something new. In this case a desk and an armoire. Her mind was set that she wanted to spend money. Something she does better then most. Once identifying that was the motive of revamping her office, I decided it would be great to help friends sell some of their items in their shop for the revamp. It worked and soon the office will have a bit of whimsey, colour and a pulled together look which is far from how it was when I first encountered the space.
Once the decisions were made on that, then it was the rest of the house….we did a walk through. I made a few small suggestions and then once out of hearing range of her husband I was told that was my next project. Well no offer of money had been made or compensation terms even asked. It was blatantly apparent I was expected to do this at no charge.
When I suggested that I knew a couple of “real” designers, the real kind with degrees and a practice of sorts. I was arrogantly told, that she would never pay to have a designer come to her home to revamp. That I was the next best thing however….so there it was. That phrase…the next best thing. I didn’t feel to flattered at the time nor do I still. In fact I felt insulted and remain that way.
I have for a long time set up spaces both for friends and for myself. In years past for clients at a fee. Yet this woman does not care to recognize that background yet apparently thinks I have what it takes to revamp a space into something much, much better. Still…the next best thing is like saying she is settling. It seems a total slap in the face. So bothersome that I will never do anything again to assist this woman. Nor do I ever want to see her again. Amazing what an impact a phrase can have.
Then I tell myself it is coming from someone who demands extra powder sugar on her French Toast because the one served me has more then the one served her. Life I feel is way too much fun and too short to have high maintenance, arrogant, condescending people mess up your day or be in your life.
I guess perhaps it is the next best thing….