Wednesday, December 4, 2013

50 shades of middle class grey.....

So yesterday as I was driving up Biscayne Blvd and noticed a brand new Lamborghini that had apparently hit an immovable object, like a curb, or a curb and a lamppost.  Its lovely sheet metal torn back to reveal it's frame. Both wheels were bent at abnormal angles. All I could think was "shit must happen to rich folks too."   Sometimes it's hard to live in Miami, with all this out-of-town wealth floating around. While my household income puts in us in one of the higher tiers of earners, I realize it doesn't matter, because, in Miami's retail market, I'm always a second-class citizen.
I recently went to a luxury dealer here to purchase a vehicle.  Firstly, I did not want a run-of-the-mill sports sedan.  Secondly, I actually have to finance or lease the vehicle. Thirdly, I did not want a "50 shades of grey" car.  When I told the salesmen this I could see the consternation on his face.  You want to finance? You want to negotiate? You want color?  Apparently the wealthy don't finance, don't negotiate and pay cash. If you have money, the high end models come in a rainbow of colors.  There wasn't any room to "negotiate" on a car that cost just $50K, I was told I could have the grey run-of-the-mill luxury vehicle or nothing at all.
In fact, grey, black and white were the only cars they had in stock, on 3 floors of a parking lot in Mid-town. The only cars that came in colors were the super expensive ones, or the "base" models.  Everyone else can have white, black or grey. Silver was an option too.  This is where my frustration kicks in. I don't want a grey car. I don't want something that everyone else drives. Isn't the whole point of having a status symbol is to be different?  Why do I have to "go down market" for a cute car, pants, shirt that has a bit of color in it?  Why do I have to go upmarket for nice car, pants, shirt, or shoe that has some panache?  In Miami it's Target or Nordstrom's and everything else in-between is grey. Macy's, Banana Republic are overwhelmingly grey and beige. 
Retailers must think if  you're should have bright colors...from Kia, Fiat, to Target, everything is a happy color because shit, it's hard enough being broke you should be allowed some color in your life.  Retailers must also think if you're rich...well, you deserve it don't you? I mean you fleeced your countrymen back home and since you can't flaunt all that wealth back there, why not do it in Miami, your plan B exit strategy. 
So where does it leave Miami's local middle class? In shades of grey and beige....and even don't think about, you, average middle class person!