Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh what could have been...

Please tell me that this has happened to everyone so I don't feel alone here.

I was planning on going to the grocery store this afternoon and as usual, I was going to stop at the nearby Goodwill store to check out their new inventory. I go here at least once a week with the intention of just looking to see what people are donating these days and I tell myself I won't buy anything (Hah! Like I have self control or something). But I've never found anything good at this particular GW, or nothing for a good price.

So on my way there, I look down at my gas gauge and notice I'm almost empty. I decide to stop at the gas station a few minutes away even though the gas light hasn't gone on yet. Once I get to the GW, I glance quickly at the dishware, home decor, and wall art as I head directly to the furniture section. Immediately I realize that an estate recently donated their stuff because I see a ton of vintage prints of Vogue posters that are framed and a lot of silver pieces that were never there (the prints don't look that old and they aren't my style so I skipped over those). Immediately I see a dark wood antique embroidered needlepoint chair. I investigate it and don't see a price tag. Now I tell myself, I'm not going to buy it but I wonder what the price is. So I ask the GW employee and she goes to get her manager to check. The manager comes over and immediately says, "Oh, this has been sold. I was heading over here to get it and bring it outside." AGH! Now the chair definitely won't be mine, and I have no idea what the price was. I don't know what drives me crazier. I HATE not knowing the price. But I quickly get over it because there's a lot more to see!

And then I spot it. An Oriental or Persian red and blue runner rug in someone's shopping cart. I could tell it was a long one too. My husband and I have been looking for a runner rug with a similar print but decided we didn't want to shell out a ton of money for one. We even passed up a gorgeous one they were selling for $50 at an estate sale because I still couldn't justify spending the cash. So, first things first. Go run and see if there are any other rugs in the back. I'm looking and looking...and don't see anything. Disappointment hits. Then curiosity follows. "Go follow the person with the shopping cart just to see what the price is," I tell myself. "Is it even in my price range? OH MY GOD it's only $14.99. AGH! MUST HAVE RUG." The person actually walks away from their cart and I contemplate taking it, rushing it to the cash register, and running out of the store. I may have actually done it if I didn't have my daughter Aine with me. I know, that would be a mean thing to do. But c'mon. How often do you see a handmade wool rug, with a pattern and colors that you like, for $14.99??? I've decided at this point not to give up. Perhaps I was destined to be with the rug. I hover around the cash register when the person pays for their items to see if they really do end up buying it. Oh no! She's really buying it. SIGH. Must mentally move on...but of course I couldn't. I thought about that rug and how it would've looked in our room for hours afterwards.

Here comes the kicker. As I was hovering, I notice the next person in line admiring a long pentagon wooden frame with a yellow velvet background. In the frame are 3 vintage pins or medallions of women bordered by flowers. I tell her how pretty it is, and notice as I talk to her that she holds onto it even more tightly. I also watch as she pays for it and walks away. I think the price on the sticker said $4.99. DOUBLE SIGH. That thing was gorgeous! Now, I'm left thinking about rugs and pins.

Just my luck. I firmly believe my unnecessary stop at the gas station cost me those items. Maybe if I had been there 10 min earlier those would have been mine! Have you had a similar experience to this? Got excited by someone else's items, hoping against hope they won't actually buy it, and then walk away disappointed and slightly depressed thinking about what could have been. Please tell me I'm not the only one out there! I know some days it will be me with the great purchase, but right now it feels like I'll always be the one on the other end. Well, I guess I saved some money to buy something great in the future. But unfortunately for my husband, I firmly believe now that we can find a real Oriental/Persian rug for $15 or under and refuse to pay any more than that. Poor guy. He thinks we'll never have a nice rug. Ever.

To cheer things up a bit though, here's a nice pentagon glass box I did end up walking away with last week at a different thrift store. It's no Persian, but it's pretty darn cute.
If you're wondering, the necklace on top was my grandmother's who lives in Taiwan. She gave it to me a few years ago and I love it. It's considered rare because it's made of a certain type of coral which I believe is illegal now to use commercially.


  1. You are hilarious Emily and yes, I totally relate to it! We can be creepy friends together! LOL! I have followed people around stores hoping they set something down, but I also find myself also making friends at stores too...telling people that I just saw that same thing at another store for a lot cheaper, etc. My husband always asks me, "how many new friends did you make today"! :-) I think since we are both this way we can deem ourselves completely normal, don't you?

  2. This made me chuckle! Last year my hubby and I were at our GW, I found a gorgeous toile wooden hatbox, very vintage and cool looking. My hubby was looking at electronics so I grabbed the hatbox and held on for dear life! I went to look for hubby to tell him I must have this hatbox and a lady had been following me!!! When I asked hubby and he asked how much it cost the lady piped in "You have to buy it for her cuz if you don't I'm buying it" LOL. So we did buy it but it was so funny and I'm sure she went home feeling bummed!

  3. I can TOTALLY relate to that story. I was looking for a beautiful round pedestal table (mahogony). I was "good" and ran my errands BEFORE hitting Sally Ann's ( a.k.a Salvation Army) and when I walked in the door there was my table.....just sold. It was $14.99.