The One That Got Away

Did you ever do that thing where you fell in love with something vintage--irreplaceable, non-returnable--and walked away to think it over, telling yourself that if it was gone when you returned, it was simply not meant to be?

My mom discovered an awesome sale on Friday.  It was in a little house not too far from mine, and the basement was filled with really cool stuff--everything felt like it had a story.  After making our way through bins of artwork, shelves filled with mid-century tabletop, and some cool old furs, I heard the siren call from across the room.

A lamp.

I made a beeline.

"MOM," I said. "look at THIS!"


I pulled it from its place at the back of the class, turned it around and around, hefted its heft.

But then I hemmed and hawed.  I'm out of money for house projects right about now.  And where would it go, anyway?  In the office, clearly.  The lamp that is already in the office could go in the basement den (and I could sell the pair of lamps already down there).  While that one is awesome, this one is MORE awesome.  Vintage awesome.  One of a kind awesome.

Could I justify buying something for a spot where I already had something I loved? Bringing in something new that would require other changes (the scale of this lamp would require me to figure out the too-small desk situation in the office, pronto.)  And if I WAS going for the double desk, would I want a PAIR of lamps?  Like how about these beauties?


In the end, I walked away.  But all night long, I kept thinking about it.  Calculating how to broach the subject with my husband, whose head might literally explode if I mention one single additional house purchase or project.  (I have him roped in to painting the girls room this week.  I thought it best not to push my luck.)  I resolved to wake early and RUN back to the house and snatch it up.

And then.

I woke up in the middle of the night, sick.  Not to share too much, but there was some toilet hugging involved.  Dave got up with the girls, and when I finally emerged, shaken and weak, at 10:30 am, guess what I was thinking about?  Well, I'll tell you.  I was thinking about how I was going to drag myself out of bed and into the car and how I was going to heft the heft of that awesome teal ceramic hexagonal globe lamp with a hexagonal wooden base all the way back home.

It didn't happen.  I made it as far as the couch, dug up a phone, and called my parents to come watch the girls while I slept in a daze of 24 hour flu, while the sale ended.  This may be the very definition of not meant to be.  But rather than feeling like I have learned some lesson, or that I should just let go because, clearly, it was not mean to be, I am kicking myself for not just buying it in the first place.

And you know what?  After caring for my kids all day (Dave was at work), and taking them out to dinner, and bringing me home some chicken soup, my dad asked me about the lamp, told me to go knock on that lady's door, and even gave me the cash to cover it.
Heather Peterson