The one that got away

Or, how we almost bought a beautiful hutch but were stupid enough to sit on our heels until it was too late.

This post is almost painful to write. Would you believe I actually nearly lost sleep over this? I lay in bed last night, mentally kicking myself and then mentally kicking myself for mentally kicking myself. Come on, let it go: there will be other hutches.

But this one? This hutch was perfect! Two glassed display cupboards on top with a space for three wine glasses in between. An open surface beneath – one of my requirements. Three pull out drawers and three lower cabinets. There was some decorative detailing, but not too much and I could easily envision it in a bright turquoise or a bold orange. Or, maybe, perhaps yellow, or a calm cream.

The cherry on top? $50, and only 4 houses down from ours at a neighbour’s garage sale. I spotted it as we headed out for our long walk to the beach on Saturday. We stopped, looked at it, chatted with the owners for a bit. But, we had no money on us and we really wanted to get to the beach. We were meeting a friend. We didn’t have time to go to the bank, come back, exchange money and goods, then lug the probably-heavy thing home. Besides, we couldn’t be certain that it would actually fit in the space I want it for. This space, where the bookcase currently stands:

We gathered up the dog, took two steps away from the hutch and told the owners that, if, by the end of the day, it didn’t sell, we’d be interested in it. We’d drop by tomorrow or the next day with $50 in hand. We walked away. I assured myself that no, I wouldn’t be disappointed if it sold. We don’t really need the hutch. Our bookshelf is doing just fine for dishes.

And then, we talked about it. Even if it didn’t fit, we reasoned, we could buy it for the $50, I could work some kind of magic on it, and we could sell it as refurbished for $80! Score, right? It would be fun and, in the end, I knew it would likely be perfect for the space.

Homeward that night, it became clear that no, they didn’t sell it. The hutch still sat in all its glassed, spindled glory on their front porch. I got kind of excited. We went to the bank. We watched the house. Our neighbours, however, never seemed to be home. Finally, come Tuesday evening, the Husband and I walked down the street, money and a sticky note with my phone number on it in hand and rang the doorbell. No answer. Rang the doorbell again. The neighbour’s dogs started to bark. Still no answer. So, I pulled out the sticky note, stuck it to their door, admired the hutch for a brief moment and headed back for home.

As we walked to the gym that night, I got a phone call. Excited, I answered it.

It was their neighbour.

“They said I could have whatever is left on the porch,” she said. “I just wanted to save you the trip back.”

I thanked her, hung up and seethed a little. How did this happen? I had offered to pay for it! And she gets it for free? And what right did she have to go take my sticky off their door? The rest of the night, I thought way to much about the things I should have said, asserted my right to buy that piece of furniture off her neighbours or, if all else failed, off her!

But I didn’t.

And now, I am hutchless.

I know. It’s a sad story.

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