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.

0 thoughts on “The one that got away

  1. πŸ™ I feel for you. I too always come up with GREAT things to say after the fact.

  2. That totally stinks πŸ™ Kind of frustrating that your neighbours didn't give you first crack at it since you had a semi-understanding at the yard sale. I've definitely experienced this kind of stuff buying and selling on Kijiji, and I always try to convince myself that if it was meant to be it would be and to take it as a sign that it wasn't meant to be when I miss out on something. Of course I still obsess about it for days, but eventually I get over it. Hopefully you will come across something even better and be happy that you didn't take the hutch!

  3. That seems really shady that someone else would call you about the hutch. I'm so cynical that I wonder if she's telling the truth.

    At any rate, sorry you lost it. I hate that remorse you get when you find yourself in situations like this. I won't be trite and say, "something better will come along" because sometimes it doesn't, but it's not the end of the world. πŸ™‚

  4. Yes! That's exactly what I thought! I thought it was very shady that she went up on their porch, took the sticky off their door, and decided to call me to tell me to not come back.

    The worst of it is that the hutch is still sitting on their front porch, so I pass it every day, see how perfect it would be and know I can't have it. But you're right. It's not the end of the world if I can't have this hutch or even ever get a hutch! The bookcase works just fine…

  5. Oh booo, I have the worst luck with letting things get away from me. I sit and ponder on things too long before I finally talk myself into buying it, only to find it's already gone! Those neighbours are sketch!

  6. Did you try to buy it off of her neighbor? If she's being shady, she'll probably take $50.

    However, I sold a hutch we had for $0 because it was such a hassle to move it. If you check Craigslist (or the Canadian equivalent), someone might be getting rid of one for less than $50!

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